Episode: 12

Running is About the Journey

Ben Gateley,

Co-founder & CEO, CharlieHR

In this episode, Chacho is joined by Ben Gateley, co-founder and CEO of CharlieHR. Together they discuss ultrarunning, the community running can bring, and developing business culture.


Highlights from their conversation include:

  • About CharlieHR, Ben, and Ben’s running (3:32)
  • A few of Ben’s running accomplishments (5:31)
  • Training for long-distance running (8:14)
  • Cross-training (15:57)
  • Ben’s running routine (17:35)
  • What people miss about running (19:40)
  • The effect of running on being a founder (23:24)
  • Running as part of a founder’s role (26:28)
  • Balancing a running routine with being a founder (27:55)
  • Tactical pieces of advice for framing culture (29:58)
  • Rapidfire round: younger self book recommendation, childhood dream job, first job, running is _____, one song repeat, go-to running app, favorite self aspect (32:47)


Backstage Capital is a VC firm that boasts one of the largest portfolios of underrepresented founders in venture. To learn more about Backstage, visit backstagecapital.com.


Chacho Valadez 0:08
Hello, hello, everyone. Welcome to Running in Public. This is the weekly podcast that empowers you to build your running routine while also making strides in your career. I’m your host, Chacho Valadez, and this is my first ever podcast. I’m so so happy about it. In each episode, I sit down with a startup founder, operator, or leader to talk about their experience of running while they also build and run their companies. You’ll walk away feeling empowered to run your next mile while also making strides in your career. And honestly, we support any form of movement on the podcast that suits your lifestyle. So whether you like to run, walk, bike, or swim or whatever it might be, we’re all in this together.

Running in Public is sponsored by Arlan Hamilton’s new recruiting and retention startup Runner, a really cool name, if I say so myself, and totally coincidental on both our parts. Are you an entrepreneur who wishes there was more time in the day? Have you ever said, “I wish I could clone myself?” Then Runner is for you. If you find yourself spending more time scheduling, researching, and fielding emails than talking to your customers, strategizing, and resting, Runner could be a game-changer for you. Get matched with fractional and temp to hire operations talent who want to work at your inclusive startup. Fast-growing, larger companies are using Runner to hire dozens of operations talent at a time. Runner is a head of recruiting’s best friend. Interested in learning more or becoming a runner yourself? Apply at hirerunner.co. That’s hire runner.co.

Hello, everyone. Welcome back to Running in Public. This is actually the final episode of the season, so thank you so much for coming along. It’s been so fun. I’m really looking forward to season two and we’ll continue to ramp things up.

I have Ben Gateley here with me today from across the pond in England. First international guest, which is awesome. Ben is the CEO and co-founder of Charlie, the HR software for small teams with big ideas, building the world’s first culture operations platform, helping every small company to guide direct and optimize their culture every single day. Company culture will make or break your business, as they have on their site, and I wholeheartedly believe that I’m a big proponent of culture. And fun fact, I’ve actually been on the culture ops podcast, which Ben is the host of and so yeah, Ben is, I’ve known Ben for a little over a year now. And it’s been great. And he’s helped me quite a bit when it comes to gear to buy for ultrarunning, ultrarunning training, I should say, and a bunch of other stuff when it comes to running in terms of nutrition and when So Ben, thank you so much for joining.

Ben Gateley 3:00
No worries. Thanks for having me. Excited to be on the other side. It feels nice to get on the other side of the microphone every now and then.

Chacho Valadez 3:09
Yeah, absolutely. So I would love to start a little bit about yourself and who you are. How did you found your company? And then also where did running come into play with that?

Ben Gateley 3:26
Not everyone always gets the gets the proper true description of what we do, so thanks for that. We’re building HR software. There’s lots of that out there. The unique thing that we do is you try and give that up to be all about how you can take those policies and processes and the people you have in the business and give them towards crafting a really effective culture. You think that’s, that’s the thing that makes the difference. And been doing that for six years. And as kind of is always the case, in every startup journey. There were massive ups and massive downs. We’ve taken a few different turns. And through that time, I am one of the co-founders, I started out as the COO, I’m now the CEO. So I’ve been going through that whole learning experience over the last couple of years through COVID, which is which has been a lot of fun. And I guess the truth is, is that running has been a part of my life way before company building was a part of my life. And I was one of those kids at school who didn’t really have the hand-eye coordination necessary to excel in typical sports. And as he said, I’m on the other side of the pond. So the sports that a seven, eight-year-old boy is expected to play in the UK is soccer. Football. I’m an NFL fan. So when I say I’m talking about Yeah, football in the UK, rugby and cricket, which is a really, really busy sport. And kind of none of those I was particularly good at. And so I remember, by the time I was sort of 1011 years old, I’ve convinced the teachers at my school that rather than forcing me to play cricket, that they should let me just run laps of the cricket field. And so yeah, runnings always been my special place. It’s kind of, it’s where I get to relax and unwind. I can’t imagine a world where I don’t run. I can imagine a world where I’m not running an organization, that might happen, but I could never imagine a world where I’m not running.

Chacho Valadez 5:25
Could you talk a little bit about some of the stuff you’ve accomplished in running? I know you ran from the south of England all the way to the north side? Is that correct? Or Yeah. Can you talk a little bit about that?

Ben Gateley 5:39
Yeah, we’ve done it, we’ve done a few things. There’s been lots of there are lots of different phases. There’s a sort of the track and field phase. So also school and college did 100 meters. And so I got to kind of like what we would call county level. So let’s call that like state level in America, running 800 meters, my 800 meter PB is still like 157, which I’m still very proud of like, they could break in the two-minute barrier for 100 meters is always a big thing. And then by the time I got to sort of 1819, my knees and my legs were kind of probably the knees and legs of a 50-year-old and I needed to sort of mix things up a little bit. I couldn’t get to be running as much as I was, and so kind of transitioned over to triathlon, and was super fortunate to go represent Great Britain and my one of my first couple of seasons doing a triathlon, as part of our age group team in the UK, that was amazing. I don’t think I was particularly good, but I was kind of, I guess, good, a good enough runner to put in a decent performance. And then sort of did that for the triathlon for 10 years. And then sort of came out the other side kind of came back full circle, where I now like, solely run. And the type of running that we like to do is adventure running. So picking up picking a spot picking a direction, and, and sort of just going after it. So we ran from London to Brighton, which is 100 kilometers, we ran what’s called a cape rat Trail, which is frog, which is all up the west coast of Scotland, which is about 350 kilometers. And all of these are sort of self-sufficient. So you run with your tent and you feel on your back. And, and then most recently, we went out to the Sahara Desert to compete in the marathon, this Arb low, which is very famous, very famous foot race 350 kilometers across the desert. And we’re just in the process of preparing for our first 100 mile or so 160 kilometers across the Brecon Beacons, which I think we’re going to try and do in one go supported, but in one day.

Chacho Valadez 7:56
how do you feel about that? That’s quite the intense the 100 miler is always like, it seems like this fabled tale that you tell as an ultra runner? And so I know, yeah, what’s your mindset going into that or training for it?

Ben Gateley 8:12
No, I think the really lovely place that I’ve got to personally with the really long-distance stuff is that it’s not about seconds and minutes. And I think that’s one of the reasons why I fell out of triathlon, was that everything was about seconds and minutes. You know, it was how heavy your bike was and how light your wetsuit is or your split Sioux transition. That was a lot of fun, for a while, but I think that eventually my philosophy for life and my philosophy for running have kind of got closer together. I enjoy the journey and I’m quite a present person, and I think that’s quite important when you’re running a business. And I’ve tried to apply that same philosophy to running, which is first and foremost, it’s about the adventure. It’s about the journey. It’s not about where you get to. And so, yeah, 100 Miles is big, it’s a lot. But ultimately, the thing that’s exciting me is like, thinking about the scenery we’re going to see and, like, will we see stars running at 3 am in the morning, and, it’s those experiences, those jokes that you tell when you’re running with people and the stories that you talk about, and I’m very lucky, I run with my best friend Sarah. We have a great relationship. We’re constantly talking and yapping and it’s about that experience, whether we get to the finish line or not. It’s kind of not what keeps me up at night. What I get excited about is the process, is the journey. It’s the things that we’re going to see along the way.

Chacho Valadez 9:57
Absolutely. I think that’s really cool. weren’t because last year I was training for 50k Ultra, so 31 miles. And I did kind of get lost in the trying to just complicate it. And I didn’t end up being able to do it just because I ran into some very difficult runners got issues and really tried to needed to figure out my nutrition and what have you. And but when I look back on at the time, it felt like a big failure, never. And like, I played sports all growing up, and never had, I felt so emotional about not being able to accomplish something. And looking back now, though, I think about, well, the journey to get to the place, even where I was, I think I was on week 11 of 16 and training, which is a lot it, like they taught me so much. And I learned so much that now I’m going into another training cycle. And I’m going to run the Detroit marathon in October. And yeah, and like I now I’m like kind of setting my training schedule up differently, where I’m doing a nine-week aerobic base training ahead of the actual marathon training. And I also realized that like the marathon training is not going to be as intense as a training I did last year. And so it feels a little bit lighter as well. And that’s a super long way of saying that the journey is, is really what it’s all about. It’s not the necessarily like finishing a 5k 10k, half, marathon 50k Whatever it might be. It’s just the moments you have with yourself out there, or with the community that you run with, and letting that be the guiding force to continue to like fall in love with the sport, so I’m really glad that you said that.

Ben Gateley 11:57
Yeah, you’re so spot on. Some of my most valuable runs, like probably the ones that are like that have been least planned, like, I’m at a friend’s house today. And I’m up in East London near where the Olympics was. And I live in South London. So I’m not up here that often when I was on my running, get, I’ve got a lunch and I’m jogging and the weather’s quite nice. And I’m going along this canal and I’m like, you know what? I’m gonna do some efforts and plan on doing some efforts. I was just gonna do like a 60-minute shake out, but I’m like, okay, well, I’ll do a 10 minute FCI. And I felt good. And I was like, okay, I’m gonna push myself and I was kind of inspired running around the Olympic Stadium, I can see where, like, records are broken. And some of the most amazing athletes competed. And I’m like, I’m gonna do another one. And, and ended up being like a 75-minute workout, three really solid 10 minute efforts. And I wasn’t planning on that. But I was just leaning into, I guess what my body was telling me what the moment was telling me and where I was a big present. And, and I think keeping those things, keep those two things together. Those are the best sessions. They’re not the ones necessarily you plan. And you think about the ones that just happen, happen naturally, where everything just comes together and you’re enjoying running for the enjoyment, not because of the race you’re getting to, or the destination you’re trying to get to.

Chacho Valadez 13:31
Absolutely, yeah. And I think as very much so like go-getter type people. It’s like you want to be done hitting every workout on the plan, hitting your milestones, or whatever it might be. But I know I saw Sarah Hall tweet was a professional runner. She tweeted that if you’re doing every run on your training plan, you’re doing it wrong. Like as this to say, like, there’s gonna be times where hey, you don’t feel that great. Or maybe it’s like raining outside and cold. And then you just don’t feel like going on a run and that’s okay. Or there are times like you mentioned where you’re in the middle of a run, you’re like, Oh, I feel great. I’m going to try to do some strides or what have you. And so that’s really important.

Ben Gateley 14:19
I think you’re spot on. And I think the point about being sort of type A personalities, right? In this podcast, which is such a great project. And I’ve loved all the episodes. This project is speaking with founders and speaking with VC speaking with operators, and lots of put everyone in a big bucket, but let’s say typically, Type A personalities relatively focused, relatively competitive, maybe. And I recognize I recognize that when I’m putting those scenarios where I’m being time to the second or I’m out Having to like really think about things in this really hyper-competitive way. And I think triathlon is a great example of that, just because of how much goes into it, that actually, maybe it doesn’t pull the best stuff out of me, maybe it doesn’t actually draw the best components of my personality out and actually, maybe just being a bit more present and being along for the ride is a better way to think about things for me.

Chacho Valadez 15:23
Yeah, that’s why I fell in love with, like endurance running and distance running, because used to kind of throw away of those things in terms of running a specific mile or running at a specific pace. And you’re more like, you know what? I’m just running. I’m running out here for an hour and a half, two hours, three hours. If I get there, I get there. If not, that’s okay. It’s been really beneficial. Do cross train today at all?

Ben Gateley 15:54
Yeah, I do. I think that’s definitely with endurance running, that’s one of the things that I’ve, that I’ve found is that a lot of the time, we might have like a backpack on, which can be pretty heavy. And so you’re learning to, like, deal with that way. And so, some upper body strength, strong core, doing the right conditioning on the legs, we might be on like, mountainous trails, that kind of thing. So having good stability, I think it’s important also, I want to do this until I’m like 50 or 60. So like, I want to look after my body and say, like, better Pilates and yoga twice a week is just all that kind of stuff that, that you build in, because I think it’s just good for you. And like, too much of anything is probably bad, right? If we’re just doing 60 miles a week, like, probably, like, unless you’re a professional athlete, it’s probably going to take a bit of a toll. You and I don’t have the luxury where like, we can go out training in the morning, and then just sit on our cycler and eat for three hours and then go do another session, right? We’ve got like, jobs to do you got planes to catch like people to me. And so yeah, we’re moving around a bit more. And so that definitely takes a toll. So I think you’ve got to look after yourself, for sure.

Chacho Valadez 17:09
Yeah. And it being a long-term thing is definitely something that I think about quite a bit. It’s like, what can I accomplish in 10 years time with my running. And it’s definitely something that I want to be doing into my 60s as well. And so that, like holistic approach in terms of taking care of your body, and doing the yoga and the cross-training is important. What’s your running routine look like today?

Ben Gateley 17:35
The closer we get to an event, the kind of more plan that kind of ended up ends up being, but I would say, typically, four runs a week is kind of the starting point. And I will typically think about this in this way. So that one long run. So two, three hours, that kind of thing, over half marathon, just to constantly be putting miles and our legs, basically, something that is like speed-related, maybe at the track, then different times of the year, that depends, some effort work. So a bit like a deer just like three times 10, or, or maybe six times five, something like that, working at threshold, to try and improve and improve my lactate threshold. And then maybe something that’s a bit more strength-based, so maybe like some hill work, something like that. Or maybe something— We live in London, and unfortunately, London is a little bit like concrete and flat. So yeah, try and get out on a hill, try and get on a trail, do something that’s gonna like be a bit more strength base. So like, try and keep it simple. And those are the kind of those are the four sessions that are kind of the blocks. And then everything else is just sort of built around that and we’ll increase intensity over time in our different training cycles, depending on what we’re training towards. And then yeah, one or two strength sessions a week. A couple of yoga sessions. Yeah, and then maybe a cycle or a swim or something completely different. That’s just good for the road deck.

Chacho Valadez 19:14
Yeah, absolutely. Michigan is concrete and flat as well. So if you’re there, what’s something that people tend to miss about running that you find particularly important, so maybe something that folks gloss over that stands out to you as important?

Ben Gateley 19:34
Maybe I’ll do two sides. I’ll do something quite practical and emotional and spiritual. I love running with people. I think, the man especially, walking next to someone or running next to someone people open up a lot more than face-to-face. I think I’ve had some my best conversations with people out on our own. Just got back from going On holiday, my parents and my brothers and went out for a couple of rounds with my brothers and we just had some great conversations. And we’re just running through a vinyasa, it’s amazing. So for sure running and talking to things that go together, which I know for some people is like, kind of people can’t get quite get their heads around it. But I love going out for 60 minutes, 120 minutes with someone and we just have a chat. That’s awesome. And then I think it’s something maybe a bit more tactical, and some of that I’ve noticed is that more long runs have made me a faster runner. And that kind of might be a little bit counterintuitive, you might think if I want to run a really fast 5k, I want to do lots of track work, I want to do lots of anaerobic lots of lactate threshold, like lots of really high-intensity stuff. But actually, I found it easier to bust out a 20 minute, 5k 80 minutes, empty minutes, something like that. After having kind of not run that distance for such a long time and doing lots of really long-distance stuff. And I was speaking to a friend of mine who was on the GB rowing squad a couple of Olympics ago. And there used to be a coach there. He’s not there anymore. But he used to be there is a German guy. And one of the things that he did when he first came in was he got all of the rowers to start doing these like big, long, slow endurance sessions. Right now, they raised over 2k. Typically, when they were doing like these, these, like really long, slow rows, and they kind of were like, Hey, why are we doing all this long, slow stuff. And, yeah, he was a big proponent of like, base endurance, having such an impact on that, like, top-level stayed at the top level and anaerobic engine. So I think that’s one of the things that that we miss is that sometimes the run fast, doesn’t mean you actually have to run fast.

Chacho Valadez 21:59
Yeah. And a good way to frame it for folks is running most of your runs at a conversational pace, like you’re mentioning where, especially those long runs. And of course, like speed work is very important as well, too, for those like fast-twitch muscle fibers and what have you. But there’s this book called 8020 running that goes into a lot of that, like lactic threshold, that type thing and like long, slow runs, making you fast over time. And it’s very counterintuitive, but that was one of the keys that really unlocked running for me as well. It’s like, oh, this doesn’t have to be like, I’m out of breath every single time after I’m on a run and I still remember my first slow run after learning about that. I’m like, Oh, my God, this is amazing. It’s incredible. So we’ll take a quick break to hear from our sponsor hirerunner.co.

Hey, thanks for listening to this episode. Don’t forget to check out our sponsor, hirerunner.co for all your fractional and temp-to-hire operations talent needs. Now let’s get back into the show.

Hello, everyone. Welcome back. So switching gears here a little bit, How does running affect your role as a founder and CEO?

Ben Gateley 23:23
I have a particular view on like running a company and, and building businesses, which is that the organizations that we fixate on, are typically the outliers. The stuff that we see in TechCrunch, or people talking about a wired, they’re the outliers typically, right? Yet we use their stories of success as, as sort of things to emulate right? And ways to run your business. Yet, the reality is, is that the majority of organizations that founded and that are, quote, unquote, successful, whatever your definition for that is, they don’t get that by following the route that the outliers follow. We’ll build we’ll talk about x organizations overnight success or that they unlocked some amazing like product lead growth flywheel and suddenly they’re at a billion-dollar valuation. And that can work right. But I’ve never built a business that’s been one of those lucky ones to kind of stumble across right products. Right market right time. And the majority of organizations out there go a different route. And I call it the kind of like 100 lead bullets, routes, right? There is no silver bullet. It’s like just hundreds of lead bullets consistently in a direction over time. And to me, that’s where At my running philosophy in my company, building philosophy come together, which is like running a company is hard. And it takes a long time. And it’s a serious journey. And if you don’t enjoy it if you don’t stop in those moments, and try and be grateful for what you’re experiencing, or what you’re going through, and it’s gonna become a really, really lonely existence, and, and it’s gonna make you a pretty, pretty uncomfortable founder. And so the type of CEO that I try and be is one that is like, focus on the big picture. That isn’t, win at all costs, that takes into account life and the lives that we lead, and try and push the team or try and enable the team to be grateful. And congratulate themselves for the wins along the way. Because he knows what the finish line is, right. And I think fixating on the finish line in life and in running can be maybe a tactic that is, it’s worth avoiding. And so yeah, I guess those are the how they come together.

Chacho Valadez 26:15
Yeah. Would you consider running as part of your role as a founder? Is it like in your job description even? I know it’s an interesting question.

Ben Gateley 26:28
Looking after myself is in my job description. I’m a big proponent of sort of looking after yourself before you look after others, I gotta put my own oxygen mask on before I can do it for somebody else. And I know that the best way that I can look after the people that we work with, the better that I can look after the team is by looking at myself, and running is absolutely a part of that. Like, no, there was no question about it, there was no doubt it has been it always will be. It’s where I let my thoughts settle. That’s where I tease things apart. How I keep perspective, it connects me with the outside world, it disconnects me from the screen. Yeah, they’re there. They’re interconnected. And it would be impossible for me not to not to do that. And I hope that more founders, think about their own performance, as a part of that job, right? There are like, emotional, physical, mental performance. And unless that’s in a really good spot, it’s gonna be hard to do your job. Because being a founder, being a CEO is just about making as many as many of the most correct decisions as you can, right? We’re never going to be all correct. But we want to try and get as many of them right as we possibly can.

Chacho Valadez 27:47
Absolutely. What’s the most difficult part of balancing your running routine with being a founder?

Ben Gateley 27:54
It’s interesting because, if you’d asked me this before COVID, it would be I give you a different answer. Before COVID, I would say, not being able to pick and choose when I train. And when I run and not being able to think about where my energy levels are and being more driven by who’s in the office, he’s around the dining to be there, do I not need to do that? The great thing about remote work, hybrid work, not nonobjects-centered work, is that I have much more ability to pick and choose what works for me. And so really, I don’t I don’t think there is any, there’s no problem now for me really like syncing up those two things. A lot of the time, I like to get up in the morning, read my coffee, and start work and try and tackle. What are the sort of big strategic things I need to make progress on today. And so running is normally afternoon, evening, why I want to and why I want to create separation, where I want to sort of defog after like, all the stuff that just hits you as he moves the day. And I like to keep that early morning time. So deep work from Porter work.

Chacho Valadez 29:10
That’s really helpful. Last question here before the rapid-fire questions is, and it’s a little off schedule, but company culture is something that I’m fascinated by. And I know it’s really important, especially early on when you’re starting a company at all points of starting a company, but it’s something that can be sort of not thought about early on. And so what are a few tactical pieces of advice that you have for founders when it comes to their framing of culture, and how they can improve or it’s already implemented. So in their companies, but what are some helpful insights into thinking about their own company culture?

Ben Gateley 29:58
Sure, yeah. Know your values, know your own personal values. The culture that you craft is going to be akin to who you are as a person. I’m not Mark Zuckerberg, I’m not Brian Chesky. I am Ben Gately. And so the company that I’m going to be able to found is a company that is akin to me. And that’s something that I think as founders, we can get pulled in to try and to try and emulate other people. Focus on who you are focused on your values. That’s where you’re going to be successful. That’s the first thing. The second thing is trying to understand. What type of culture is going to allow you to be successful in the market that you’re playing in? Culture is a strategic tool that enables you to attract the best talent, keep them in the business and perform well. And so your culture needs to be aligned with the type of business you’re trying to build. If you’re Goldman Sachs, you got to have a culture that’s probably pretty cutthroat, pretty outcome orientated, pretty results-focused, incredibly hard-working, probably not massive, empathetic, not massively empathetic and compassionate. And that serves them really well. If you’re, if you’re working in the NGO space or your charity, then you need probably the opposite of that. But it’s about being clear on what that is. The worst cultures are not the cultures that we don’t want to be a part of that are toxic. The worst cultures are the cultures where people never had a plan, where it just drifts. And the best cultures are those that are there to do a job, they’re to achieve an outcome. And so be really clear what that is. Once you’ve understood your own values, and the type of culture you’re trying to Keira, you’ve got to think about three buckets of activities, the people you hire, the policies, the do’s and don’ts of the organization, like what do we do around here? How do we do things, and the processes, how you’re going to run, how you’re going to make decisions, how you’re going to communicate things, those are your three leaders, you want to change your culture, you got to focus on these three levers, you want to craft that you want to get a movie in a different direction. It’s those three, but So yeah, those are the three buckets yourself, what your company needs. And then the operations on it, your people, your policies, and your processes.

Chacho Valadez 32:23
Very concise, and helpful. Thanks for that. And there’s a bunch of great content on Charlie’s website as well, and the CultureOps podcast, which you can find yours truly on from last year.

And so let’s get here into the quickfire questions. Honestly, answers can be as long as you want, because they make for really great tangents. And so first question here is, if you had to recommend one book to your younger self, what would it be?

Ben Gateley 32:51
It’s a great question, I’ll get I’m gonna give a like an old one. And then a new one. The old one is probably the book that kind of started me on the culture path, which is Delivering Happiness by Tony heights from Zappos, I never really understood how a culture could help an organization be successful. And that’s probably one of the best examples of a culture being cut, really underpinning, like the competitive advantage of that organization. So the thing that kind of started me on on the path, and I’m very grateful for Tony, for writing it and he’s obviously not with us anymore. So he deserves a huge amount of respect and admiration for that book. A new one is at the advantage by Patrick cloning is the same guy that wrote The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, which is an absolute classic. But the advantage is about something different, which is like, you’ve got an effective leadership team. How do you help the organization to be effective? What’s your role once you’ve got a high-performing team, and he does a really good job of making one point. So saliently clear, and I’m not sure I necessarily, I guess understood this as a young CEO, which is that your job is to work out how your company can be successful. And then to just communicate that over and over again, and keep people aligned and create clarity on a daily basis. And I think, as operators as founders, we get kind of pulled in all these directions. We’ve got our eyes are big, and we’re like, well, we can do this and we can do that. And then that’s how you build a successful organization. You build a successful organization by being really focused and developed just as a great job of Yeah, of sort of summarizing that for me.

Chacho Valadez 34:47
Cool. What was your dream job as a kid?

Ben Gateley 34:50
I was going to be a doctor. And it kind of was a dream job because my dad was a doctor and I always looked up to him and he’s when we all have flaws, he has flaws but He’s a wonderful human. And it was kind of inspiring to sort of watch him do something that is meant so much. And, and truly, I find that what I get to do is pretty similar to the joy that he got from being a doctor, and I’m not putting them on the same page, he was a trauma surgeon, I’m not saying that what I do is valuable to the world. So he did, but you got to help people. And he got to work in a team. And I think that’s the best part about being a CEO is, is building an amazing team. And helping that team to be really, really high functioning and being reading and be really effective. And I could do that for the rest of my life. And I hope I get to.

Chacho Valadez 35:41
I love that. What was your first job?

Ben Gateley 35:44
My first job was working in a hairdresser. I used to cut, not cut hair, I used to sweep the hair up after I’ve been cut. And I used to get to wash people’s hair. And I was 13 years old. And it was yeah, it’s kind of a bit of baptism by fire. It was pretty hard. And I remember the first day, my legs, my feet just being so sore from standing on them all day. So yeah, shout out to all the hair professionals out there. I got a lot of love for them.

Chacho Valadez 36:13
Yeah, absolutely. Filling in the blank here. Running is blank.

Ben Gateley 36:18
A journey, for sure.

Chacho Valadez 36:20
If you had to listen to one song on repeat for an hour-long run, what would it be?

Ben Gateley 36:25
We tend to sort of shake it off because of the tempo. Nice. Just always gets me going. And yeah, I’m like an unashamed listener of all crap music. So they’ll come after me.

Chacho Valadez 36:39
Well, we may get a new a few more listeners to the podcast since you mentioned Taylor Swift because swift the fans are excellent at this show. What’s your go-to running app?

Ben Gateley 36:50
My phone’s Sinto, so I have a Sinto watch. I switched from Garmin a couple of years ago and I’m really impressed with them. They kind of end up being half the price and some of the top-end garlands, and the technology is just a lot simpler. The interface is a lot better. And yeah, it just gives me enough of what I need, but not a lot of the detail and fat that that garment was turning up.

Chacho Valadez 37:17
Last one here is what’s your favorite thing about yourself and why?

Ben Gateley 37:22
I think this might be just one of my favorite interview questions. I’m so glad you asked it, especially as someone from England. We are very bad at talking about ourselves and saying nice things about ourselves, but I do think that it’s important.

For me, it’s my perspective. For whatever reason, I think I’ve managed to get pretty good perspective in life. And when you run a business, every day feels like something’s going wrong. A numbers not moving as fast as you would want. an investor’s not giving you the answers that you would want. And it could feel like that is everything in the world. It’s like the most important thing. But the reality is that for most of us, what we’re doing doesn’t actually matter that much. And that’s okay. Doesn’t mean it’s not valuable doesn’t mean it’s not important doesn’t mean just mean there’s not life and death. And so, for me the way that I’ve kept sane. I’ve been running businesses since I was 16 years old. This is my second 32 now says, all I’ve ever done. Keeping perspective keeps me sane. And it gives me the energy to keep going. I think if I didn’t have that perspective, then I’m sure I probably would have given up a long time ago.

Chacho Valadez 38:51
Incredible. Thank you so much, Ben, this is an awesome episode and a great way to cap off the first season. So thanks for joining.

Ben Gateley 39:00
Thank you for having me. Love the project and I’m looking forward to season two already.

Chacho Valadez 39:06
I appreciate it. Thanks so much.

Thanks so much for listening to this episode. I really hope you enjoyed it. If you have a chance, please leave us a review and let us know what you liked about the show, and if you want to follow along with future episodes, go to your favorite podcast platform and hit the subscribe button, or you can also go to runninginpublic.co where we’ll be updating the website regularly. I’ll catch you on the flippety-flip.