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Home » Products » Podcast » Season 6 » S06 E06 – Co-op Lessons (Pt. 2)

S06 E06 – Co-op Lessons (Pt. 2)

In this episode, Laura and Doug continue their chat with John Bevan, the third member of We Are Open Co-op about lessons we’ve all learned over the last seven years of setting up and running our own business. We discuss managing clients, finances and sustainability, marketing and networking, working remotely, and IRL meetups.


  • The Many Headed Hydra by Marcus Rediker and Peter Linebaugh
  • Beyond a Boundary by CLR James

Find all of our guests’ reading recommendations at our The Tao of WAO book club.



Important note: this is a lightly-edited AI transcription of the conversation. If you require verbatim quotations, please double-check against the audio!

Laura Hilliger: [00:00:22] Hey, everybody. Welcome back to the Tao of WAO. This is the second part of a two parter featuring John Bevan, one of our collaborators. So if you haven’t listened to Part One, maybe you want to listen to that first. But if you haven’t and you just want to plough straight on, that’s all cool too. Okay, let’s let’s move on, shall we? So number three is managing clients. What have we learned about that in seven years?

John Bevan: [00:00:51] Maybe it’s not that different from managing colleagues. So Doug just said, I’m really easy to get along with, and maybe part of that is true because I kind of spend a lot of time thinking about what people need and the sort of compromises that need to be made potentially, or like how do you usefully avoid conflict to get something done at work, whether it be with your colleagues or direct comms with a client? Or when is it useful to engineer a bit of conflict because you know that you need to get that decision made to get to the next stage of a thing, or so there might be more overlaps with like number two on the list than maybe we first thought when we glanced at the list.

Doug Belshaw: [00:01:47] We there’s lots of things we could talk about here with margin clients because, as you say, there’s overlaps in terms of ways in which you reframe the conflict that and sometimes you can feel like or the client can feel. Like this conflict or you can feel like this conflict and like you don’t feel the same way. And sometimes surfacing that and checking in and bringing your full self to work can help realise where people are at. We did a retrospective yesterday with a client where they we, we had been very annoyed with them and, and they had no clue. We thought they knew and were just being annoying and they had no clue for like months that we that, that we hadn’t got this information or didn’t have access to the thing. Um, and it was just literally such a small thing which had really affected that relationship like we delivered. Um, what we need to deliver. Um, like it was a funded thing and the people, the funders were happy, but like, the project just felt like, oh, like a grit your teeth kind of project. But it was based on people, project managers changing and communication, not being as good as it could have been and assumptions being made and all that kind of stuff. And sometimes you just need to get everything out in the open during the project rather than when it’s finished.

Laura Hilliger: [00:03:20] Yeah, I thought that was really interesting because, I mean, the assumption was on our part really, Like, we understood something that we were being discouraged from a particular thing and, you know, because we were flat out told. But then when the project changed and, and people changed the, the new people like they would have encouraged us to do this thing if they had known that we had, you know, if they had known that we had even wanted to do it. And we just assumed, you know. And so that that assumption from us actually, like really affected how we felt about the project. I was also going to say that, you know, in terms of like client managing clients and clients relationships, we have a page on our wiki where we thought about the different kinds of communication with clients. So I’ve learned quite a bit about how we need to be adaptable and flexible to how clients want to communicate. And because we have clients that are, that are a lot like us and very open and you know, just kind of say all the things do this, you know, very close relationships. And we also have clients that are sort of more on that, you know, business side, like a little what’s it like straight laced, I would say, where they, you know, where they have, um, sort of a level of professionalism that we need to mirror because we are professionals. We’re not, you know, I mean, this podcast is probably we’re quite honest on the podcast, but, you know, when we we’re always honest, I don’t want to say we’re dishonest, but being, you know, having a level of, um…

John Bevan: [00:05:05] Formality?

Laura Hilliger: [00:05:06] Yeah, formality. That’s the. That’s the word. Exactly.

Doug Belshaw: [00:05:09] So we had Kayleigh on the podcast in one of the early seasons, and I’ve learned. So we talked about Abby at Outlandish and Kayleigh at Outlandish, like the way that she would not accept that level of bureaucracy and like… you know, she was the one who really opened my eyes to the importance of check-ins and bringing your full self to work and all that kind of stuff. And, you know, she just won’t have it if clients are just like, “Yeah, I’m fine, let’s go on with the work”. And I’ve, I’ve seen that in practice when I’ve worked with them and I’ve also seen it work in our projects. Like we’re focusing more on the negative side of things here because usually most things go fine with clients. And the main things I would say if you’re listening to this and you’re not sure about like, “Well, how does it work? I’ve only ever had a job”. It’s processes. Like Laura is very good at documenting the processes that we go through. So having a kick off call internally, having a kick off call with a client, making sure our scope of work is reasonable and everyone knows what’s expected. I find it really useful to visualise everything, so that it’s not just a bunch of words, checking in to see how things are going during the project, which is what we should do in that project that we just talked about and having a retrospective at the end, all of these kinds of stuff, talking about budgets and having all that kind of awkward conversation is as well.

Doug Belshaw: [00:06:32] But I remember a project we were part of and this was last year and one of the people was just like, “Well, I find these check ins quite disingenuous, actually. Let’s just get on with the work.” And at the end they apologised, saying that actually I’ve had a really bad day. I do value these check-in and check-outs and when I’m feeling like when I’m feeling stressed and stuff, I just want to go on with the work. But actually I really do value bringing all all of our full self to work and stuff. And I think, well, what are we doing in business if we’re not trying to, you know, it’s not all just trying to make everyone feel better all the time. We’ve got work to do, but part of the work is. Being able to do the work as effectively as possible by bringing our full selves to work. So yeah.

Laura Hilliger: [00:07:21] John’s just nodding. Yeah.

John Bevan: [00:07:23] Well, I wasn’t in that meeting, I don’t think. But sometimes people who react in that way, it’s because they aren’t used to being somewhere that you’re asked what you feel and you can say, Actually, I’ve had a terrible day. And getting the kids to school was a nightmare and we couldn’t find the sock and the swimming stuff went missing and then we had to buy ingredients for my son’s home economics lesson, like on the way to school at the last minute, no one knew what was going on. And my head is absolutely everywhere else. Like people who want to skip the check in is sometimes because they don’t want to ignore the things that are going on outside of the meeting. But they also don’t they’re not used to or they don’t feel comfortable sharing those things. So it feels like disingenuous or it feels like, “Oh, this is just a stupid performative. I say I’m fine when really I’m not fine”, whereas quite often that’s not what’s going on. But they aren’t used to or don’t feel comfortable saying, you know, everything isn’t great.

Doug Belshaw: [00:08:29] Or they’re used to working in a reasonably hostile environment where anything that you say like that could be used against you in in future. So I worked when I was in senior leadership in academy at a school academy, and I talked a lot about the work I was doing in my thesis with my boss and other people in senior management, and that was used against me to say that I was prioritising my stuff outside of work. Whereas that would never happen in the environment that I’m in now. Um, so yeah, maybe sometimes people are a little bit reticent in sharing stuff because they know they’re in an environment where it’s a bit tooth and nail. So. And my advice to those people would be maybe try and get out of that situation.

Laura Hilliger: [00:09:18] Right. We’ve got to move on to number four.

Doug Belshaw: [00:09:20] Yes. So finances and sustainability. So here we’re talking not about sustainability of Earth, which is something which we should all be concerned about, but the sustainability of the core of the business. Yeah.

Laura Hilliger: [00:09:34] What have we learned in seven years?

John Bevan: [00:09:40] What have we learned? We’ve learned that. We’ve had a few different approaches to the kind of tracking and, you know, more processing boring side of things that Doug mentioned earlier. I don’t actually enjoy it, but I can tolerate it and we could maybe outsource more of that. But I think it is actually important that at least one of us, but actually more of us pay a bit of attention, understand how it works are not just leaving this to an accountant or a bookkeeper or someone else who doesn’t understand our work so well. Um, so yeah, I’ve learned a bit more about, you know, accounting software and spreadsheets and bits and pieces over the last, especially over the last year and a bit that I’ve explicitly been doing that for the co op.

Doug Belshaw: [00:10:45] One of the things that I’ve found. So we talked earlier about how some people just kind of want to be shielded from all of that running of the business stuff. But it’s actually really eye opening in terms of like the way the world works because we live in a capitalist world which is based on a lot on money and money being the well, the root of all evil, but also like the way that the world works, everything ends up being reduced to numbers on a spreadsheet, etcetera. And like, I still wouldn’t be able to sit down and exactly tell you how VAT works. But I know a lot more than I used to. And also I know like how you can do certain things which will help the sustainability of our organisation by maybe moving things between tax years or like why you need an accountant, because they take the burden of doing this kind of thing away from you, or why you have to invoice this particular way or what to do. If a client says that they need to do this or that, and also like how much money you should set aside, what the difference between having a surplus and a reserve is. Um, all of these things. And it wasn’t like, “Oh, I’m going to learn all of that before setting up a business”. This is stuff you learn on the job and you figure things out together and you ask your accountant / business adviser for for help. And it’s a journey that you go on. But I find it, I find it interesting at times like it’s not something I’d want to do every day. But I do find it interesting about how you can run a sustainable business together with other people that you like in a way that doesn’t feel like a massive slog like we’ve already talked about. I do about 23, 24 hours a week of paid work compared to what I was doing before and earn more money than I was earning before, which is like double win.

Laura Hilliger: [00:12:40] I think the sustainability and what we’ve learned about the sustainability of the co-op itself over the years is kind of interesting because in the first couple of years the sustainability of the co-op was completely based on us remaining members of the co-op. Like we. It took us a number of years to get where open into a position where where we have any, you know, any sort of reserves. You know, the when we founded the Co-op, I think all four of us, I think we all put in £1,000 so that we would have a little bit of budget to pay for things like, you know, subscriptions to tech tools that we use that help us collaborate or whatever. And over the years we changed the buy in to we lowered it to be £100 to become a member. And there’s other requirements to become a member. But we changed it to be £100. And then we said that we had all put our £1,000 is actually ten years worth of membership fees. And it’s been I mean, it really has been a journey in terms of like how how reliant the sustainability of the co-op was on each of us as members individually to now where the co-op is looks sustainable even if one of us needed to go dormant or whatever, the co-op wouldn’t just stop. Um, but, but it’s taken seven years to get to that position.

Doug Belshaw: [00:14:14] And also just that you can pay yourself for things. As time goes on, you get more sustainable for things that you couldn’t pay yourself before. So in the early days, you’re doing a lot of a bit like if you’ve got a Start-Up or something, like you’re doing a lot of basically free work and you’ve got your client work and they just kind of like building up and building up and building up like that kind of sweat equity, that horrible term. But then seven years in where if we’re not doing client work, we’ve got enough money in the pot to be able to pay ourselves for internal work that we see needs doing. And that’s not just immediate. Remember one person who wanted to join our co-op asking if we had sick pay and holiday pay, like we’d love to get to that stage. That would be amazing. Or maybe we wouldn’t because that’s not how we want to run our business. But either way, that is part of the mind shift, like having conversations about finances and the sustainability of the organisation and like, are we going to exist this time next year? Being a question that you don’t hide away from everyone who’s involved. Like we share our spreadsheet with our State of the Union spreadsheet with collaborators as well as just the members. It’s good to have that kind of stuff a bit more transparent.

Laura Hilliger: [00:15:29] So number five on our list is marketing and networking. What do you think, John? Have you learned anything in the past seven years about marketing and networking that you didn’t already know as a master networker?

John Bevan: [00:15:44] Lots of things have changed. So post-pandemic, not as many in-person events, fewer opportunities maybe to do the sorts of networking that would have led to, you know, either directly to work or to get into the types of rooms that shape, you know, where the budgets get allocated, that you can hoover up work in a couple of years time. Like lots of those sorts of things have changed a bit. We were talking a little bit the other day about Twitter and how much I certainly used to have a pretty useful active network of. You know, people that I had met and worked with over the years that were a very good source of opportunities and both paid voluntary things for the co op. Interesting new gigs that has you know, I haven’t looked at Twitter for, you know, a month at least. And I’ve probably looked at a handful of times in the last six months, which if you told past John that a few years ago, I would have thought that was incredible. Like, okay, so what? What’s replaced it? It’s like… Nothing.

Doug Belshaw: [00:17:08] Exactly.

John Bevan: [00:17:09] It’s just disappeared. So, yeah, that’s a bit weird. And then the other thing I always think about when I’m thinking about marketing network for co-ops is I’d always sort of thought and hoped, maybe, even as strong as that, that there would be the marketing and network that we as We Are Open do. But then there’s also the stuff that you can tap into that exists inside the cult movement. That would be a kind of multiplier for any of your own efforts because you’re a part of, you know, a global, absolutely huge movement that in some way that would act as a multiplier. And maybe that hasn’t panned out to be as effective a multiplier as I had as I had hoped, because as is maybe the sentence or the sort of some riff on this is maybe the thing that I have said most over the last ten years, other than like tidy your room to the kids probably or something, is that co-ops are simultaneously absolutely huge and you know there’s 3 million of them and $2 trillion worth of activity and a billion people are a member of a co-op. But also at the same time, hardly anyone knows about them. And the movement doesn’t do a very good job of that kind of marketing piece, I suppose.

Laura Hilliger: [00:18:35] Actually, we recorded an episode in this same season with John Atherton and he was talking about the global co-op economy, and I learned so much. I was just like, Wow, you know, he was talking about the history, the current state of co ops in the world, etcetera. And and I asked him exactly that question, like, how can it be that this is an economic force to be reckoned with, a a setup that is, you know, like worker owned equality? etc. etc. And that it still feels so niche and that people don’t know about it. And, yeah, he, I can’t remember what exactly what his answer was, but it wasn’t satisfying. I do remember that it was, it was like, oh, well, I guess we in the co-op movement need to do more to, to spread the word. One of the things.

Doug Belshaw: [00:19:28] From that conversation was like, to what extent is being a co op of benefit when you’re marketing So a lot of the way well the main way in which we get clients and work is through referrals and like what would loosely be called content marketing. So we put stuff out in the world that people are like, “Oh, that sounds interesting” and they get in touch with us like it’s not us cold calling people. And so as part of that conversation with John Atherton, we were saying, well, to what extent is being a co op of benefit when you’re going out and trying to to sell yourself and your and your products or your, your business, your services, whatever. And he was saying, well, in his experience, not so much, whereas we’ve actually found it like it’s not going to by itself win us business, but it’s actually quite a valuable thing to have in the tech sector of like, Oh, you’re not just talking to a sales rep like you’re talking to someone who owns this business. Like that’s how we roll kind of thing. So that’s interesting. I think what John said, John Bevan said about the networking angle and Twitter, it is a really interesting time because it’s just like Twitter has just been yanked away. Um, and we’re kind of filling it in by trying to find in-person events and LinkedIn and the Fediverse and weird slacks that people are on and whatever, but there’s nothing quite the same. And I wonder how things are going to evolve over time.

Laura Hilliger: [00:21:00] I wonder if we’re just old, though, because like, if we all got on Instagram and started “gramming” our business. I don’t know that that’s what it’s called.

Doug Belshaw: [00:21:11] I feel like Instagram has a very, like… I only know it through other members of my family who have it, but it seems like there’s a very… You know, we talk about ‘mindshift’, that was the first thing we talked about. I feel like there’s a way of living… And again, this is going to make me sound like an old man shouting at clouds. But there’s a way of living your life, which is like everything has to be shiny. Everything has to be about kind of me and my influence on the world and stuff. Whereas I feel like the co-op vibe is almost the antithesis of that. Anyway, for the sake of time, we should move on. We’ve got two left working remotely and in real life meetups, the two of those kind of go together, like working remotely is what we do day by day, meeting up in a post-pandemic kind of situation. Trying to do that a couple of times a year is what we aim for. Should we take those two together? And remember, the frame is like what we’ve what we’ve learned over the last seven years of working remotely and in in real life meetups.

Laura Hilliger: [00:22:11] Yeah. Let’s do them together.

John Bevan: [00:22:15] What have we learned? Well, the three of us have all worked remotely for quite a long time now. Um, but. Like now, everyone is a lot more comfortable, I guess. So there’s some definitely some changes there for the better. I’m trying to think. Are there any things that. You could say have been a downside. It’s maybe we’re not quite such the experts anymore, I guess. Or people aren’t like they don’t think it’s magic that you manage to get work done and you’re never in the same place in the same way that some people used to.

Doug Belshaw: [00:23:01] Well, I can remember when everyone started working from home and there was like this scrabble on Twitter and LinkedIn or whatever. Like, “I’ve been working from home for a long time and I’ve got some stuff to tell you”, and we kind of contributed to that as part of our, kind of how to run remote meetings course, which I think was actually quite useful and people have referred to it rather than just like, “I’m an OG remote worker”. Um, I personally, and I’ve said this many times before and presumably on this podcast as well, for me, working remotely is amazing because I like when I worked at the university, I was on the disabled register for like I can’t stand fluorescent lights. I was in a shop yesterday and I was only in there for like ten minutes and I couldn’t deal with the fluorescent lights like it triggers me massively. And so I was on the disabled register at the university. I had to sit next to a window when I was on my workstation or whatever. Whereas when you’re at home, I’ve got my sit/stand desk, I’ve got my different microphones and my monitor and things set up and I can walk in and out of my office and all this kind of stuff. And it’s just so like these things I take for granted until I reflect on them. And it must be the same for for the people as well, I guess.

John Bevan: [00:24:16] Big thing, I suppose. My history of working remotely. I became a dad when I was just not that long into working at Mozilla. I guess so. I used to work from home some of the time and since then, so for about the last ten years have sort of dialled, gradually dialled up the amount of working remotely over those ten years. So and for most of the last seven, either with we’re open or any of the other jobs I’ve done have been entirely remote. Really. Um. And I can’t imagine the version that I would have been going into London every day. So my partner goes into London three days a week. I can’t imagine what our lives with two kids in schools just around the corner would have looked like if I weren’t able to have the flexibility of working remotely. Um, to be able to do school drop offs and pick ups.

Doug Belshaw: [00:25:19] And my kids don’t even really think that I work. Like they are sceptical that I actually do because I try and just work when they’re at school and they see me on a laptop, but they never show when I’m doing work or doing other stuff as well. My dad like I’m trying to be in terms of the style of work I do, I’m trying to be the opposite of what… he was always out and if he wasn’t out, he was at home doing his Master’s thesis or whatever. And like, he was always like at a desk, or out, or behind a newspaper. And the only interactions I often had with him were at school because he was my deputy head or as my football manager, which is mad, like he was out all of the time doing stuff. And I’m like the inverse of that. I’m always around, I’m always there, I’m always available and stuff. And that’s only possible because I’m working remotely and I own my own business. Like that combination of those two things. I mean, I’m sure my kids would tell you that’s a massive downside because I’m never not around always around. But like for me, it’s massive because one day they will not be here. And like I can say that I was always around for them. So, yeah, and like, it’s not just the parenting side of things, it’s the relationship with your partner side of things like not being out at your separate lives all of the time, but actually being together and having lunch.

Laura Hilliger: [00:26:48] Yeah. And also, I mean also like my relationship with my neighbourhood because I work remotely and own my own business. It really is the combination. But like we last weekend we ran an annual festival. Over a thousand people came. It was massive. There’s like six people in the neighbourhood that run this little, little, this huge neighbourhood festival with music and food and face painting. It’s a festival for kids and the last couple of weeks is like the last couple of weeks leading up to the festival. There’s so much to organise and because I own my own business and I work remotely, I can intercept the guy who’s, you know, delivering the loos or, you know, like little things, like being able to, you know, completely in control of my own time means that I can just like, quickly, oh, I need to pop out, pick up the bread from the baker. Got to do it today because it’s 200 bread rolls and you know, they need to get rid of it now, you know, like these kinds of things that like help help your neighbourhood or your community have actual tactile relationship in the real world as possible. For me, because I work in a digital world, whereas if I had to, you know, commute somewhere and be 9 to 5 in a building somewhere and go to a cafeteria and like that would be I wouldn’t be able to do those kinds of things. And I see that my, you know, my neighbours who have more traditional kinds of jobs and have to go somewhere, they couldn’t do those things. They can’t pick it up, you know.

Doug Belshaw: [00:28:22] So the flexibility of owning a business makes a difference because I see people and I was one of them, you know, when I was employed for a couple of years in the middle and during the pandemic – before I rage quit – like pretending that you’re still working when actually you’re done for the day. Like being logged into…

Laura Hilliger: [00:28:41] Like, just moving the mouse around.

Doug Belshaw: [00:28:43] Or like. Like, no, being out of the house and doing stuff, but, like, making some comments on Slack or whatever platform it is. And like that performative element that you don’t have to do when you can bring your full self to work and are trusted by other people that you’re running the business with.

Laura Hilliger: [00:29:00] So let’s talk about in real life meetups, we said we were going to talk about it together, but we kind of didn’t. And we’re getting we’re getting on in minutes with this episode. Apparently, we have learned a lot in the last seven years of running a co op.

Doug Belshaw: [00:29:14] Turns out.

Laura Hilliger: [00:29:15] Turns out. So what have we learned about in real life meetups? I think a lot of people during the pandemic or right after the pandemic learned how just how important it is actually to meet with real people from time to time. Being inside for two years in a row was, I think, hard on everybody.

John Bevan: [00:29:35] But it’s vitally important, fraught with danger. So not long after we had our hour in real life meet up in January, I don’t think related. I think it was far enough apart that it wasn’t me getting the train back from Amsterdam that but I fell ill. I was really ill probably for the first time in my life that I’ve been really, really go to bed for two weeks ill and not really be able to do anything at all. Um, so there’s like the especially for me, I love talking to people. It’s how I make things happen. I like to, you know, speak to people and imagine a world and try to recruit them to make it happen. And I find that much, much, much more interesting and possible to do in real life. But then it also comes with the danger of you’re all breathing on each other for, you know, hours or days. So it’s something that I’m weighing up more than I ever used to, I suppose.

Laura Hilliger: [00:30:44] It’s funny, you know, in the in the before times when we all worked worked at Mozilla, we, you know, whenever there was a Mozilla summit or a MozFest or an All Hands meeting, the big joke was the MozFlu or the MozBug. You know, everybody got sick after one of those meetups. But this is, you know, ten, 15 years ago, well before Covid times, pandemic times. And we all always just joked about it like, ha ha, MozFlu going around. You happen to be at the event, you know, And now 15 years later like I mean the it’s it’s a completely different mindset and feeling post-pandemic like actually watching a pandemic happen and being part of a global pandemic was, you know, a really weird experience. But it really changed the way that I look at conferences and stuff from, you know, from that health perspective.

Doug Belshaw: [00:31:42] Well, it’s part of self care, which I think. Underpins everything that we’re doing here. Like we want the business to be sustainable, but we need to be sustainable. Like we need to manage our energy levels, like you said before, Laura. And the only way you can do that is to be healthy. I said that I’m the fittest I’ve been for a long time. John, we know how hard that hit you. I feel really bad. I never sent you a get well soon card. But, yeah, just like the being able to, like, know what it is… like, you don’t have to go to this event. Like you can choose to go to this event or not. Yeah, and the real life meetups, we can choose to minimise our threat or to just meet together and not in a hotel in the city centre or whatever. Like again, we’re not… some of the things that Mozilla, like… I enjoyed a lot of the stuff at Mozilla, but some of the stuff at Mozilla I had to like psych myself up for because I’m not as much of an extrovert as other people who are who love going into the workplace and things.

Doug Belshaw: [00:32:45] So we get to design our meetups for the kinds of things that we enjoy and we’re all slightly different, but we know where the overlaps are and we get to really enjoy our meetups – and have the occasional argument – apart from instead of just, instead of just like doing the corporate thing. So yeah, the, the interaction between working remotely and the, in real life meetups, is an important thing to get right. And I’ve really missed travelling like once a month or co-op into something which is actually on one of our five focus areas that we’ve been focusing on that we’ve been looking at recently. In terms of the topics we want to talk about. To the extent that who knows, in Amsterdam when we meet up next month, we might even talk about having a climate budget for travel. So these things evolve and change over time, how you run your business, how we run the corp changes as we get older, as the organisation gets more mature, as the world change and we as we learn things. So it’s been interesting for me.

Laura Hilliger: [00:33:57] Yeah. Shall we do some some final thoughts and and try to wrap up this actually quite long episode?

Doug Belshaw: [00:34:08] Yeah. John, is there anything that you kind of wanted to say, maybe an eighth thing that that you’ve learned in particular or anything that we haven’t talked about that you wanted to to mention now that you’ve come back on the podcast?

John Bevan: [00:34:23] No, there isn’t an eighth thing, but maybe that’s just ingrained in we always try to do odd numbers on lists, and I’m hesitant to add a number eight for some reason, even if it is thought to be a lucky number and, you know, for lots of people. So no, I don’t have an eighth thing. I just. Well, thank you for inviting me. It’s been nice to come back on as a guest and I’ll send you your quiz questions for my recommended books, you know, next week or something.

Laura Hilliger: [00:34:55] Can you give us time to read them?

Doug Belshaw: [00:34:59] Good stuff. Laura, any final words from you?

Laura Hilliger: [00:35:03] I’ll just say to both of you from the bottom of my heart, the last seven years has been a roller coaster ride, but I’m actually really happy with my work life. I think that the co op is a good thing and I’m glad that we’re doing it together.

Doug Belshaw: [00:35:18] Yeah, likewise. And one thing which hasn’t come up but is fundamental to how we work now over the last 18 months is co-working. And we’ve talked about this I think on a previous podcast episode. But the difference between just working by yourself on things as by default and co-working on a daily basis is completely different. And I so enjoy working with other people on almost every single thing that we do. It makes a big difference to my life, my mental health and my enjoyment at work. So it’s been a good innovation.

John Bevan: [00:35:49] Just off of Laura’s comment, I’m really now missing Bryan because I’m sure he would draw an image of Laura being on the roller coaster, getting off and joining the queue to go back on again rather than being on the roller coaster and then having to spend the rest of the day cleaning all the sick off your shirt.

Doug Belshaw: [00:36:07] Oh, what an image to finish on.

Laura Hilliger: [00:36:10] Great comic! Yeah.

Laura Hilliger: [00:36:13] All right. Well, thanks for listening, everyone. We will see you next time.

Doug Belshaw: [00:36:17] Cheers for now.

John Bevan: [00:36:18] Bye bye.