Purpose, Passion, Makers, Utopias

**A friend recently reminded me of the power of walking the walk in supporting entrepreneurs. After all, I’m one myself and always have been in different ways. I do support entrepreneurs through my work, through mentoring, through speaking and many other ways. One additional way is to publicise entrepreneurs who offer products and services I love !**

Recently, through joining the Academy for Chief Executives, I’ve got to know Matt Bagwell, an Academy member, and a Maker.

A Maker of shoes, really, really comfortable and stylish shoes. Really stylish too. I love my “Sevens” !

seven feet apart

Matt and his partner Ian are building a shoe business called Seven Feet Apart. Why that name ?  Read this fascinating page on the site about what drove Matt, and his really cool discovery around his ancestry from the amazing engineer, Isambard Kingdom Brunel.

In reading that page, please pay close attention to Matt’s Purpose and Passion. These two traits, in that order of priority, are what I have found are essential for entrepreneurial business success. What is your Purpose in leading your business ? What keeps you Passionate about it ?

So, back to Brunel, who was one of the great engineers of the industrial revolution, and designed some of the earliest machines for manufacturing.

Now, linked to that history, Matt talks passionately about being a “Maker”. We once chatted about the history of utopian planned communities back in the industrial revolution.

One such community was New Lanark, led by the social reformed and philanthropist Robert Owen. Among his social initiatives was to open the first infant school in Britain in New Lanark in 1817. What an amazing vision and reality to create back then !

New Lanark is now restored and stunning to visit, and I recently found myself touring it on a gorgeous winter’s day. How gorgeous ? I took this picture.

Purpose. Passion.

In bricks and mortar, and well over two hundred years on, one can still feel it.

New lanark