When Olivia O’Connor thinks of the word ‘conference’, she doesn’t think of strangers with laptops listening to one guest speaker talk about the importance of team work. The founder of the youth entrepreneurial movement ‘Don’t Tell Summer’ has transformed the idea of a conference into an inspiring reminder for people to follow their dreams and encourage each other to do what they love.
StartUp Creative sat down with Olivia to hear about how one uninhibited talk with a best friend in Europe turned into an international festival she calls #RadLivin.
So what’s this conference/ concert all about?
The whole purpose of the event is to inspire you to do what you love now. Whether that's saying yes to an adventure that day, or to a dream that's been sitting in your heart, it's here as a reminder to do what you love, what completely excites you.
We have speakers, live music and like-minded people coming together to get inspired, share their dreams and celebrate livin' life to the raddest. Speakers include founders of Pedestrian TV, Cait Miers, Axel & Ash, Connie Chapman, OneWave, Tidal Magazine and One Night Stand Sleepwear and music by Ziggy Alberts and Sons of the East.
Who is it for?
It was created for those who are ready to stop waiting. For those who are ready to ditch the 9 to 5 grind for something that they love, to finally book the trip overseas, to launch the business, to create the blog and to say yes to the things that excite them. It’s for anyone (18+) who wants to connect with other rad like-minded people to make their dreams happen now.
It takes a solid team to bring a big event together, what are your tips on collaborating?
It does! The biggest tip when starting out is to talk to everyone who is an expert in what you want to do. Before even deciding if I was going to do the festival, I spoke to friends who have put on conferences, music festivals…etc. The second tip is to pick people that you trust. My best friend is our event planner and what I love most is that we’re so honest.
You run your own business as well, tell us about why you started it?
It’s called Don’t Tell Summer, #RadLivin is a spin off of our hat brand, and it’s all about inspiring you to do what you love as well. We’ve created hats where a portion of every purchase goes to a young person with a big dream and every time you put on the hat it’s a declaration to live an authentic, rad life.
What’s your secret for being organised?
Make lists and take things one thing at a time. Especially with an event, there’s about a million things to do so taking it one day at a time is helpful. If you’re not very organised, partner up with someone who is!
What are your top 3 tips for starting a business?
1. You will never feel completely ready and so the best way to begin is to do just that, start.
2. I mentioned this before but talk to anyone you can who has done what you want to do or something similar. I saved myself hours of frustration by talking with friends or friends of friends who have been there before.
3. Hold yourself accountable - whether that’s through a friend or a coach, if you don’t have a set date that you’re going to do something by you’ll never do it.
Buy Tickets to Don't Tell Summer and use the code STARTUP for 20% off the ticket price!