Posts tagged misfitlocal

Meet Carrie: November’s Misfit Storyteller

Meet Carrie at Misfit Local in Cambridge

November’s Misfit Local

Carrie started Onefish Twofish, a B2B marketing company, when she was 25 years old. Three years later she had 13 employees and the company was turning over a million dollars. At the same time she was burning rubber as an elite cyclist. This might sound like a story of success; it wasn’t for Carrie. It was a story of striving, incredibly long working hours, sadness, and disconnection. She has told this story and her journey back to health and happiness for herself and her company, now 10 years old, in her TEDx talk.

However, Carrie is more than this one story. Yes, she has set up a business accelerator programme that is based on a new operating system for work, and is now on its second generation for entrepreneurs, as well as running a corporate version aimed at encouraging entrepreneurial thinking within employees. She is also looking at a new operating system for life, having cut sugar out of her diet. She loves snapchat, singing and surprises. And if there’s one surprise about Carrie, it’s her unfailing belief that our new operating system encompasses life, work, business and everything in between… and it’s surprisingly simple.

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Lou Shackleton

Change-maker in Chief

Meet Sarah & Woody: September’s Misfit Storytellers

Sarah and Woody - Misfit Storytellers for September

September’s Misfit Local

Sarah and Woody started The Utopian World of Sandwiches back in 2011. The Utopian World of Sandwiches is a games company with a difference: making games with a purpose that have a meaningful impact on their players. Their first game, Chompy Chomp Chomp, was created to bring people together in the same room. They work from a shed in their garden in Cambridge, balancing day jobs, friends, family and each other – and their utopian dream.

We’ll be talking about how meetings in the pub are a starting point for some of the best ideas, how they manage to play to each others’ strengths, and how Sarah manages to kick-ass in her day job whilst also leading their games revolution.

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Lou Shackleton

Change-maker in Chief

‘So… What do you do?’ And Other Absurd Questions




The scene is set – you walk into the room and scope it out: small clusters of people are dotted around the room; there are a few sideways glances as you, the newcomer, enter. You finally pluck up the courage to walk towards a group, which you reckon is the least intimidating, and ask to join them. And then it comes – the networking question to end all networking questions: ‘so… what do you do?’

Asking ‘That Question’ at Misfit Local events is actively discouraged. And why is that, you may ask? Well, let’s explore a little further. The great Maya Angelou once said “I’ve learned that making a ‘living’ is not the same thing as making a ‘life’”. In other words, what you do does not have to define you.

All around us, it may seem that people are doing what they want to do, what they’re good at, and getting paid for it. Or the opposite – people are making a living doing one thing, when their real passion is something else entirely. What do you do when your day job (or night shift!) is not your passion, and people ask you ‘That Question’? Sometimes it’s difficult to say what you do, because you feel that it’s only a means to an end. It may not be that its your life’s calling, passion or vocation – it may simply be that it pays the bills, rent or buys food. There’s that word, “only” – “it’s only a means to an end” or “it’s only a day job” or even “it’s only a job.” This implies some kind of value judgement that isn’t helpful for anyone.

Now, this may all seem like semantics, but the way you think and talk about your work has a powerful role to play in your well-being and self-worth – and therefore in your ability to work towards something different (if that’s what you want). Money you earn from your ‘day job’ will keep you sustained nutritionally and put a roof over your head whilst you plan, achieve and go after your dreams with determination and courage; Revel in the knowledge that whilst you may be doing this now, you won’t always be. Don’t become deterred if your dreams take longer than expected to come to fruition – as the old saying goes, ‘all good things take time’ – and find a supportive community that can help you stay focused and motivated.

On a personal note, I’ve had to learn to ‘enjoy the struggle’. I took a pay-cut from a high-flying corporate job to become part-time doing something I love. Whilst I may not be earning as much, I’ve definitely opened up a great deal of free time, and now find the time to look after myself better physically, mentally and socially, whilst pursuing other interests in these newly-acquired pockets of free time. Use the principle of hedonism to weigh up your options – pain now, for gain later? It worked for me, and I sure hope that it works for you too.

If you want to find a space to discuss ideas and dreams in an environment of support and non-judgement, or need a little extra input to get an idea off the ground, or are indeed weighing up the options for your next move towards living with purpose, come along to one of our Misfit Local events. Misfits are artists, writers, community workers, designers, entrepreneurs, coaches, activists and anyone who wants to live life with intention, doing work that matters. Maybe that’s you. If you do come along, just please remember not to ask ‘That Question’.

Click here to check out upcoming Misfit Local events in Cambridge.

The Life and Times of A Remarkable Misfit

Misfit pictures

 Misfit event posterInterviewing AJ Leon was a very special event for me. My name is Martyn Sibley and alongside Lou Shackleton from the YouCan Hub, we organised and delivered a special Cambridge night at Hot Numbers recently. Here’s my take on the night.

My introduction for anyone not familiar with my blog or Disability Horizons magazine is this – I’m a dude in a wheelchair, who travels the world, runs e-projects on disability matters and just loves life.

Enough of my story though. None of my blogging, tweeting and world changing exploits would be possible without AJ, his awesome wife Melissa and his groundbreaking company Misfit-Inc. Back in July 2009 I approached AJ at the Institute of Fundraising convention following a breathtaking presentation. I shared a vision of empowering disabled people, and he saw potential. After a Starbucks meet up; we chatted, dreamed, agreed to collaborate and stated to never give up!

AJ and his crew run a digital agency, carry out social humanitarian work, encourage artistic creativity and travel the world beyond belief. They’re never in their New York home! 

Having launched his book: the event, a Cambridge Misfits meet up if you like, brought together like-minded people and gave me a personal chance to show my gratitude of AJ and also find out some new things too.

The former part was easy. Since the Misfits supported me creatively, strategically and instilled confidence we have chatted, laughed and got drunk numerous times. Our friendship runs deep and dreams remain.

Lou and Martyn interviewing AJ LeonThe latter was an interesting one. Lou and I had base questions. However the best of interviews and questions tend to be off the cuff. I enjoyed asking him if everyone should be Misfits, to which he replied “yes but not everyone will be”. I also loved his recounting of how we must live this one life the best way because even if you believe in reincarnation, we only get one chance. In acknowledgement of his depth but also the seriousness in the room I lightened the atmosphere with the random statement “I agree, it’s not possible to tweet when you’re a snail”. A testament to our philosophy and humour.

I felt as though the audience were stunned as to what AJ stood for, what he has achieved and how his character embraced everyone. More so, the questions showed intrigue, an appetite for more Misfit gold dust and a general demand for more of this vibe of an evening.

Working with Lou was a pleasure. She’s a true Misfit too. I hope we can recapture such an evening again in the future. Whilst AJ returns to his life journey I know he sparked people the way he did with my dream in 2009. On leaving Hot Numbers, the buzz in the room was incredible.

For me, the key take-aways were: dream big, never give up, love life!

Want to see more about the night? Check out the storify here.

Martyn Sibley

Lou Shackleton

Change-maker in Chief