New business is 80% awesome

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Claire Eason-Bassett (left) and Rachel Picken

Two friends have turned their quest for work-life balance into a new business, catching the attention of a world-leading university.

Chartered PR Rachel Picken and event professional Claire Eason-Bassett have launched 80 Per Cent Awesome – a business that will bring workshops, events, products and a community to people who are seeking a life that’s a little less perfect.

Their business, registered in Cornwall, will launch this Thursday (March 12) with two events – one at OurDistrikt co-working space in Newham, Truro, and the other with University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School and its newly-formed Professional Women’s Network.

The concept was developed whilst the pair holidayed together on the Isles of Scilly two years ago. They came up with the idea of ‘operating at 80% awesome’ – how aiming for 100% perfection is just not feasible, and actually unsustainable.

Eason-Bassett and Picken took their idea to an Agile conference – Global Scrum Gathering – in Vienna last October, where they presented the Lean Life Canvas. This is a tool that enables people to take a retrospective on various aspects of their lifestyle, then make a plan to move forward whilst building in balance and protecting energy levels.

The Oxford link came about after Picken shared the Lean Life Canvas with one of her clients at the university.

She said: “As mums, business owners, ambitious professionals and partners, we know how exhausting it is to try and perform at optimum capacity. When I built Agile PR, I did this with a mind to mental health and ensuring I had time with my young family.

“We tested our ideas and the Lean Life Canvas before we spoke at Global Scrum Gathering in Vienna. Our community has grown to around 350 Facebook group members who just love the idea of finding some balance in their lives.”

Eason-Bassett is former director of Mackerel Sky Events, and 18 months ago relocated to Buckinghamshire with her family to join English National Ballet as head of business development and events. She is soon to be starting a new role as senior lecturer in event management with the University of Northampton.

She said: “It’s incredible that we’re holding our first workshops as 80 Per Cent Awesome with University of Oxford and Said Business School as our first client.

“What started as an idea has really gained momentum and we are continuing to evolve the model and tools as we build the community. Life can be chaotic and complex and operating at 80% is proving to be a sustainable way to cope with it all. I am looking forward to sharing it with participants in our first tranche of workshops.”

Places are still available for the Truro event where Picken will lead the group through the Lean Life Canvas. For more details click here.