002: Knowing When to Make Changes or Cut Your Losses with Bridget Harris.
Bridget Harris is the co-founder and CEO of Youcanbook.me. I absolutely love this service. She’s also a former advisor to a United Kingdom deputy prime minister. She’s been selected for the 2015 Tech City Insider 100, and she is an advocate for inclusion and diversity in politics and tech.
Bridget’s take on change and innovation:
“People are afraid of change or feel like they can’t do anything about change because there is a risk attached. I evaluate the risks associated with change. In a way, every change has to be based on what’s the worst case scenario. You have to get good at evaluating risk, and what you would be prepared to put up with. As a business owner, we’d be prepared to put up with a certain amount of debt if things go wrong, which we would have to essentially pay off some of the way versus unacceptable risk. Another example: Family life. I’m not going to give up family life for the sake of my business. That risk is too much, so essentially there is a balance of what change is going to be okay based on what you potentially could lose.”
How to take the emotion out of the decision making process:
“Actually there’s plenty of tools you can use that rationalize that process and that you can add very sort of simple numerical values to the things that you’re worried about. If you start to realize that one thing in motion you might feel very worried about, but actually on a risk profile, there is a very potentially low impact. Other times there’s actually a place for rationally trying to figure out and calculating what it is that you’re doing.”
The Start of YouCanBook.me:
“The story of YouCanBook.me actually started about ten years ago when we were trying to find a product that we could monetize using the web. The onset of the web, of cloud tools, of the internet allows companies like ours to deliver services over the internet, over the cloud based web application, and charge a monthly fee for it. YouCanBook.me was actually the fourth product that we basically ended up promoting. In between that times what we ended up with was a lot of investment in products which are still actually out there today, and were quite successful in their own terms, but at the same time didn’t make us enough money.
Check out Bridget’s calendar tool: YouCanBook.me
How can our listeners tune out the distractions:
“For example, routine, getting up at the same time every morning, having breakfast at the same time every morning. Sounds like a very old persons thing to do. That’s what my parents do, but actually if you know what time you’re having breakfast every morning, then it cuts out a concern or a distraction about the rest of your day.”
Bridget’s recommendations for entrepreneurs living out their purpose:
“Avoid being successful based on exploitation. Companies will often justify their profits and their growth, sorry they’ll justify the wages that they pay people because they say well we’re a successful company, we make lots of profits, and people buy our products, and we are contributing towards the economy, and we’re employing people, and that should be enough. If you’re doing it basically on the backs of what could be seen as exploitation, then I think you’re not leaving the world a better place then when you found it. I think that for people to focus on what their sense of purpose should be around can you get core satisfaction out of what you are contributing to the world. I think actually that really gives you a sense of mindfulness and happiness generally.”