I love new and different experiences and so do a lot of people. Everyone says they want to do this and that, but are you actually doing them? Probably not. I speak to Dave Knowles, who is helping people get the most out of their experiences and challenges, with Doolist. Check out the full interview:
Hi Dave, how are you doing today?
Yeah I’m really good thanks. I’m just finalising my preparation for the London triathlon, which takes place this coming Sunday. This is my first Olympic distance triathlon and 7th challenge of the year. It is forecast to be a nice sunny weekend in London, so I’m really looking forward to it.
First off can you give me a bit of background to yourself?
Sure, I’m 29 years old, live in WhitleyBay, I work as a National Account Manager in FMCG and I’m also the founder of Doolist.com. I’ve recently married my wife Danielle, and I’m doing 13 challenges in 2013 to raise £13k for the Motor Neurone Disease Association (MNDA). I love travelling, doing charity challenges and ticking things off my Doolist.
Tell me more about Doolist?
Doolist is a free, ‘bucket list’ review site, where people can list their own experiences and check reviews about other people’s experiences. We have a big focus on charity challenges, and inspirational people who do amazing things for good causes. In 2013 we have raised over £7k with the Doolist charity challenge in support of the MNDA, so are over halfway to our £13k target.
To date I have completed 224 experiences on my personal Doolist:
What was the inspiration behind it?
I used to have an offline ‘bucket list’ I kept on Excel. On one particular holiday to Spain in 2008, I did a skydive and the Pamplona Bull Run. It was an amazing trip, but I struggled to find out information about the bull run before I went out e.g. what time does it start, where from, does it cost anything etc. I then discovered this was the same for a lot of life experiences. I decided to design a ‘bucket list’ site where people could find out information about life experiences from other users who had already done them…and so Doolist was born. There are now over 2,500 experiences on Doolist and I have personally reviewed over 220. We’re all busy with our lives, but I believe it is so important to keep challenging ourselves and experiencing new things.
What is the revenue model?
That’s easy, there isn’t one. The aim is to provide free life experience reviews for everyone, whilst encouraging more people to undertake amazing challenges to raise money for charity.
What has been your biggest challenge while running Doolist and having a job?
Setting up a website is also a busy and challenging job, and so is working full time, so I guess it has been about how to use my time most effectively. I am not a developer myself so I had to use an agency to help bring my ideas to life. This is not cheap so I had to invest a lot of my own money to get it started. I don’t have the big budgets a lot of websites have so I can’t afford SEO, so I have to try and think of innovative ways to raise the profile of Doolist.
How have you managed the two?
I always say life is about spinning plates. Everyone’s plates are different and if you have too many plates, some will drop and smash. However if you are effective with your time planning, and you know what your priorities are, you can make sure you give each of the important plates enough attention to keep them spinning. I plan what I want to do at the start of the year and when I want to do it. I then plan what I need to do on a weekly, daily and hourly basis to achieve my goals. This allows me to list, prioritise and action things which are important to me.
So on your Doolist you are undertaking 13 challenges this year for charity, can you tell me more about this?
My wife’s mum, Linda, was sadly lost to motor Neurone Disease a few years ago. This is a muscle wasting disease, which kills most people within 2 years of diagnosis. Currently no-one knows what causes it and there is no cure. The MNDA not only support families with MNDA, they do a fantastic job with research into finding a cure for this horrible disease. They don’t get as much recognition or support as some of the larger charities, so at Doolist we’re undertaking 13 challenges in 2013 to raise £13k for them. The 13th and final challenge is 13 marathons in 13 days from Newcastle to Nelson’s Column. I’ve already got some famous people supporting the race such as ex-England cricketer Chris Broad.
You can see my full list of challenges at:
So Doolist is there to help people accomplish experiences, so how can people help you on your 13 challenges journey?
If people want to support our 2013 challenge for the MNDA, you can sponsor us here:
What advice would you give to anyone looking to start a business?
I recently read ‘The Richest man in Babylon’ by George S. Clason, which you can easily download for free online. It teaches you several very important rules of wealth. Two of the key lessons were ‘make your gold work for you as soldiers’, and ‘guard your treasures from loss…invest wisely’. If you are going to go for it, do your research and preparation, to ensure you make every pound you invest count. Also test out your ideas and ‘fail early’. That way you can learn valuable lessons without outlaying too much expenditure.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I would like to add at least another 100 things to my Doolist. Things such as; start a family, see the Northern Lights and complete an Ironman. I also want to use Doolist to help as many people as possible undertake charity challenges and other great life experiences.