See.Think.Do with Alex Rose
Hey Alex. Whereabouts are you right now?
Right now I’m back in the village I grew up in Gloucestershire, Shipton Moyne. I’m enjoying being able to run, walk, and cycle in the countryside whilst I’m unable to be in the office in London.
What (if anything) is getting you excited right now?
I’m still finding things to be excited about during lockdown. Days beer deliveries. Competitive lockdown cooking with my family. Winter cycling. Snow days. Sea shanties.
Tell us about your journey with Let’s Do This? Where did the idea come from and when did you take that first big / small step?
It started from a related but quite different idea that my co-founder (Sam) and I had. We were both really passionate about fitness and running, cycling etc. and wanted to start a new event series with the ambition of becoming the next Ironman or Tough Mudder. After about 3 months we changed our plans completely and started building an online platform to help people find and book all the amazing experiences that were already out there. Which is the journey we’re still on today.
To be honest the first step was quite a big one, or at least felt like quite a big one at the time. We only had vague outlines of a plan when I quit my job as a management consultant to pursue it, and we both moved back in with our parents in Gloucestershire to cut costs to a minimum whilst we were getting started. Although we didn’t necessarily know exactly where the business was going, I knew that I didn’t want to be a management consultant and there was enough that was exciting about the opportunity, and working with Sam, to take the first step.
I think taking the plunge and committing to it fully was such an important step for me. There would have been a million reasons to stop when things got tough or the way forward didn’t seem clear (which has happened countless times) if I hadn’t made it my full-time focus. Sometimes you need to take the guardrails away to really give yourself a chance of succeeding, it forces you to take accountability.
What’s been your highlight to date?
This is such a tough question! The truth is that I think it gets better the whole time. The team we have now is so fantastic that there’s no doubt we’re doing our best work now. But if I had to point to one period in the company’s life that was most transformative it would have to be the 12 weeks when we took part in YCombinator, the accelerator in Silicon Valley. We were a different company after that.
What have you learnt in the last 12 months, that you could apply to your next challenge/goal?
I think the last 12 months have made me realise how many things we take for granted. Particularly things that we know we want to do at some point, but never get around to doing. Catching up with that friend you haven’t seen for ages, climbing that mountain, visiting that place. I’ve also learned how important doing new things, and meeting new people is, particularly in terms of learning and fuelling creativity. At its worst, it’s the sense of stagnation that has occurred during lockdown that I’ve found most difficult to deal with.
Let’s Do This’s tag line is “Inspiring Epic Experiences” what’s been inspiring you recently?
I’m most inspired by people who are trying to create something new, start companies, change their corner of the world. Right now I’m inspired by what you guys are doing at Days Brewing. I’m inspired by friends Xander and Angus at Mojo
How do you think about mental health and what helps you manage it?
This is a great question, and something that I imagine is top of mind for a lot of people this year, it definitely has been for me. Usually exercise is the difference between a good or bad day for me, and if I’m having a bad day I make sure I go for a run. If I’m struggling with something, I make sure I talk to people about it.
Other small things and habits help. I don’t go on social media anymore, it’s a time sink and takes more from your life than it gives. I write a journal most evenings to help organise my thoughts. I now start each day with a cold shower (so far I’ve managed this every morning in 2021!), it’s a small thing that requires willpower every morning. If you can do that, then you can usually handle whatever the rest of the day has in store.
Any bad habits you’d like to kick?
I’m trying to replace watching tv with reading. With varied success.
How will you measure “success” in 10 years time?
Wow, I have no idea what I’ll consider success in 10 years time. I’d love for Let’s Do This to be a household name in 10 years and to still love going to work there every day, but I’m not sure I would define success that way.
It’s probably a cliche but I think the journey is more important than the destination. If I’m still finding joy in doing new things, still working on something I believe in, and still spending time with people I love I’d consider that success.
What’s the next adventure?
So many adventures in the pipeline right now, though looking like they’ll be UK based this summer. I’m going to cycle LEJOG (Lands End to John O’Groats) in May. And have signed up to two ultramarathons in June, having never run further than a marathon before.Alex Recommends
Top Local Spot: Where I currently am in Gloucestershire the options are limited. Has to be our local pub, the Cat and Custard Pot...when it finally opens again.
Watch out for: Nathan Evans (apparently he was #1 this week, yes apparently I’ve been living under a rock).
Best new thing: Clubhouse, specifically James McAulay’s (another Scot!) Live Piano sessions on Thursday nights.
Smallest change/ biggest impact: Cold showers first thing in the morning.
Your message in a bottle: If you think you’re going to regret not doing something, you should probably do it.
What's doing at Days (from Mike & Duncs)
Launching: Our Strava Club (Join Here)
Counting: Down to June 21st