Turning an idea into a successful business is not easy. We all know that. There are so many supplementary factors that go into building that million dollar startup. Along with what incubators teach you about understanding your idea, the market, the product, your customers and creating disruptive solutions, what is equally, if not more, critical as a founder is understanding your own self and aligning that to your business.

The path to discovery and change – personally and professionally – can be intimidating, to say the least. But can it be the fine line between building an average or a kickass startup? If yes, then it is something worth a shot!

Enter Change

Change is the signature programme of The Change School that runs multidisciplinary programmes focussed on holistic, experiential and collective learning. Change provides a space for personal discovery, entrepreneurship, emotional intelligence and wellness to help individuals realise the connection between their lives and how they impact the world at large.

The programme is taking place again this October in Bali, Indonesia. It is an application-based initiative. Early bird applications are open till July 31, while individuals can apply till September 1.

Against this backdrop, e27 spoke to Grace Clapham, Co-founder, Change Here she talks at length about the programme and learnings for founders.


Who is Change specifically for?
Change Ventures is for individuals looking at aligning themselves and their business. Whether you’re an entrepreneur, freelancer, career breaker or graduate, we want individuals who are looking to understand themselves and their business better in order to create a long lasting impact.

How can startups take advantage of it?
So often people start businesses or startups because the idea of it sounds great, but they may not be completely aligned or passionate about the business and eventually lose steam. Change helps you not only understand the ‘WHY’ behind your business, but also ensures the ‘WHAT’ you’re doing is going to help you take it further in a manner than is suitable to you.

It will really allow startups to review their business and also their individual motivations, and provide a fresh perspective on everything. At the end of the programme, the startups will leave with better clarity of themselves and their business. In addition, they will learn to build new habits whilst breaking down old habits for better, more efficient methods of working.

To talk about my personal experience, when I started my own business, things were going well. But three years into it, I realised that it wasn’t what I wanted to do and I felt a lack of connection to my business, which then impacted my work. It was at this point that I wished I had a programme such as Change to tap into.

Also Read: Biggest challenge in India is to get early-stage funding: Rajat Tandon

What are the learnings founders can get?
The learnings vary according to the individual and their initial goals of why they join our programme. Our belief is the more you put in during the 21 days, the more you get out of it. The learnings are both intangible and tangible. Some examples of learnings or key take-aways past participants have had are:

  • Changes in mindset, attitude, habits, daily routine/practices, etc.
  • Clarity of identity, purpose, motivations and goals
  • Growth of professionalism (behavioural and skills), confidence and risk appetite
  • New life skills, greater emotional intelligence
  • Strategies for how to best work with the tools and resources out there, whilst at the same time learning new tools and resources that help them plan for their business or career change
  • Networks to constantly learn from and be supported by from across the globe

How does Change work? How is the programme built?
Our Change programme is broken into three weeks. In week one, we focus on the ‘Break Down’ process — a deep dive into understanding who you are, what drives you and why. In week two, we focus on the ‘Break Through’ — understanding your place and purpose in the world and uncovering the many opportunities to solve problems, create solutions and make sense of the world. In our final week, we focus on ‘Taking Action’ — designing an action plan for reaching your milestones and hit the ground running!

What are the upcoming programmes, other than the one in Bali?
Our other programmes are for early 2015 and individuals can register their interest on our website now. All programmes need a minimum of six participants to run. We’re currently looking at running some of the programmes in India, Sri Lanka and other locations, just to name a few.

Upcoming programmes are:

Get out of your head
This programme looks at addressing our fears and vulnerability. A 7-day experience that helps to break bad habits, thrive with fear and understand the importance of being vulnerable through interactive workshops, peer sessions and challenges that help us overcome our internal struggle. It is due to take place in March 2015.

Awakening your creative giant
This programme is designed to help participants get a re-start and build their vision for 2015. We provide new tools and resources that help them become more effecting and efficient in reaching their milestones. It’s a 10-day experience to awaken and exercise your creative and entrepreneurial mind. It will take place in February 2015.

Also Read: How to bag a funding, not beg for it

What are your plans for the immediate future?
We’re looking at working with a myriad of facilitators, specialists and partners from all over as we expand and grow to pop up in new locations and also broaden our programmes. We are working on the inaugural of The Change School Summit for 2015 for ‘Third Culture’ kids, as well as opening up for a wider Fellowship programme to provide accessibility to individuals who can’t afford our programmes.