Robbie Maltby

June 4, 2022

Dream me a start-up

Everyone has dreams. They're built into human biology. They have an important function for human civilisation. Dreams allow us to act out possibilities in our sleep that would be too risky in real life. Some of us talk, some even walk in their sleep (guilty!) but in general we only act out a small portion of the dream. - Sleep, it turn...
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March 5, 2022

Getting over the hump

About 5 years ago I attended a mindfulness retreat at Plum Village with the late Thích Nhất Hạnh, known as Thay by his students. It was an amazing setting, deep in the French countryside near Bordeaux. My cousins and a friend of ours were picked up from the train station and taken straight to the community where we were greeted by monk...
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February 25, 2022

Dust off

This is the time of week everyone dreams of. We get to hang up our shoes, dust off our overalls and down those tools. What tools you ask? I am a white collar worker thank you very much! I have no dust on me! Or do you? Is the dust you're carrying just a different sort of dust? And the fact you can't see it, means you don't realise you ...
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February 21, 2022

Ask yourself, “What if?”

We've all asked ourselves the question, "What if?" What if I put up that website and asked people what they think? What if I started that podcast, wrote the first chapter of that book, or coded that app? The answer we and others give ourselves is often quite unsurprising. "Probably not much". So we don't do it. We go back to our normal...
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February 14, 2022

Financial Wellbeing in U.A.E

Arriving from Scotland in Dubai about a year ago, I was amazed at how fast paced the place was compared to back home 🏎💨 Not just the roads 😅 but the cafes and restaurants were full, and the co-working spaces were teeming! What was it Dubai had that other places didn't? The weather is obviously great, but there was something else at pla...
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January 24, 2022

Levelling up with altMBA

Hey world! I just built my first web app to say just that. It also says "Goodbye, world!" which is a little more ominous...😅 So why the hell am I building web apps and learning to code? I just finished the first week of something called altMBA. It's a program for individuals who want to 'level-up' and become the leaders they've always ...
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October 11, 2021

[Part 4] Starting a business

Sorry for the loooong gap in this series. I took a kind of sabbatical from entrepreneurship recently, working ‘full time’ with a client. It was nice to be looked after for a bit (especially after losing our dear mum) but I'm back on the entrepreneurial bandwagon - letting out a trailing cord for anyone else who wants to hop on 😉 -- We ...
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July 3, 2021

Startups

Startups are totally different kettles of fish compared with businesses with an established customer base. They need to be treated like children, tending to their every waking need vs. grandparents, happily turning the pages of their paper - day after day. Each one is different, so requires a slightly different approach, but there is a...
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June 2, 2021

Colleagues

We all want, nae, need to be part of something. We have our personal callings. We have our alone time, our own projects, our individualism and quirks. It’s all good. We need it all! You can’t have one (truly) without the other, or you do both a disservice. I’m a big believer in individual creativity, but I’m also a big believer in the ...
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April 30, 2021

Permission to rest

Sometimes you can't beat the feeling of having nothing to do. Waking up to an overcast day can give us permission to stop and think on things that our busy days have given no room for. It's a feeling of openness and unpredictability. Ungoverned by routine, or commitments. It's a time to let free-thinking take over, and allow ideas and ...
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April 17, 2021

Communities & Neighbourhoods

The term 'Community' is laced with connotations - some positive, some not. The word can bring to mind Communism, and for many reasons put a chill down our spine. There's the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) who have social scoring for their citizens. There's the relationship to the word 'cult' and the cultist communities who drank the Koo...
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April 10, 2021

Nutritional Supplements

If you’re not taking any sort of nutritional supplement, there’s a good chance you’re missing out on better health. I started early with my dad and grandad feeding me cod liver oil. It was straight out the bottle and tasted disgusting, but they convinced me it would make me smarter so I took it. Today I take an almost embarrassing conc...
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April 6, 2021

Blockchain

I'm pretty underqualified to be talking about blockchain. I've studied and cogitated over it for at least a few hundred (if not thousand) hours, but I'm not a programmer to trade so I've never got into the nitty gritty. At a very high level, Blockchain is about engineering Trust. It's most popular use is for Cryptocurrencies like Bitco...
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April 3, 2021

Dating

It’s pretty great. You can be yourself, or you can put on a show. You can go see a show, have company while laughing your head off, and never see each other again. Or you can get coffee and make the night even more memorable. It can be love at first sight, or a long lasting fright 😱 You can end up getting married, having kids and start...
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April 2, 2021

The Pyramid of Beliefs

Every day we make 100s if not 1,000s of decisions. From choosing to brush our teeth in the morning, to deciding which candidate to hire at work. To save time and energy we ‘chunk’ information, looking out for patterns and supporting facts - which end up forming our habits and routines. This is a key evolutionary trait and without it mo...
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April 1, 2021

Family

The word family is a bit like the word home. It’s the bit in our centre. The place we go when we need comfort. Our security blanket, our launchpad, our crashpad. Family gives us purpose, home gives us something to build, something to work towards. Healthy families evolve. They’re connected, empathic, changing, forgiving, solid as rocks...
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March 31, 2021

Ethics

I never fully understood what ethics were until I started reading philosophy. I knew they were rules to live by; commandments, constitutions, laws etc. but these were open to interpretation, and not easy to summarise or explain to others. For example we're told not to steal but if you're going to die of hunger it's widely understood to...
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March 28, 2021

Technology & Automation

I love tech. I love creating systems that work while I'm sleeping. It's not that I'm lazy. I just hate being inefficient with my time. I've just finished my end of year accounting for Pure Earth and analysed all my costs, and it turns out I spend around 5% of my 'turnover' on technology and automation across: • Ecommerce • Marketing • ...
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March 27, 2021

The importance of Vision

A lot of the time we presume to know what other people are thinking, or trying to say. This is especially true with people we're close to because we've already got a picture of their vision (or motives) in our minds. We think we know them well enough not to listen as closely, and we often listen out for what we would like to hear vs. w...
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March 25, 2021

Good friends

Good friends tell you when you've done something that isn't acceptable. They're not afraid of conflict, and they trust you not to take offence. You do the same for them, and they respect you for it. In fact, your bond is absolutely indispensable. You don't rely on each other, but when you come together you excel. You're capacity for te...
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March 24, 2021

Positivity

Confronted with setbacks, unenjoyable situations, or simply bad luck, it’s natural to look at the downsides. Our brain is hard-wired to notice the risks and dangers around us 🦁 and it's served us well. Now though, with bad news at our fingertips, our brains can become plagued with negative thoughts - far outweighing the benefits this i...
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March 21, 2021

Marketing: Good vs. Bad

Marketing is everything. It's the words you speak, the news you read, the clothes you wear, the culture you're part of. Culture is the result of continual change. Change happens when people take notice. Marketing is the act of making people take notice! - Good Marketers don't coerce. They don't lay traps. They educate and entertain. Th...
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March 20, 2021

Conflict

It's a scary thing. We hide from it a lot. It raises the blood pressure, the cortisol levels, the heart rate. None of those are particularly helpful when you're trying to enjoy your day, or get on with your work. We think, "Ocht, it doesn't matter. It's not worth arguing over." But every time there is disagreement, if left unresolved i...
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March 19, 2021

[Part 3] Starting a business

So far we’ve uncovered Why we do things and distilled a theme from our lists. Next up we want to see if our idea has any traction. Now you could go away and spend a ton of time building a product, a website, and creating lots of ad campaigns, but let’s leave that for now. We want to spend the least amount of time possible to get a ‘sig...
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March 18, 2021

Fireworks

We all need some fireworks in our life. It’s why we watch movies and tv series. It’s why we ask questions, listen, and read. We want the fireworks to go off in our head. That sudden brightening up of a thought, then sinking in and finding its place. That newness is so necessary! If we don’t set them off regularly, the fuse goes out. Th...
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March 17, 2021

Teamwork

Everyone knows the phrase “Teamwork makes the dream work” but not many people actually experience this profound (I don’t use that word lightly) statement. Individuality is important, and necessary to find our own path in the world, but there’s just something totally magic about human beings working well together. The main stumbling blo...
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March 16, 2021

[Part 2] Starting a business

If you followed along with Part 1, you'll have your 3 lists by now, and lot of reasons Why? 😉 Now we want to distil the theme from your lists. It may already be apparent but look at what's coming up regularly and ask yourself, "Which of these makes me most excited?" If you don't feel anything, I'd suggest you revisit your lists in a fe...
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March 14, 2021

[Part 1] Starting a business

The hardest part of starting a business is knowing what to offer to people. If you get this wrong, and it works, you'll be miserable. If you get it right, and it doesn't work, you can always try again. Take some time to complete the following exercise: Start by creating 3 lists: 1. List your interests, your hobbies, and what you spend ...
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March 13, 2021

Stoicism

Stoicism has experienced a fairly strong revival over the last 5 years or so. I'm a big fan. To me, it's the perfect balance between a faith and a code of ethics. It's also atheist compatible, as the teachings are logical and grounded in universal human values. I've dabbled in lots of faiths and spiritualities over the years: Christian...
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March 12, 2021

Individuality

We humans have a deep need to be individual, to express our uniqueness. We're social creatures, but the safety of the group can often hold us back. A few years ago I read a book called Jonathan Livingston Seagull. It was around the time of some big career decisions I was about to make. - Jonathan was just another ordinary seagull like ...
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