Nelson Sivalingam talks about Wonderush, the subscription service where you can enjoy unlimited things to do in London every day for £29 a month.
I came up with the idea when... I was looking for fun and unusual new things to do to help me find a better work/life balance. I realised there wasn’t a cheap, quick and easy way to try something new on a regular basis. I’m a big believer that not only is routine boring, but it doesn’t give you the opportunity to grow. Whether it’s developing a new perspective or learning a new thing about yourself, it doesn’t happen without you taking a new action, putting yourself in a moment that is new to you and challenging yourself beyond what you know. Once you’re stuck in the daily rut of 9 to 5 work, it’s not easy to find this opportunity and that is what inspired Wonderush.
The biggest challenge is... Recently we launched the Wonderush marketplace, where suppliers can promote and monetise their service through the Wonderush platform. It’s definitely a challenge developing a two-sided marketplace simultaneously with limited resources. If you’re thinking about taking your service to the next level and want to talk, drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The average day is spent... not being so average. We spend our days questioning everything about Wonderush and experimenting until we find the answers. Not just questions about our product but also how we operate as a team and how it ties into what we want to get out of life. The days are filled with brainstorms, debates, troubleshooting, penny dropping moments as well as trying to stay on top of emails and a bit of ping pong.
The team consists of... six very smart, funny and creative individuals, all on a mission to inspire everyone in the world to step out of their comfort zone and live more awesome.
My favourite quote... “I don’t want to survive, I want to live.” – Wall-E
I am where I am today because of... my attitude towards failure. I may have failed many times before and may fail many more times in the future, however I will not be a Failure (yes with a capital F) unless I let it happen. Everyone fails at something at some point, but letting yourself become a Failure is completely down to you. It’s what you do after you fail that says a lot more about you, than the actual failing part.
I am who I am because of... books. I can 100% say I would not be the person I am today if it weren’t for books. I’m not here to convince you to read if you don’t, although you are seriously missing out if you don’t.
The best advice I've been given... was by my dad in my early teens and I’m not sure how much of it I understood at the time but it has stuck with me. He told me life was about making a positive impact on the people around us and we should live a life that will be remembered even once we’re gone.
In five years I’d like to be... doing what I love doing.
The thing no one ever tells you about running your own business online... that you need to be both the eternal optimist and in a state of constant paranoia all the time.
Our biggest mistake and what it taught us... We got our first round of funding and we hired too many too quickly. We did this and ended up bringing on people we thought we needed but didn’t and also people who were not right for the company culture we were building. We then changed tack and started hiring as and when we saw gaps in our business, rather than hiring people just because we thought they were the roles you needed in any business.
We also initially made the mistake of giving people in the team roles and titles. With this we were actually limiting that person’s capacity and we very quickly realised this and scraped the idea of roles and titles. Instead, we’re now just a bunch of capable people with specialties who are working together to build Wonderush.
The most rewarding experience we’ve had to date... It is every time we get a booking, which is now pretty much every minute. Every time I get a booking notification, it reminds me that someone somewhere is stepping out of their comfort zone, meeting new people and creating new memories because of something we built. It also reminds me that there are hosts putting on amazing classes and experiences, who with every booking are able to turn their passion into profit.