Episode 34: Having achieved the goal of first Age Grouper overall in the Ironman World Championships in Kona Hawaii 2019, Ruth Astle is now starting to embark on a new journey; having juggled triathlon alongside a very intense job in the city, she is now pursing the sport professionally while working 2 days a week.
As someone who trains for Ironman whilst running my own business, I wanted to know how she managed to hold down an intense job and reach the top of the sport, why she has kept working after turning pro, as well as chat about training in the countryside vs the city and English wine.
My Bucket List
A new addition to my bucket list is the Space Hotel. You can read more about the plans for it here. I reckon it will be out of this world!
What I’ve Been Reading
Matthew Syed is one of my favourite authors and his latest book ‘Rebel Ideas’ did not disappoint. What I love about it are the insights around the power of team thinking, the increasing danger of echo chambers online and how bringing cognitive diversity can improve the outcomes. A brilliant book for business owners, teachers or really any leader, I love the opening chapter in particular, where he concludes that the 9/11 attack was not anticipated by the CIA because of a lack of cognitive diversity.
If you want to get a feel for the book, it is well worth listening to his interview on the podcast Don’t Tell me the Score.
What I’ve Been Watching
The talk of echo chambers in Rebel Ideas got me thinking about a couple of things I had watched lately.
Firstly, the Panorama episode ‘Vaccines: The Disinformation War’ is really worth watching if you haven’t already. The pandemic has been an opportunity for online echo chambers to thrive, and it has amazed me how people have reacted very differently to it and I have little doubt that echo chambers are the cause.
The second was ‘The Social Dilemma’, as it again highlights how these echo chambers are polarising peoples beliefs. This was a previous Footnotes recommendation, but worth watching if you missed it.
Quote of the Week
“Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.”
- Matthew Syed
Finance Theme I’ve Been Considering
At Efficient Portfolio we have always prided ourselves on being truly independent. In the world of finance, independence means that we are able to place our clients’ needs at the heart of everything we do. However, like any private company, our independence has also provided some challenges for us; we shaped the business ourselves without a large corporate’s framework, and have had to adapt, innovate and refine everything we do over the years.
We wanted to test our processes against the best and see if they were as good as we believed, so decided to apply for British Standards certification. Last week we were officially awarded our BS 8577 certification, making us one of a small but growing group of financial planning firms in the UK to have achieved this prestigious award. It really is testament to the efforts of the EP team that have allowed us to achieve this, so a huge thanks and congratulations goes out to them.