PHIL EVANGELOU

Founder & Philanthropist
2018

What were you doing before you joined the Uprise program?

Before the program I was in a high pressure job in London, working as a lawyer for an investment firm. I was feeling depressed, not connected to the world around me. I felt isolated and alone, on the other side of the world away from my family in Australia. Something inside me said I needed a change and try something different. That's when I found Uprise Academy, on Instagram. It was my escape from London. I realised I wanted to learn something new and was considering a new career direction.

How has your career changed since graduating from Uprise Academy?

The program helped through mentorship, it helped me understand the fundamentals of what it takes to be an entrepreneur and how to launch a business. I got me face to face with other entrepreneurs and their journey, including the Uprise Academy founders. And just having a regimented framework and certain dates by when you need to complete certain things by, combined with travelling and socialising. It teaches you how to balance which is something you definitely need to understand when kickstarting your own business.

Since Nomad, I got involved in Coretorno and I went back to Cape Town to deliver the toys for the Non-Profit that I started called Kupendo Kids. They were over the moon when they saw us arrive with all those toys and books. On the side I work on a project for the Salvation Army, as a lawyer, they picked me because of my philanthropic efforts.

What was the thing that surprised you most after joining Uprise Academy?

The most surprising thing was the people, both the organisers and the people that attended. I knew what the program was about, travelling through Africa. But it was really about the tribe getting really cohesive and close, really quickly in the first weekend on the program. I was really nervous, to be honest, to go on a program where I didn't know anyone at all. But I was surprised about how well everyone got along from the beginning. Of Course it wasn't all smooth sailing all the time but it was actually very harmonious and fun.  

My biggest learning was my ability to achieve goals in a short space of time if I really focus and put all my energy into one project. It showed me that I can achieve amazing results in 8-12 weeks, which is something I didn't know I could do. Learning the formula of success was the biggest learning. And also that not succeeding or achieving your goal is also not a problem but just part of the learning process. Getting over that fail of failure.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about applying for the program?

Only do the program if you're willing to give 110%. Otherwise, just go backpacking. You need to be motivated to change your life. Be willing to learn a new skill and apply it in a practical way for it to become an addition to your resume.