The Power of Encouragement & Acting On A Hunch



There is an indescribable joy that comes when hospital patients receive flowers. I witnessed this repeatedly as I spent more time in hospitals with my work. And this simple gesture, of sending flowers to someone in the often unnerving surrounds of a hospital ward inspired me to create Be In Motion.

At the heart of what I was seeing was the delivery of unexpected encouragement. I kept noticing a 30-second window of palpable expectation building inside the patient’s mind when flowers arrived. It started when they realised a flower delivery was for them and the crescendo came when they learned of the sender. The look on their faces at that moment is often a mixture of three emotions. Gratitude, happiness and disbelief. That someone you know would go to the effort to brighten your day given their busy life is unexpected and, unfortunately, far from regular.

My hunch was that those 30 seconds of growing excitement and expectation made that experience memorable and helped patients stay positive and in some way, improve their resilience.

My mind quickly turned to how this experience could be adapted to people everywhere. So I decided to create a digital equivalent based on the flower delivery experience.

It’s all in the name

The name of this product, Be In Motion, hails from the belief that to improve any situation, you need to avoid standing still. In other words, you create an advantage for yourself by being in motion. And, sometimes all it takes is some unexpected encouragement.

I’m not a software developer but I did have a clear vision for how I wanted people to feel, both as a sender and as a recipient of unexpected encouragement.

I created an online store on Shopify, hired a freelance software developer and within one week, an experience was born. Today you can visit and order a Be In Motion card.

We hand-write and mail your message of encouragement. But there’s a twist! The recipient reads a message which is all about them but they don’t know the sender until they open their phone’s camera and scan the QR code on the back of the card.

Based on the feedback I’ve received, the reveal triggers that same mix of disbelief, gratitude and happiness. As part of the digital experience, senders are instantly notified via email that their card has been read and recipients are immediately encouraged to pay it forward by ordering a card for someone they know. And thanks to that network effect, the movement grows!

I’m happy with how this hunch played out.

What I didn’t see coming was that 20 world-class leaders would join as Be In Motion Ambassadors. I also didn’t expect orders to come from multiple countries. I also wouldn’t have thought that companies would send encouragement via Be In Motion to their teams during the COVID-19 lockdowns.

In some exciting news, funky swag and a new podcast are in the works to join the Be In Motion product lineup.

I don’t know how this chapter will end, but here’s the thing. You can build products like this too.

Curiosity, tweaking an existed experience, calling in some friends to help (including my good friend Aaron Roberts) and obsessively prototyping with a very small budget can deliver the unexpected.

And if you’re interested, this e-commerce product is profitable for four reasons. The cost of goods is predictably low. The postage cost is fully optimised to be the lowest possible. Each card is designed to be shared on social media (and we ask recipients to share it!) and finally, the built-in network effect (based on asking the recipient to pay it forward) is free.

What a time to be alive!