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Hacking Life: Cybersecurity and Beyond | Linn Boo

Today’s Guest Linn Boo

Meet Linn, the tech-savvy security guru and founder of Boo Consulting. With 15+ years of experience, she's all about people-first cybersecurity. When she's not safeguarding data, you'll find her catching waves or cleaning up the beach – she's all about ethics and the environment!

Key Takeaways:

  1. Life and Career Transition: Linn Boo shares her transformative journey from Essex to Newquay, driven by her passion for the environment. She discusses how embracing change and following her instincts has been crucial in her career, especially in the dynamic field of cybersecurity.
  2. Work-Life Harmony and Productivity: Linn emphasises the importance of balancing professional and personal life. She advocates for a four-day workweek at her company and indulges in hobbies like furniture-making and gardening. These practices, she believes, are key to recharging and maintaining high productivity.
  3. Cybersecurity Insights: As a seasoned expert, Linn offers practical advice on cybersecurity, such as creating strong passwords and the ethical aspects of hacking. Her insights extend to the challenges and rewards of running Boo Consulting, highlighting the importance of continuous learning and trust in one's instincts in cybersecurity.

Links for Linn

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Matt: [00:00:00] Well, hello and welcome back to Push To Be More. I'm your host, Matt Edmundson, and we are about to dive into another deep exploration of what fuels the journey of life. Oh yes, and joining me today, I have Linn Boo from Boo Consulting, and we're going to be diving into their unique life experiences, the hurdles they've had to push through, and the way they recharge their batteries and the steps they've taken to be more.

Oh yes, we are doing all of that. But first, a little bit more of the music, oh yes, I feel like a DJ when I do the podcast. Now don't forget you can find all the detailed show notes and complete transcripts of our conversation at pushtobemore. com and whilst you're there, if you haven't done so already, make sure you sign [00:01:00] up for the weekly newsletter and each week we will zip.

All of the show's insights, links, and goodies direct to your inbox, absolutely free. How cool is that? Now this episode is brought to you by Aurion Media, the master architects of the podcasting world. I love that. You see, here at Aurion, we don't just make podcasts, we help you start movements, build your business, and take it to the levels you've only dreamed of.

How? Well, imagine having a space where your voice does and does reach but resonates. Imagine turning conversations into connections, listeners into community members, and ideas into industry shaking impacts. That's the power of podcasting. Oh yes, certainly that I have experienced myself. But here's a catch, podcasting isn't always smooth sailing.

Setting up, dealing with the tech issues, figuring out distribution, strategizing. It can all be a bit tough, but what if, what if you could focus on what you love, which is [00:02:00] just chatting with people and leave the rest to the experts. That's where Aurion Media comes into play. They're not just a company, they're your partners, your guides in this podcasting journey from conception to growth.

They're with you every step of the way, turning you from a podcasting novice. Into a podcasting pro. Oh, yes. Now, curious about how you can do all of this? We'll find out more at aurionmedia. com. Reach out to the team at aurionmedia, that's a u r i o n media dot com. That is who brings you the show. But who's the guest on the show?

Let's meet Linn, the tech savvy security guru and founder of Boo Consulting with 15 plus years of experience. She is all about people first cyber security. Now when she's not safeguarding data, you'll find her catching waves or cleaning up the beach because she's all about ethics and the environment as well.

So Linn, welcome to the show. [00:03:00] Great to have you on. How are we doing today from the sunny South of England?

Linn: Oh, we're good, thank you. It's absolutely beautiful outside today in sunny Newquay. Ah, it's And thank you for having me.

Matt: Newquay, no, it's great. Newquay is one of my favourite parts of the planet, certainly one of my favourite parts of the UK.

As most Brits have done, we've holidayed in Newquay at least once or twice, um, and just got some great memories of that place. Are you, are you born and bred Newquay, or have you, have you sort of migrated there over the years?

Linn: Migrated, so I'm originally from Essex, but we used to come on holiday down this end of the woods and I thought why should I visit several times a year, I should just live here and visit everywhere else.

Matt: I love that. So when did you make the move?

Linn: I'll call it about five years ago now. Okay.

Matt: Do you regret it or do you, uh, are you quite happy with it? Oh no, I absolutely love it.

Linn: Yeah? [00:04:00] Absolutely love it. When you, when you work away and you've been working in a city like London or Manchester and you get off the plane in Newquay Airport and you just see, you just feel the fresh air.

Yeah. The sea salt on your lips, it's lovely. Yeah,

Matt: yeah, it is, it is. For those of you outside of the UK, we should probably explain that Newquay's quite a popular beach, isn't it, down in the south, uh, in Cornwall and, um, there's some beautiful beaches in Cornwall actually and, um, Cornwall is a, is a fascinating place in the UK.

Almost feels like a separate sort of country, uh, it's its own sort of state really in, in the UK, doesn't it? And you sort of, you cross the boundary line and you feel, you, you know you're in Cornwall. That's the only way I know how to describe it.

Linn: I'm quite sure most Cornish people would wish it was its own country, but you have to have a passport to get in.


Matt: I'm sure they do, I'm sure they do. Have they accepted you yet or are you still classed as an outsider after being there five years? [00:05:00]

Linn: Uh, most people are still classed as an outsider, um, but I feel very welcome with the Newquay and the Cornish

Matt: community. Yeah, no doubt. No doubt. Well, Linn, listen, great to have you on the show and, um, let me start by asking you, uh, the question I like to get started with everybody.

As you know, this show is sponsored and brought to you by Aurion Media, the experts in making podcasting dreams a reality. Oh yes. So if you could, if you did have your own podcasting, you could interview anybody as a guest, past or present, the only caveat being that they've had to have had a big impact on your life.

Who would you interview and why?

Linn: I did find this, it's quite a challenging question because it's. Who's impacted you as an individual in your life? So I was like, is it my family? Is it friends? And what I actually think is that I actually really enjoy learning [00:06:00] about, uh, famous adventurers and naturalists, such as like David Attenborough, Jane Goodall, Ernest Shackleton, Liv Sum Wood, Ben Vogel.

And Alicia Azar. So most of these famous adventurers and naturalists are remembered for their achievements and their impressive goal, but they also experienced many highs and lows and other great goals on their way to their success. And I think if I had to interview someone, it'd probably be Alicia Azar.

And she's Australian, most experienced young adventurer. She has taken on some, like, amazing challenges. She's achieved some, many goals. And she was the youngest woman to summit Mount Everest, both north and south side, Uh, at 21 years old. Uh, and I feel that we all conquer our own Mount Everest in business and in life, and we just, you know, we keep climbing to strive for our own [00:07:00] successes, and if that's just getting up every morning, or running a business, or doing the kids run to school, that, you know, every day can be that, you know, that journey.

So I think I would really like to interview Alicia. That's really

Matt: fascinating. See, I'm like, like you, I, I, when I think about this question, because I think about it often, given the fact that I ask it a lot, uh, to a lot of people, and to be fair, uh, dear listener, if you don't know, the one question that we tell people we're going to ask before we get started is this question, um, the opening question, uh, just so people feel slightly more prepared and, uh, the conversation's easier to get started.

I'm always intrigued by the answers, of course, why would you not be? And so the Adventurers, uh, just resonates with me, Linn, I'm not going to lie. And there's, there's a number of reasons why. Number one is, uh, on my desk in front of me, you won't be able to see this, but on my desk in front of me is Lego Indiana Jones.

Uh, there we go, here he is, Lego Indy, uh, if you're watching the video. [00:08:00] And, uh, I have, Lego Indiana Jones has meaning to me, which I'm bored of listening with right now, but he's an adventurer. I mean, I appreciate he's a made up adventurer, but he is an adventurer nonetheless, you know, and you love that story of the guy, um, taking on adversity and the.

The recently, I've just finished watching the new series of Running Wild with Bear Grylls. Um, and he is a guy I would love to get on my podcast at some point, if I can bear, if you're listening, you're welcome on the show, man, anytime, because I would, I just find him such a fascinating character, you know, and, uh, I love him, I mean he doesn't do podcasts, what he does is he goes, he goes on crazy adventures with celebrities and talks to them for two days whilst they're climbing mountains or whatever, and I think it's brilliant, uh, so I'm totally with you, and I, and there's something about these people, maybe it's the same with you and Alicia, that you find totally and utterly inspiring.[00:09:00]

Linn: Yeah, it's, you know, I wish I could do it, you know, it's, if that's, you know, walking to, across Antarctica, if it's, you know, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, if it's climbing Everest. Just wow, it's just like, having that guts and determination to do it, it's, no, I wish I, yeah, I wish I could do that, and I probably could do that, if I put my

Matt: mind to it.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, it's one of those isn't it, it's like, I think you've got to choose your battles, or choose your mountains to climb, uh, you know, that make sense for you. As much as I am in total respect and awe of people that climb Everest. And I, like you, I would sit there and go, well, I think I could, I'm fairly sure I could do that if I trained for it and put my mind to it.

I just don't want to, because there's, there's different mountains that I feel the calling to climb. You know, if that makes sense, the [00:10:00] metaphorical mountains, um, and there's only so much I can do, you know, in my life, but training for every, at the moment is not one of those things. Maybe that'll change. I don't know.

We've got different things to climb. Adventurers, which is great. And so I like this, um, what you said there, you know, we've all got our own sort of mountains to climb, uh, our own sort of Everest for whatever an expression is. What's that been for you so far?

Linn: I think it's self doubt. Um, that's my Everest. Um, I think where I grew up, I was born in the 80s, grew up in the 90s.

We wasn't always patted on the back by our parents. You know, you can do this. It was more like, can you? Yeah. And no, that's, so that's created that self doubt, that sort of. Imposter Syndrome, like, you know, if I've done it, I'm just winging it. I feel like I'm just winging my life, [00:11:00] but, uh, I'm obviously doing something right.

So, you know, I'm talking to you today. Yes.

Matt: It's an interesting one, isn't it? The self doubt is, I think it's something that plagues everybody, isn't it? At some point, imposter syndrome, whatever you, whatever you call it. Um, the thing that's intrigued me about what you said, Lynn, and we'll, if you don't mind, we'll dig into this a little bit, but, um.

It, what's intrigued me is the generation that you grew up in and how you've, how you've linked those two things, um, because there are, there is the, one of the things they say about millennials and not to criticize the millennial generation, I'm not part of the millennial generation. I like you. I'm Gen X.

Uh, I was born in the seventies, raised in the eighties. Um, but the millennial generation, uh, called the unicorn generation because they were told that the world would in effect be all sunshine and rainbows. You can achieve anything you want to achieve. Um, do what you love. You'll never have to work another day of your life.

You know, those kinds of [00:12:00] things that people bought into. And of course when the real world hits, um, people have been struggling with that sense of identity and trying to understand it, which is why I think millennials are. I think that was a typical sort of two, three years in any particular job and they switch careers quite a bit as well, because they're chasing this elusive elixir of contentment formed for better expression.

Um, but you didn't have that growing up, uh, you grew up in a slightly different era. I have to admit the eighties is definitely the best decade for music that's ever existed as far as I'm concerned, but that's just me, uh, you know, what do I know? Um, so. It's interesting that you sort of, how do you, how did you, how do you remember your childhood then sort of impacting this sort of, this, the way that you think?

Linn: I, I, we, you know, have a happy childhood. It wasn't, it wasn't a privileged c child childhood. Mm-Hmm. . Um, you know, we didn't have [00:13:00] loads of money, uh, and things like that. So, you know, we, at times we did. Go Without, but I think, uh, so my, both sides of my family are quite, um, religious, their backgrounds were religious.

So I wouldn't say that I'm a religious person at all. I might say I'm spiritual, but I'm not religious. And, uh, that has given me a good footholding of being kind and compassionate. And I think that's made me who I am today and how I look at, um. at the business, how I look at how I want to, and my ethics, how I want to run it, how I want to engage with the community.

Um, but I think being a parent is probably the hardest job in the world. And if you look [00:14:00] at all the different generations, I think where my generation, they've told their, their children that they can be whatever they want to be. That whole, you know, Dick Whittington that the streets can be paid with gold.

Well, actually they're not. Yeah. Um, but we've tried to learn from our parents mistake of where they've gone. Oh, can you do that? Actually, you're not very good at that. Yeah. Don't, don't get your hopes up. So when we were like, Oh, maybe I can't do that. I can't do that career choice. I can't be what I want to do.

Can't fulfill that dream. Yeah. And then. My generation has gone around and gone, you can do anything you want and met. And so yeah, people that are millennials, that they do job hop, they do, they want to strive for that better option all the time, but sometimes that's not possible. But I do love seeing that people are, you [00:15:00] know, traveling the world, maybe working in tech, and they managed to do all that traveling because they've.

They found a job that they can do that with. Yeah, that's not always

Matt: possible. Yeah. No, I agree. It's um, the digital nomad is one of, we're at a sort of different, um, life phase, I think, Linn, with our kids, in the sense my kids are, two of them have left home. One of them is just, Zoe, she's just doing her A levels.

And so, um, yeah. Sharon and my wife and I are having conversations like, what does the future look like now, you know, in the advent of them, Zoe going off at some point, I'm presuming in the next few years. Part of me wants her to stay at home until she's like in her mid thirties, but, you know, I keep her wrapped up in a blanket of safety.

But I don't think that's going to happen. She's already told me she's off, um, traveling the world. So. What does that mean for us? And so one of the questions that we've then been discussing, you know, talking [00:16:00] about is, do we do this digital nomad thing? Because such is my world, you know, I run eCommerce companies, and I also run a podcasting business.

And I spend one day a week doing podcasting and a few days a week, you know, chatting with the team and working with the team and helping as well as best as I can. And the reality of it is what I do, I could do anywhere in the world. Um, and so you now have such possibilities, don't you, with that sort of thinking, with the stuff that we never had when we were, there was no way I would have ever thought that I could, you know, do half the things that I'm doing now when I was a kid.

And the ability just to travel the world and work in different countries is very appealing to me. And I'm wondering, does it actually appeal to you, or are you quite happy, um, Newquay is good. I mean, it's a beautiful part of the world. Why do I need to go anywhere else? Kind of a place.

Linn: Oh, it definitely appeals [00:17:00] to me.

Um, and especially our sector, so data protection, privacy, cyber security, it affects every Business in the, around the globe. Mm-Hmm. Um, so I mean, at the moment we tend to, our customer base is at the, the uk. We've had had a customer from the States, but we could, you know, open that reach and if we wanted to go abroad to do that, um, and keep traveling.

Yeah. But that is a possibility. I had a client or prospect that's just turned into a client recently and they were like, Oh, we've got offices in South Africa. And I was like,

Matt: yes. Yeah, that is a beauty. I've got clients in New Zealand, so I'm the same. Uh, In sort of January, February time here in the uk. I'm like, I'm gonna to New Zealand and call the clients.

I'm coming to see you , just 'cause it's warm and I've had enough of the [00:18:00] gray. So you'll be the same if you've got an office in South Africa that you can connect with about January time, February time. Plan on going because it'll be gray here, but beautiful there. 'cause you'll, you'll catch the tail end of the summer.

Yeah. Uh, and it won't be too crazy hot. Um, but no, that's so self-doubt and cybersecurity. Right? I'm, help me make the link here, Lyn. How did you, how did you, it strikes me that cyber security would be a very male dominated industry. Uh, I would have thought, okay, you know, I'm, you're, you're proving me wrong in, in some respects, but I imagine when you started it was probably quite a male dominated industry.

So how did you, how did you get involved in this? How did you sort of forge your way whilst battling with the self doubt?

Linn: I think we've If you're working in cyber security or if you're working privacy data protection the threat landscape and [00:19:00] The legal landscape is constantly evolving Yeah So it's constantly learning and being open to learn and open to engaging and embracing if it's a new legislation or if it's a industry best practice standard or if it's yeah you just need to Keep learning and trust your instincts as well.

Um, I find so if it feels, if something feels wrong. So when I teach, um, clients about different sort of threats, I was like, if you, if you feel it in your gut that it looks wrong, it probably is wrong. Yeah. So, and, yeah, it is really male orientated and there is, uh, a nice chunk of, uh, female owned, uh, businesses coming through, uh, in cyber security and, um, data protection.[00:20:00]

And there's some amazing female, um, uh, consultants out there. But I do think that, especially Women and all people suffer with self doubt or imposter syndrome, but I think that sometimes women can suffer a little bit. More, depending on your sector, um, you know, if you look at, I'd say, if you're speaking to CEOs or Chief Technology Officers or CISOs or something like that, most of them are men, are men and it's, and.

Not all of them are open to deal with a female counterpart. Um, I don't know if that's just generational gap or they feel that they just know best. And then you get some that are absolutely amazing and they just want to embrace that change and that continual improvement.

Matt: So, [00:21:00] yeah, really fascinating. And so you've been in it 15 plus years.

What sort of kick started the journey and did you or what have you always been involved in cyber security or was it just I wanted to be a

Linn: surf bum

Matt: Well, this seems like a logical career step then

Linn: So I I want I wanted to own a little surf shop by the beach and I wanted that from about nine years old Okay, and I was like just sit on the beach all day Drink from a coconut.

Um, no, I was, I just sort of embraced technology from being young. I remember, you know, from using the old Acorn computers at school. And, um, Yeah, I just embraced technology and sort of the roles that I went into, they were always quite more technical or it was actually, I've got into one where they were actually, can you do this?

Because we can see that you can do [00:22:00] that. And it's, it was just learning on the job and then doing, um, like vocational qualifications. And I just wanted to open my own. Business. I was like, actually, I'm good at this. Why should I do something that I'm not good at? You know, it pays the bills and it was, and it just sort of went from there.

Matt: Fantastic. Fantastic. I love that. I was going to set up a surf shop drinking from coconut. Okay. This is now explains the move down to Newquay. Uh, if I'm honest with you, have you been secretly eyeing property along the beach just in case?

Linn: Oh, I wish I could afford it. They're all like over a million pounds a year, I'd do a beach property.

Matt: Yeah, I imagine actually it's a fair few quid. Um, so you've always been good at the, uh, tech side. Um, and obviously you've now got your consulting company. You're, you're, you're growing. How long has your business been established? Uh,

Linn: five years on [00:23:00] the 17th of

Matt: October. Oh, well, happy birthday, uh, for the 17th of October, uh, which we're recording on the 5th of October.

So not five, 12 days. Are you doing anything to celebrate?

Linn: Um, we've bought some, we've bought our current, uh, clients a little gift, well it's a handmade gift. So we're just trying to keep with the environmental, uh, theme. Yeah. Uh, so we've got some up cycled, uh, gifts for them, uh, so hopefully they'll like them.

Um, uh, so yeah, we'll have a little celebration internally, we're sending some things out to our clients. to the people who are signing out on social media but yeah, it's a big achievement and especially surviving

Matt: COVID. Yeah, it is. It's interesting, isn't it? I can't remember what the stat was. I remember reading the book.

I don't know if you ever read it, um, from Michael Gerber, the eMyth is called. And he said that I think it was within the first five years of [00:24:00] trading, 80 percent of businesses fail and out of the 20 percent businesses that survive only 20 percent of those make it through to year 10. So by the time you've hit year 10, you've got, you know, only 4 percent of businesses have survived in it.

In a bunch of ways. So the fact you've made it to year five is a good sign. Uh, it's, you know, you've outperformed a lot of businesses and, um, especially in this kind of industry, cyber security. I mean, it's not going anywhere, I suppose, you know. It's going to become a bigger and bigger thing, isn't it? And, um, can I ask you some really weird cyber security questions?

If you had, you know, like, uh, movie epic music playing in the background, could you sit on a computer anywhere in the world and hack into any place like you see on, I don't know, 24 or You know, all these sort of movies, or is that all just a bunch of tosh? I'm not an

Linn: ethical hacker, um, but If I was, um, a hacker or an ethical hacker, then it can

Matt: be done.

Wow, [00:25:00] okay, I'm like slightly nervous. Define an ethical hacker.

Linn: So, I'm sure that you've heard of things like penetration testing. Yeah. So it's when we like, we test the organisation's Security posture and their defenses and know, see if we can get through onto their, um, systems and then we would prov, we can provide reports to show where the opening is.

Right. So when people don't change their username and password or it's just got like password, 1, 2, 3 , which happens a lot. I was gonna

Matt: say in the sector, what is the most popular stupid password that people have? Is it actually password?

Linn: Password, yeah, password or QWERTY. So if you look at your keyboard, it's a Q to Y.

Matt: Oh dear, I'm so glad that my, um, I have to be honest with you. I used to do this thing where every [00:26:00] password was the same because no one in the early days of the internet You know, cared. I just the same 'cause I can just remember one password. But now Apple do this thing where they give you a password and they store it somewhere, don't they?

You. So every password's different and I always think if anybody actually got onto my computer, they've in effect got access to everything. 'cause you know, apple stores those passwords, so it's Mm-Hmm. . It's an interesting security dilemma. And my son who's. Who's just about to finish his Masters in Theoretical Physics this year, has a secret system for creating passwords, uh, so he can, for any website, he knows what that password is but it'll be different and there's some secret system in his head which he's developed using some kind of crazy ass algorithm, um, so, I, I've not gone to that extent, um, but yeah, What do you, if I can ask, what's the best piece of advice for people listening who, regarding passwords, username and passwords?

Because it's Passwords,

Linn: it's to create passphrases, so just think of three words and stick them together, um [00:27:00] You can use things like special characters in there to make it a little bit harder. In the UK, I would say a pound sign is a great special character because it's not known on international keyboards.

Matt: Ah, of course, yeah.

Linn: It's basically like a dollar sign. Yeah. But yeah, passphrase, it's just free. Random words, so it's like when I speak to clients on, especially if they're down this end of the world, it's like Apples Make Cider, or something like that, just really random

Matt: words. And do, do, why three, why three words together like that?

Because it's just something that A bot couldn't figure out. It just goes through word combinations. You

Linn: want, you want a long password. So, um, I would say it's, for a standard user, over 12 characters. For anyone, administrator, over 15 characters. Yeah. So if you're choosing three random words. And that should give you that, uh, length of password [00:28:00] that is harder to crack.

Um, and if you add things like special characters, if you want to add in numbers, um, and yeah, don't just, don't just have the same password and just. Just put one at the end for that company, two for Facebook, three for Instagram, or yeah. And don't change your password. You should only change your password if you think it's been compromised.

Don't change it all the time. Lots of companies change, they rotate every like 16, 90 days, no, you don't need to do that. You should only need to change it if it's been compromised. Yeah. Because it'll make The password is more vulnerable because people would just be changing like a number in it

Matt: or a letter.

Yeah, no, fair enough. It's, it's interesting, isn't it? Because the, um, I, I, I go onto websites like most people and I'll buy stuff. I'm appreciate, we're just talking about shooting the breeze about passwords. Now, uh, I'll go and buy stuff on websites and you, you know, [00:29:00] you, you create your account or whatever it is, and it's like that website thinks all of a sudden it's become Fort Knox.

You know, there's the requirements for those passwords on a website that I'm buying. Lego, Indiana Jones or whatever I'm buying from, just always intrigues me. You know, the, just the sort of the lengths people go to to try and. Make sure that I've got a secure password and I'm like, I don't think anyone's going to hack your website, dude.

And this is such a random password, even if they hack it, I don't care because I'm only going to use it on this website. But that's just me. Maybe I've got it wrong. I don't know.

Linn: I mean any, you know, if it's an e commerce site, any organization can be hacked or sent some sort of ransomware, etc. So we're, we'll have the vulnerabilities there.

Mmm. Um. So yeah, I would say if you just find something once, check out as a guest, they don't need to store your information. [00:30:00] Yeah,

Matt: it's very true, very true. So, back to you, uh, you know, thank you for the advice on passwords. There's a few I need to change now, uh, but I like the three random word idea and I like the pound signed idea.

Just so anybody's listening, don't go and try and hack all Matt's passwords now just by throwing random pound signs in. Um, So you've got your business. Uh, I mean, when we were talking before we hit record, everybody in your company works four days a week, uh, with the exception of your good self, which works 40 days a week because you're the business owner.

Um, did you start off your business with that as a principle or is that something that has evolved?

Linn: When it was just me, um, obviously I've just, just kept working. Um, as soon as I started employing others. We had a four day week, especially if they're based down here, we've got a team across the UK. [00:31:00] It was only a small team.

Yeah, we're supposed to enjoy our lives and we're not supposed to, you know. Yeah, I wanted people to Enjoy where they're living, be with their family. So it was a four day week and then suddenly become really fashionable. So yeah, I'm hoping I was, I was the trendsetter.

Matt: And why not? Why not? So does it work?

I mean, obviously you're still doing it. So, um, and we've had guests on the show before talking about this, you know, you pay people for five days, but in effect they work four and the productivity still seems to remain pretty consistent, pretty high. Is that what you've found? Uh, you've, it's sort of been successful for you?

Linn: Yeah, it really has. So still we work, um, mostly we're hybrid as well, so people don't have to come to the office. Yeah. Yeah. Um, and I find that people actually are more [00:32:00] productive.

And they want to, you know, if it's, if it's dealing with projects, they just want to get them over the line and they're dedicated to work in those four days. And I've logged on on Teams in the evening and I can still see people that they're still working and when they don't need to be working. And it's not because they've got mountains of work, they're dedicated to what they do.

But they really appreciate that downtime as well, and that I can, that I trust them to just deal with whatever projects that they've got. I hate micromanaging, so I want to be able to trust

Matt: my team. I'm totally with you, I'm the worst manager in the world, because I just don't care. Well, I do care, but I don't care enough to be involved in the minutiae, I've got enough going on on my own plate, so You hire good people and you don't have to worry about them, you know, and you give them that autonomy.

Uh, and [00:33:00] they seem to do really, really well. Um, do you do the four day week, Monday through Thursday, or is it people choose whichever day they want to do? I'm curious a bit about the detail.

Linn: Um, they can choose the day that they want off. Um, as long as there is someone on, so we've got like a support function.

So as long as we've got someone that can answer any of our client queries, then, um, it's fine. What day it takes off for some people like, actually, this is the day that I want off. And I've got some people that want to go, actually I'll have. I've got a dentist appointment next week on a Monday, so I'm glad that one is my day off.

Oh, okay, so it's

Matt: flexible.

Linn: But most people determine the day what they like off. Yeah. And it's not always Friday or a Monday, so that's, uh, was quite surprising.

Matt: Yeah, that surprises me a little bit. My daughter, that I mentioned earlier, she's gone to sixth form, uh, and [00:34:00] she's at Carmel College in St Helens now.

And, um. We live in Liverpool, so it's like an hour's commute in effect for her. It takes her an hour, well, maybe 45 minutes to get there and 45 minutes to get back. She's on the train. And so, um, which is very different to when she was at school because it was just down the road, right? So she's, she's now got to sort of this phase of life where she has to deal with this.

I have to travel to school thing and I have to do it because mum and dad don't give me a lift because it's well out of the way and we're just not interested. And so, um, When she got her timetable from school she came back so happy because she felt like she'd lucked out in the sense that on Friday she has no lessons so she gets this sort of long weekend.

I don't know if she'd have been as excited if it had been like a Wednesday. Do I mean, but the fact it's a Friday, she's like got a lessons Monday through Thursday, and then Friday she gets off formative, but she's obviously got homework, but, um, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, she's got in her head, she's got this sort of long [00:35:00] weekend.

So it does surprise me that, um, people don't always take the Friday or the Monday because I think that's probably what I would do, I don't know. But what's interesting, Linn, is you don't do the four day week yourself.

Linn: No. Well, you're opening your own business to work less, don't you, that you do the total opposite.

Matt: It's so, so true, yeah. I'm opening my own business to have a better life by working 800 hours a week, yeah.

Linn: So, yeah, unfortunately I don't do four days. I like to be on four days. Um, in the next calendar year, fingers crossed, um, but that may be that I need to recruit somebody else as well to alleviate some of my workload.

Matt: Yeah, it's interesting, isn't it? This year, um, this last 12 months, I have rejigged my diary. [00:36:00] So that Monday through Thursday, I work longer days. Um, so I'll work of an evening, which is good actually for podcasting because we have an international sort of, uh, you know, and we're interviewing people and we're doing like four or five podcasts now.

So, you know, a lot of conversations going on, which leaves Friday and sometimes Friday I work, sometimes Fridays I work in the morning. Um, I will be in my wood cause one of my hobbies is wood, woodwork. So I'll be in the woodshop. Um, I'm having lunch with a friend this Friday, but I'll do it. I've got a lot of writing I need to get done.

So I'll get that done Friday. So I have this day, which is sort of flexible in terms of what I do with it. That seems to be working quite well for me. Um, and I'm, I'm liking that layout of the week, you know, that, that gives me that space. So what you work long hours. The team works four days a week, but I, you know, they get, they get in the job done.[00:37:00]

Yeah. Um, you're down in Newquay, uh, for reasons which are totally sensible in my opinion. It's like, I love your reasoning for being there. But what do you then, if you're working all these hours, what do you do to recharge your batteries?

Linn: So, obviously, I love being down at the beach, being in the water, Bolte, the weather down here, and that sometimes that's not always possible.

Yeah. So when you said woodwork, um, I quite like, so all the furniture in our office is homemade. It's part of our environmental impact as well. Did you make it? So, my standing desk, the top of it is handmade. It's made out of recycled scaffold boards. Fantastic. And so is the rest of the desks. Yep. So, I like to do things like that.

Oh, well done. I haven't done it for a while, so I can't do spoon [00:38:00] carving, a bit of whittling, but I've really started to get into, and I feel like, oh my god, it's because I'm getting older, gardening. So I've been growing our own veg this year, and that's been amazing. And I'm totally winging it, so I'm like, eh, a bit of food here, a bit of water.

See how it goes and I'm literally, the whole of my street again, cucumbers, tomatoes, courgettes, beans.

Matt: I need to


Matt: down near you, yeah, yeah.

Linn: So yeah, and that's been really relaxing, just having a little pot around into the garden. Yeah. So yeah, if it's not up the seat, it's been outside. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah.

It's really good for you to be grounded to the earth.

Matt: I totally agree. And the thing I love about woodwork is it's not digital. So I'm not sat in front of a computer screen. I've got, I'm carving or I'm cutting or I'm doing something [00:39:00] with my hands and it's, it's three, it's three dimensional. I can, it's real, you know.

Um, and gardening would be the same. You're actually doing something that's not pixel related, you know, being at, I love being at the beach. Um, in fact, I'm just converting my, I've got a van, which I'm taking a little while to convert. I'm not going to lie. It's not a fast project, it seems, but the idea is I'm putting an office set up in the back of that.

So I can go, there's a spot in Liverpool where, um, I can go down, I can open the doors and I'm literally right by the river. And I can sit and I can work and it's just an idyllic spot for me. Or I can go up to the Lake District, you know, up to Windermere and places like that and do the same thing. So I get the just being around nature, but yeah, I love this idea of just doing something physical rather than, especially cause I work in digital, you know, and that I find quite lovely, but the furniture is looking good.

I'm looking at that bookshelf behind you with the reclaimed scaffold boards. I, um, I've got this studio and I've got a, this studio. Uh, that I'm recording from is [00:40:00] actually down at the bottom of my garden, made from reclaimed timber from, uh, an old warehouse, which is great. The studio that we do, the, um, the other studio I have, which is slightly bigger, uh, down at the warehouse, uh, reclaimed scaffold boards, again, made the desk, uh, out of that, made the table top or the shelving.

Um, just some old pipe work and some reclaimed scaffolding, uh, boards, but, um, some love it. We could spend hours talking about that, Lynne. That just floats my boat all the way.

Linn: Unfortunately, my partner's like, oh, it's a bank holiday. What project are we doing this time? Yeah

If I haven't got the driller out or the impact driver or a sander out on a bank holiday by 9am, it's not bank holiday. Yeah, I love that,

Matt: that's awesome, so what's the next project, what are you making next?

Linn: Uh, I'm not sure yet. Um, so we've just made a, [00:41:00] a, well I had help doing that. So we had uh, put a kitchen in the garden.

So we've got like an outdoor kitchen. Yeah. So it's especially nice weather this weekend, so a good barbecue, probably the last one of the year. Yeah. Uh, I've got uh, one of our benches in the garden is made out of a reclaimed longboard. So. We've got things like that, um, the table in our garden that's made out of, um, pallets.

So yeah, everything's, everything's homemade.

Matt: Yeah, yeah. Why did you, uh, is this again something that you've always done or did you, is this something you picked, I don't know, from a dad or a granddad or is this something you just started later in life and thought, I'll have a go and see what happens?

Linn: I'm just winging it.

Uh, Wing. It's probably the, the 10 that's gonna come outta this podcast. . Um, I, like, I don't sit still very well. Um, and I, because I'm really keen on the environment and being sustainable, it's like, well actually do, do we need a new coffee [00:42:00] table or can I make one Mm-Hmm. Um, so if I can. Put something together.

You know, YouTube's a great place to learn. Mm-Hmm. . Mm-Hmm. . Um, and obviously I've, you know, just watching other people, but it wasn't a, a particular person that's influenced me to do it. It's just like, actually I'd like to have a go doing that.

Matt: Yeah. So it's all self-taught? Yeah,

Linn: it's, I mean, self-learning is.

It's great for, you know, it's great for our brains, our thought

Matt: process. Yeah, no, it is totally. And if you're listening to the show, I totally encourage you, you know, I'm, like Lynn, we, I make a lot of stuff, all self taught, um, which I've just enjoyed over the years. The first thing I ever made, Lynn, was, um, a kitchen.

We, Sharon and I just got married, moved into our house, and, um, the kitchen needed replacing. We had no money, really. Um, but back then, you know, sort of, um, 4B1. [00:43:00] Redwood timber was actually quite cheap because no one really wanted it, you know, so, uh, I just got some timber, screwed it together, had solid wood worktops, everything was solid wood.

I mean, it'd be cost a fortune now, it cost me a few hundred quid back then. And, um, And I just fell in love with it from that point on, really, and the idea I can make stuff, um, is just brilliant. So yeah, have a go at something, uh, would be, would be my advice. You don't have to build a big coffee table or anything like that, although they're pretty straightforward to build.

That was the second thing I built, was this coffee table out of reclaimed pallets. Um, but yeah, I, I like you, just have a go, uh, it's, it's, it's quite fascinating. So, Linn. We've got to that time of the show where I'm going to pull out the question box. Dun, dun, dun, dun, dun, dun. I think if I look at this desk, I might have some music for this.

Hang on a second.

Linn: Yeah.

Matt: The question box. I really need to practice that. Um, so. [00:44:00] This is where I flick through the questions, uh, all individual questions on a card. You're going to tell me to stop at some point. Wherever you tell me to stop, that's the question that we're going to ask. Stop. Okay. Growing up, who was the favorite in your family?

Linn: This

Matt: could be quite a contentious question. Love it. Love it. Love it. Love it.

Linn: So if we're talking about siblings, so it's just me and my sister. And I always thought that she was the favourite. We're very different people, but we're also very similar. Yeah. Um, so I always thought that she was. The favorite, but she's always thought that I was the favorite

And, uh, we lost our mom, um, [00:45:00] a couple of years ago. Mm. And we've we thought, like, I, I actually think that she played a soccer bit from each other. So, um, I think we both wasn't the favorite. Um, but she, my mom was just trying to get her own way all the time.

But no, I think, I think we were quite equal. I just think when you're younger, you always think, oh, yeah, Julie's the favourite, not me. But I think, no, I think there was, our mum did different things with each other. It was never the same. So I think that's why I was like, well, Julie got that, but I probably got something different.

And you sort of get jealous of your sibling, don't you? You

Matt: do. Yeah, you do. I'm very, very funny. Uh, we're the same. Uh, me and my brother, you're the favorite, no, you're the favorite, you're mum's favorite, I was dad's favorite, or whatever, you know, it was always, uh, my kids [00:46:00] actually now really wind Sharon up, my wife, because they'll, they'll, they'll say, oh, he's your favorite.

She'll be like, no one's my favorite! And the kids just do it now to wind her up, and it's just, it's become this sort of standing joke in the family. Uh, but yeah, it's been quite a contentious question. Um, so. You, you've talked about, um, the future, hopefully this time next year working four days a week, uh, what else, what else does more look like for you?

Linn: Uh, there's some services that we are wanting to bring out, um, and there's some, uh, development of some products that we are Bring to, these are physical products. They're not, um, it's not, they're not actually tech related. Well, they might be tech related, but not in a computer sense. Um, so hopefully the development of those and [00:47:00] pushing them out to the world and seeing how they, uh, how, see how that goes.

Um, I want my team to be happy. Working at Boo Consulting, and if I can work less so I can enjoy my family life a bit more, that would be great. Um, yeah, just, I just want us all to be happy and, you know, enjoy

Matt: life. Yeah, fair enough. The dream of most parents, I would have thought. Did you, um, I'm kind of curious, if you did go down to a four day week, would you fill the three days with projects?

That would be my, maybe that's a question I should ask your partner.

Linn: Possibly, I don't know, like I said, I'm not very good at sitting down, so I'm the worst person to watch a film with, because unless I've paid to go to the cinema, I won't sit down for a film properly, because I'm terrible at it. [00:48:00] Um, I'd rather listen to, I'd rather listen to music and dance around the theatre room.

That's the type of person that I am. Um, so if I did go down to four days a week, I would probably be doing some sort of project in the

Matt: house. I have no doubt. Yeah, I don't know you that well, but I have no doubt. I might go for a surf. I would probably go for a surf, yeah, why not? I might become the world's best surfer.

Be Another Project, Another Mountain To Climb, uh, Lynn, listen, I've thoroughly enjoyed the conversation. It's been lovely chatting to you and, um, always great to meet a fellow furniture building enthusiast, uh, and, uh, always just enjoy the conversation about surf as well, which is, it's quite nice really and adventuring and mountings and all that sort of stuff.

If people want to reach you, if they want to connect with you or find out more about Boo Consulting and maybe how you can help them with their cyber security, what's the best way to do that?

Linn: Visit our website, so it's booconsulting. co. uk and you'll find all the [00:49:00] information there. You can book time with a consultant straight from the website.

Fantastic. Or on

Matt: social media. Social media. Of course everyone's doing social media, aren't they? Just, uh, brilliant. We will of course link to Lynn's info in the show notes, which you can get along for free with a transcript at Push to Be Or if you sign up to the newsletter, they'll be coming to your inbox Lynn, genuinely lovely conversation and uh, love your story.

Love your passion, love what you're doing for the environment and, um, I will take the tips on passwords to hot. So, uh, thank you so much for joining me. Thank you for having me. Well that's a wrap on another invigorating conversation. A massive round of applause, oh I need to do this, hang on. A massive round of applause, yeah, for joining us today and shedding light on what it's like living in a new key, running a cyber security company.

Now a huge thanks also to today's champion sponsor, [00:50:00] Aurion Media, for all you change makers out there contemplating podcasting as your new vehicle. www. aurionmedia. com Now, remember, keep pushing to be more. Don't forget to follow the show wherever you get your podcasts from because we've got some more great conversations lined up and I don't want you to miss any of them.

And in case no one has told you yet today, let me be the first person to tell you, you are awesome. Yes, you are. Created awesome. It's just a burden you have to bear. Lynn has to bear it. I have to bear it. You've got to bear it as well. Now push to be more is brought to life by Aurion Media. For transcripts and show notes, swing on by the website, push to be

A big kudos to the team that makes this show possible, including the legendary Sadaf Beynon, Tanya Hutsuliak, and a shout out to Josh Edmundson for the incredible theme music. So from Lynn and from me, thank you so much for joining us. Have an awesome week. I'll catch you on the flip side. [00:51:00] Until then, keep pushing.

Bye for now.