Boss it like

How To Boss It Like… Hamish Grierson, CEO of Thriva

By Oliver Smith 27 July 2017

These leaders are changing our world for the better. 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 Victor’s Clive Jackson, to Mr & Mrs Smith’s Tamara Lohan and Level39 CEO Ben Brabyn, these smart people seem to get an incredible amount done, in an impossibly short space of time.

This morning we are chatting with Hamish Grierson, the CEO and co-founder of Thriva, a company that sells at home blood testing kits.

Meet Hamish Grierson

Before starting Thriva in 2015, Grierson rose up through the ranks at Travelex, the foreign exchange firm, where he started as the head of its business accelerator for startups and eventually became head of international payments.

An international politics graduate of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies, he started Thriva because he believes “people are just not being empowered to manage their own health.”

Read more: This digital doctor will unlock the secrets of your blood

Along with co-founders Tom Livesey and Eliot Brooks they envision a world where people can take control of their own health, rather than always relying on trips to the doctor.

A busy man, with big ideas, The Memo asked him how he gets it all done…

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

6am. I have a 2-year-old son and wife who’s a real early bird which helps! 🙂

I’m a firm believer in “win the morning, win the day” (rip off phrase – sorry), but there are a few things I try to do.

Every other day I’ll do some strength exercises on the floor at the end of my bed. Pushups, situps and I have a door frame bar for some pull-ups.

Reading stories with my son is also key, it reminds me of what’s important in life.

It might sound a little off the wall, but I have a cold shower every morning. I started it in January of this year and I’m now totally addicted – check out Wim Hof if you’re interested in the merits of cold exposure.

My motorbike ride to work is always fun. And when I get to work I have a mushroom coffee most days (from Foursigmatic).

Finally, I’ve started to try to get in the habit of journaling before I open my phone/computer. It feels like it helps me stay focused and avoid being reactive.

What apps or methods do you use to be more productive?

I tend to prefer my notepad I have to confess, but I do use Calendly to avoid the organising back and forth. And I’m trialling an email and Slack blackout, only checking them at 10am and 4pm during the day.

We’ll see how that goes!

What smartphone do you have?

An iPhone 6S 64GB in Space Grey.

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

If I’m fundraising it’s largely investors and I could meet anywhere from 2 to 10.

Other than that it’s largely potential partners or meetings with team members at Thriva.

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

Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss.

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

Don’t be put off if you’re not a doctor..!

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

2 to 3 days a week I’ll try to get home in time for bath time with my son, which means I’ll leave the office by 6pm.

And after dinner with my wife I’ll get back to [work] until 10–11pm if I’ve specific things to accomplish.

If I have events on in the evening I’m usually home by 10.30pm and generally try to get to bed before 11.30pm.

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

I’d want to ask Elon Musk:

How do you think about creating the best possible environment for children, so that they grow up with the perspective to see how the world could be and the courage to believe they can make real ‘zero to one’ innovation?

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.