Boss It Like

How To Boss It Like… Cindy Gallop, founder of MakeLoveNotPorn

By Kitty Knowles 2 February 2017
Cindy Gallop. Pic: NYC Porn Festival
Summary

These leaders are changing our world for the better. We find out how they get the job done.

There are a handful of business leaders and industry figures in Britain who are changing the world. From Annette King to Charlotte Pearce and Sally Gunnell, these smart people seem to get an incredible amount done, in an impossibly short space of time.

This morning we’re talking to Cindy Gallop who is undoubtedly a productivity guru.


Serial entrepreneur Cindy Gallop first made a name for herself as the founder and former chair of the US branch of advertising firm Bartle Bogle Hegarty.

Already a board advisor to multiple firms, the business icon went on to found IfWeRanTheWorld, the online platform to turn good intentions into actions.

And, perhaps most famously, the sex-positive activist is also founder of MakeLoveNotPorn.

Read more: Cindy Gallop needs you to save MakeLoveNotPorn

Designed to shine light on what real sex is actually like, this also includes MLNP.TV, the world’s first ever ‘real world sex site’ where people can share their own sexual encounters and pay to stream other people’s.

A champion of diversity, Gallop also regularly speaks at events like Cannes Lions and TED, and will always call out prejudice when she sees it.

A busy woman, with big ideas, The Memo asked Gallop how she gets it all done.

What time do you get up, and what part of your morning routine sets you up for the day?

What time I get up varies – I’m a morning person, but I travel a lot, and so jetlag regularly impacts my normal routine. Generally speaking, I tend to get up around 7.30/8am.

What sets me up for the day is looking at it dawning over Manhattan from my apartment, which I’ve christened #theskyapartment because it’s on the 33rd, 34th and 35th floors of my building (it’s a triplex), and has amazing views. It’s very soothing and calming to look out at those views.

I feel very fortunate to have them.

Then I really enjoy reading the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal in paper form over my morning cup of coffee. Yes, I like my papers analogue:

Reading the papers over the coffee is one of the little pleasures of my day.

What smartphone do you have?

I have a Space Grey iPhone SE – deliberately, because a) I prefer a smaller phone, and b) the Knucklecase iPhone case I use is more aesthetically pleasing in the iPhone 5/SE size.

What apps do you use to be more productive?

I’m extremely productive without needing to use apps. Again, I like to go analogue.

My to-do list is written out on a little notepad next to my laptop – I hoard those little pads that hotels put by the phone, for this purpose – and I cross things out, then tear the list up when completed and start a new one on a new sheet.

It’s very simple. I just do what’s on my to-do list.

How many people, outside of family, do you meet in a day?

I’ll meet, on average, 3-4 people during the day workwise, and more in the evening if I’m going out or attending an event.

I work from home, and will meet people either face-to-face or on Skype.

They can be anyone – potential investors for MakeLoveNotPorn or the sextech fund I’m raising, journalists (I do a lot of media interviews), people booking me for speaking engagements or consulting gigs, potential business partners, etc, etc.

What book have you read, either recently or in the past, that has inspired you?

I love Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson’s book ‘Rework’, which is very much in line with my own philosophies.

I recommend it all the time, as the only business book you’ll ever need.

What advice would you give for people who are eager to get into your industry?

Well, first of all, I want to make a lot more people eager to get into my industry – sextech – because right now, not remotely enough people even realise it exists, let alone that it is far and away the most innovative, creative and disruptive way to potentially create a huge amount of social benefit while making a huge amount of money.

I speak at tech conferences where I say to the audience, “I’m going to ask you to do something nobody else will ever have asked you – start a sextech venture.”

I won’t pretend it’s not challenging given society’s messed-up attitude towards sex, but the obstacles we encounter building MakeLoveNotPorn are precisely why we have to do what we’re doing – be the Social Sex Revolution with the emphasis on ‘social’, to open up all of this and make it easier to talk about sex.

So the advice I give people who want to get into sextech is, when you do – “Take yourself out of the shadows”.

What I mean by that is, people building sex-related businesses can unconsciously internalise society’s disapproval of what they’re doing, in a way that negatively impacts your ability to do business and to do the kind of business you want.

When you concept, design and operate a business around existing societal bias and prejudice, all you do is reinforce it. I refuse to bow to existing bias and prejudice – I’m out to change it.


When do you work until? Are you still sending emails in the night? Or do you have a wind down routine?

When you work for yourself, you’re always working. But the good thing about that is that you get to manage your own schedule.

If I’m not out in the evening, I’ll work straight through – but I’ll stop screentime and read a book in bed before I go to sleep.

Reading in bed is another one of life’s little pleasures.

This is Gingerfellow, Cindy Gallop's childhood toy.

What was your favourite childhood toy?

My teddy bear, Gingerfellow, whom I still have. He was my ‘can’t go to bed without him’ toy – I loved all his fur off.

I attach a pic of him next to a photo of me as a baby holding him when he still had his fur.


If you could ask your idol one question, who would it be, and what would you ask?

I don’t really have a single idol.

I idolize every woman who has ever fought to make equality happen for all of us, and my question would be:

‘How can the rest of us help you and make sure everything you went through/are going through will be worth it?’

Come back next Thursday for our next #BossItLike interview, and get in touch if you know a leader who’s also a productivity guru for us to talk to.