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Meet Barnaby Lashbrooke, the founder and CEO of Time etc, a Virtual Assistant service that brings busy entrepreneurs and incredible Assistants together. Barnaby is on a mission to help people achieve more. 

His business journey first started when he was just 17.

From his bedroom, he started a web hosting company called SupaNames with £150 he’d saved up by designing websites for businesses he’d cold-called in the Yellow Pages.

Fast-forward six years and his business had 24,000 customers.

But running a small business wasn’t easy. Barnaby often felt that he needed support but couldn’t justify hiring a full-time assistant. That’s why after he sold the business to Pipex PLC in a multi-million-pound deal, he decided to start a company that could solve this issue – Time etc!

Founded in 2007 and now working with 600 freelance Virtual Assistants in the UK and USA, Time etc has proven to be a vital service for entrepreneurs, with the company growing a massive 400% in the last four years alone.

The company has helped thousands of entrepreneurs get ahead. Their Assistants have completed more than 520,000 hours of work on their behalf!

But more importantly, they’ve helped clients spend more time with their loved ones, take a break, and finally enjoy a good night's sleep!

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It’s not just great for clients though; it’s also fantastic for Assistants. Time etc offers them interesting, varied, and flexible work, making it an unrivalled route back into work for many mums – they can earn a good income whilst still being there for their family.

Since its launch, Time etc has evolved considerably, largely as a result of Barnaby’s own journey of self-discovery, prompted by the death of his mum in 2011. He strongly believes that emotional intelligence is crucial to building great company culture and that it can be created and maintained by “remaining firmly in human mode, not business mode” - something he feels that many businesses forget.


As a result of this belief, Barnaby has cultivated a values-led culture of openness and appreciation, led by coaches, not managers. His company has a daily appreciation huddle where team members say thank you to one another.

The culture isn’t limited to the head office team in the UK either; it extends to the freelance Virtual Assistants who work with the company worldwide. In 2016 the company established a hardship fund, the first of its kind in the industry, designed to financially assist freelance Virtual Assistants in times of dire need. Since it was established, the fund has provided financial assistance for issues ranging from cancer diagnosis to flooding.

It’s this commitment to both clients and Assistants that has helped Time etc achieve an incredible Glassdoor score of 5/5, tons of positive reviews, and in 2018 achieve a Gallup Q12 engagement score of 4.56 - placing the company in the top 1% of organisations assessed using the Gallup Q12 tool. Plus, in 2018 Time etc was also ranked #13 in the Real Business Top 25 SME Leaders!

Episode Highlights

  • The role of CEO’s self-awareness and authenticity in building a business and cultivating a healthy culture
  • Lessons learned from Time etc’s transformation: from an abject failure into a global success story
  • The importance of purpose and meaning to create engagement, drive high performance and customer satisfaction
  • How Barnaby and his team work to continuously improve their employee and partner experience, as well as their company culture
  • The power of tapping into people’s strengths
  • The role that fear plays in how people show up at work - and what to do about it!

Listen to the interview in the player below, or on iTunes. If you like what you hear, please leave a review and it may be featured on a future episode.

Audio production by James Ede, Be Heard

Prefer listening on iTunes, Stitcher or Spotify? Just click below.

iTunes  Stitcher  Spotify

 

More about Barnaby Lashbrooke

Barnaby is a regular contributor to publications like Virgin.com, Huffington Post, The Guardian, Entrepreneur, Telegraph, VentureBeat, and CNBC, as well as a keen investor, supporting and investing in many small businesses in the UK.

Outside of work, Barnaby is devoted dad to Maisy (6) and Harry (3 months) and lives in the beautiful Worcestershire countryside in the UK, where he’s currently completely renovating a 17-th century townhouse!

To learn more about Barnaby go to:

Resources and Books Mentioned on the Podcast

Books
“Delivering Happiness” by Tony Hsieh
"Gung Ho!: How To Motivate People In Any Organization" by Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles

Resources
Net Promoter
Amazon’s Flywheel

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