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Credit: Karl Frederickson — https://unsplash.com/@alfonsmc10

I have a small obsession with business books. Although I must confess, in recent times, the obsession has become more about acquiring them rather than actually reading them. It pains me to say it, but I probably have more unread business books on my shelves compared to ones I’ve actually read.

During the periods I have got back into reading though, something has niggled me somewhat. I can’t help feeling many business books don’t really need to be books at all. …


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Credit: Ricardo Gomez Angel — https://unsplash.com/@ripato

Since the success of Eric Ries’ bestselling book ‘The Lean Startup’, which was first published back in 2011, his business methodology has become more and more commonplace. I totally buy into his thinking but do find myself questioning, when is lean too lean?

In many instances it makes total sense. For example, in the FinTech world, companies like Monzo and Tide, who are both challenging the traditional banks with digital first strategies, have a adopted this approach with huge success.

By setting out a clear vision, one that taps into a very real customer need, launching with a few key…


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Credit: Tyson Dudley — https://unsplash.com/@ty_dudley

Whilst on holiday a few years back, I read Ryan Holiday’s book ‘The Obstacle is the Way: The Ancient Art of Turning Adversity to Advantage’. Now I must confess, I have this rather annoying habit of reading a book and then not retaining the key points it’s trying to make — handy huh? The overarching theme in Ryan Holiday’s book I do remember though (quite possibly because the clue is in the title) and I try to keep it in the back of my mind at all times.

Ryan uses lots of great examples from throughout history. They all illustrate…


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Credit: Karl Frederickson — https://unsplash.com/@kfred

What I’m about to write isn’t necessarily anything new or particularly groundbreaking to many. However, during my time working in a number of creative agencies, ‘creative percolation’ as I’ll describe it wasn’t always fostered enough in my opinion.

Too many times I saw the creative process squeezed into unrealistic time frames when creativity in my opinion can’t simply be turned on and off like a tap.

Of course, some people can work under pressure, they thrive on it. And at times short turnarounds can be a good thing. They cut out dithering and procrastination. …


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Credit: Jordan Sanchez — https://unsplash.com/@jordaneil

As someone who is embarking on a new adventure, I find I’m constantly stressing about not doing enough. Not pushing myself hard enough. I’m even feeling slightly guilty for taking the time out to write this.

Every day must be as productive as possible, particularly when you’re still in the throes of developing your product and yet to launch. You often have very little to show for your efforts during this period, at least nothing that’s particularly tangible.

I don’t think this nagging feeling will ever go away completely, but one thing I have learnt over time is that taking…


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Credit: Kai Oberhäuser — https://unsplash.com/memoryonsounds

I’ve always been a big fan of david hieatt. He’s smart, talks a lot of sense in a down-to-earth, easy to understand way and does things for the right reasons. He ultimately follows his passions.

I had the pleasure of attending a workshop last year he’s been doing for a while now entitled ‘How to build a great brand with very little money. There are plenty of pearls of wisdom delivered very eloquently throughout this all day workshop. I won’t go into all of them now, you’ll have to attend the workshop for the rest of them, but one thing…


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Credit: Ian Schneider — https://unsplash.com/@goian

Last year I was fortunate enough to chair a panel discussion which brought together some of the UK’s leading online foodies. We had a thoroughly enjoyable chat, discussing the nation’s obsession with food, the rise of #foodporn and what the future of food might be on social media.

The discussion itself isn’t the focus of this article though. The focus of this article is about how the event made me realise the importance of finding your passion.

I was taken aback by how passionate each of the panel members were about what they did. It was refreshing and infectious.

It…


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Credit: Mike Kenneally — https://unsplash.com/asthetik

I’ve helped to build and market brands for the majority of my working life. I still very much enjoy what I do and I’ve been lucky enough to work with some great brands over the years. But for a while now I’ve had the urge to launch my own.

I guess there’s an element of putting my money where my mouth is, mixed with a tinge of jealously and ultimately, huge admiration for the people and brands out there that are making stuff and doing it really, really well.

I’ve never made anything, not really, not in the truest sense…


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Photo credit: Erez Attias — https://unsplash.com/erezattias

I’ve wanted to be a contributor on Medium for some time. I like the platform. I like how nice it makes words look. I like the fact that long-form content is making a comeback* and that Medium has some of the best long-form content around.

The only thing stopping me up to now has been the question I’m sure lots of people ask themselves, “What can I write about? What do I possibly have to say that might be even vaguely interesting to others?”

Well now, I think, I finally have a reason to jump in, join the community and…

Ben Swindell

Fascinated by brands, culture and the space in between. Founder of Horace. Frustrated drummer.

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