Monthnotes – July 2023

Monthnotes – July 2023

July’s felt like a bit of a one-off month, lacking the usual cadence of working life.

Finishing up with a couple of fractional COO engagements and an interesting consultancy project over the first couple of the weeks contributed to a real end of term feeling.

It was good to wrap up this work and feel like I drew the first six months of freelance life to a close. One thing I’ve learnt over the past few years is that I like the sense of accomplishment that comes from an end point in my work – whether that’s hitting a goal, finishing a project or handing over at the end of a fractional engagement.

Having a bit more spare time meant I could spend more time thinking about what types of work I’m keen to do in the autumn and work towards signing up some new interim or fractional COO gigs. I’ve got some interesting conversations in play and am excited to see where they might lead later in the year and into 2024.

I’ve deliberately kept a six week block of time pretty much clear over the summer. It’s the break from work that I wanted to take when I left TPXimpact in December, but delayed until the summer – because that just felt like a better time to take some time out.

I was lucky enough to take a four week sabbatical in summer 2019 from my role as Managing Director at Deeson. Indeed it was the time away from work then that led me into start writing monthnotes when I returned. I remember how I felt after that break, so it’ll be interesting to see how my world of work looks when I log back on in late August.

Away from work, it was good to get away to the Lake District for three days with my younger son – fresh from finishing his GCSEs in late June. It rained – a lot – but that didn’t stop us cramming in a Via Ferrata adventure, a wet ascent of Scafell Pike and some indoor freefall fun too.

Music this month…

More old school vibes this month with the highlight being a newly discovered epic 7 hour set from Paul Taylor.

Podcasts this month…

A new addition to my podcast repertoire this month – the Acquired podcast – courtesy of a recommendation from James Herbert. Am enjoying the longer form conversations and learning about the backstories of some interesting businesses.

Reading this month…

I found Built on a Lie by Owen Walker fascinating. It’s a look at the rise and fall of Neil Woodford and explores how he built a successful investment business, only then for it to fall apart in spectacular style.

The lessons I took from it weren’t really about investment and financial services, but more about the dangers of hubris in leadership and how failing to keep in touch with reality can lead to ever poorer quality decision making.

Cycling this month…

112 miles.

Running this month…

38.1 miles.


I work with technology-centric businesses as an interim Chief Executive Officer (CEO), interim Chief Operating Officer (COO), consultant and advisor. I also write a newsletter called Build about scaling brilliant businesses which you can subscribe to here.