Enjoy the journey, not the destination. It’s about being in the now. – Logan Hall of Rebelhack


Logan Hall is the co-founder and CEO of Rebelhack Studios, a growth marketing agency working with some of the best young technology businesses in London.

He is passionate about helping businesses grow, fine tuning their growth activities and implementing robust data strategies to enable businesses to visualise their sales and product funnels.

In an exclusive email interview Logan talked about his life journey and the way he leads his life and business.

Tell us about your professional journey so far?

It’s been an interesting journey with experience in a wide-ranging number of industries; from fashion to technology. This has given me a broad range of business experience, which I suppose makes me suited to the flux of building new businesses.

I founded an extreme sports and art inspired lifestyle clothing brand called Avalaan when I was 20. We designed the products and manufactured in China, Portugal, and Turkey. It was eventually sold across Europe in 14 countries, and we ended up with our own flagship retail outlet. We secured investment and were in discussions with US distribution. It was a lot of fun, partying around the world with skaters, surfers, skiers, snowboarders, musicians, and artists. Eventually, we were forced out of business in 2008, as access to credit for manufacturing disappeared from banks for small businesses. That was a real learning curve!

Then I worked as European Brand Manager for an amazing well known Californian watch brand called Vestal, where I learned to manage an international sales team, logistics, and large-scale wholesale management. I tried to buy the distribution rights from distribution company I worked for but ended up walking away as the price was not right.

I then did an MBA and felt the best way to fund this was to set up another business – which I would not say is the normal route. I eventually began a regional sales and distribution hub for a vendor of electric wirelessly controlled heating products, engineered and manufactured in Germany. I ran operations and sales team, selling to consumers and businesses. We scaled this to over £1M turnover in just 16 months. It was a really exciting business and got me really interested in how technology can make a difference in people’s lives. I eventually gave this business to a close friend of mine.

I then went to set up a real estate and technology business in London called Movebubble with someone I met on my MBA. This business was really exciting as we were trying to make a real difference to the lives of people looking for rental properties. We secured significant funding and saw some massive early growth. I eventually resigned as I simply fell out with my co-founder about company vision and the business strategy. It was a really great experience and exposed me to technical data-driven marketing like I had never seen before.

It was these basic skills and frameworks that I developed in this business that I took into the market to set up my most recent business Rebelhack. Rebelhack is a full stack, modular growth marketing services agency helping some of the most exciting businesses in London find and drive scale. We have only been around for 2 years, but we have seen massive growth and have built an amazing team of the best growth marketers around! I think 2018 is going to be a big year for us.

Tell us about your company. What challenges you faced while growing your company and what you did to fix them.

I think one of the biggest challenges was that none of the founders of Rebelhack had ever worked in an agency, so we were somewhat naive. It was a real challenge to learn that business model, and add our own twist without any external funding as we had no buffer. We had to learn to be lean, and drive for profitability fast! I actually think that mentality has been great for the business generally and makes us incredibly competitive.

Our initial niche market entry was into seed funded technology startups in London, where we offered affordable growth marketing services. We soon learned this was not the most appropriate strategy as seed-funded startups don’t really have the cash to hire a team of world-class growth marketers, and many of them were pre-product-market fit. Therefore, we began the long and arduous tasks of repositioning the business to appeal to larger, more established venture-backed startups.

We now work with some of the most exciting venture-backed businesses in the space, and are now also beginning to work with multi-million pound revenue businesses which is really exciting for the business because our work gives a far higher return for that type of business – a 5% gain for a business turning over millions is a huge win!

Your Successes/failures in life.

Jeez, there are so many. I don’t think that successes are that important for your readers, as it’s the failures that forge who you are.

The failures that stick out for me are:

Not having an appropriate financial strategy for my first business in 2008, meaning we simply ran out of runway when the banks changed their risk profiling.

Building a sales and distribution business that had zero access to the IP (Intellectual Property) it was selling. I cannot say this was a mistake as we made a lot of money, but now I would always make sure I was building something that had actual value beyond goodwill and cash.

Relying on investors too heavily and not having control over large financial decisions. In my first business, we secured c. 100K investment and agreed with our investors that they would own logistics. For whatever reason they ended up air freighting our stock into the UK, costing us 30% of that investment. That was the beginning of the end, on day 1!

Hiring people because you needed a bum on a seat, not because they were right for the business. I have learned this the hard way! I have hired people because I needed someone to fill a seat instead of being patient and waiting for the right applicant. Get the right people on the bus, without them you are not going very far at all!

Don’t build a revenue stream on a consultant. I made this error where I built an entire revenue stream on a consultant, only to then be given short notice of their departure. If you are giving someone management of a chunk of your revenue stream make sure they are on the payroll and have skin in the game (share options).

What choices did you make in your life which made a significant difference in your life?

I chose to do an MBA in order to learn more about business. I know that many VCs say you should devalue a business for every MBA on the team, but I think it actually gave me a really solid grounding in strategic frameworks that has served me really well. I actually did my dissertation on technical growth modeling and how to grow Saas businesses, so this was also really apt for my line of work today.

When I was younger I was a commissioned 2nd Lt in the Royal Marines. I had a Cadetship Entry but soon realized that I did not agree with the politics of it all. I quit, meaning I could pursue a life that was of my making and not one that was dictated to me. Plus, I did not want to kill people!

When I co-founded Movebubble we moved to London to get in the technology ecosystem. It was a really hard choice, and although my journey with Movebubble ended early, getting into the technology and growth scene in London was a great way to learn a craft and forced me to up my game – a lot!

I have learned business is all about trust. Therefore choosing your business partner is a huge thing. In my most recent business, I went into business with my brother in law, Duncan McKenna and a close friend Anthony Rose. We’re family, best mates, and business partners. It works so well, I think that is what has gotten us through the hard times at Rebelhack.

Walk us through your workday?

0530 – Wake up when my son wakes up, normally about 0530 and bring him to his mum!
0605 – Get out of bed (i do not check my phone!)
0615 – Do some exercise (run, swim, gym, box)
0715 – Healthy breakfast, put the news on whilst I eat (still no email checking)
0745 – Commute, where I read every day. This is the best reading time for me.
0845 – Get into the office, make a cup of green tea and then prepare my day, do first skim on emails
0930 – Stand up with the team
0930 – My day is about ensuring all projects are progressing as planned, and that any support the team needs is provided. I only check emails once in the morning.
1300 – Lunch, every day get out and go eat some great food. Don’t eat at my desk, that is for suckers.
1400- Afternoon work, I try and push meetings to the afternoon if possible. But again, my day is about management of growth projects and ensuring we’re asking the right questions of the data to inform our work.
1830 – Most of the time I go home as I want to get back to see my son before he goes to bed
2000 – Eat dinner with my wife, we don’t talk about work!
2100 – Play the piano (I’m learning!), listen to music, maybe watch Netflix
2200 – Wash the dishes and clean the kitchen, I find this so therapeutic
2230 – Mediation for about 15 mins to relax
2300 – Bed and sleep for 7 hours with a little non-business related reading before lights out

How do you keep yourself productive and motivated?

I find that without exercise I go mad, almost literally. I get really itchy feet and grumpy. So for me, pushing my physical limits 5 days a week is my aim. It’s not always possible, but I try and keep to this if possible.

Turning off is also really important, so finding time to hang with the family and not look at screens is a must. Otherwise, you get saturated. I hear so many entrepreneurs talk about working long hours, almost wearing it like a badge. In my book that’s not cool. This is a marathon, not a sprint so I always take the long-term view wherever possible. If it does not work for you and your family personally it will never work professionally.

I love skating and surfing, and so I try, in the summer to get on my board as regularly as possible with my mates at the skatepark. Again, this takes discipline but I find myself more productive and far happier when I do this.

What do you do to keep yourself on the growth path?

I love reading. This is how I develop my thinking and it’s important to read things you are not necessarily going to agree with. This is personal development. If you’re not learning and expanding your worldview you’re sitting still and that won’t get you anywhere – fast.

Once a year I sit down and ask myself what I want to achieve this year in 10 areas of my life, from professional to love, from culture to money. I then score my life in those areas and focus on the things I want to achieve in those areas that are lacking. Recently I have taken up the piano as I wanted to learn something new, and I love that it takes me away from anything but learning.

What tools/apps do you use for managing work and life?

Rebelhack.com for all growth-related project management and data visualization

Pivotal Tracker for all development related project management

Wunderlist for all personal projects and tasks

There are many others, but these are the main ones that run my life…. That and Google Calendar!

Your favorite books?

I have read so many that I am not sure I have favorites. But here are some I have read over the last 12 months that have been really inspirational in a variety of ways.

The Conquest Of Happiness by Bertrand Russell

Man’s Search For Meaning: The classic tribute to hope from the Holocaust by Viktor Frankl

The Code of the Extraordinary Mind by Vishen Lakhiani

Reinventing Organizations: A Guide to Creating Organizations Inspired by the Next Stage in Human Consciousness by Frederic Laloux

Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

Blue Ocean Strategy: How To Create Uncontested Market Space And Make The Competition Irrelevant by W Chan Kim

Fermat’s Enigma: The Epic Quest To Solve The World’s Greatest Mathematical Problem by Simon Singh

People who have inspired you and made a difference in your life.

My wife, Anna. She has been my rock in the dark times and the one person that will tell me when I am off course. Without her, I would be a very small man indeed.

Jonathan Klineberg, an ex-business partner who passed away due to mental health issues. He was a big inspiration to me, and someone that I cherish having had time with. He taught me how to run real businesses that make real money!

Steve Keane, an old Outdoor Pursuits instructor who was ex-special forces. He taught me you can push yourself as hard as you want, it’s your mind that breaks first. This has served me well over the years!

Alan Watts is a western philosopher who I love to listen to. He has taken eastern philosophies and ‘westernised’ them. I love his view of the world and find myself being challenged by him every time I listen to one of his lectures.

I read the 4 hour work week by Tim Ferris a few years ago, and this really changed my approach to running businesses. It made me realize that you can free yourself from the tyranny of your own business by letting go and trusting people to make decisions. I have built a team of about 5 remote freelancers that help me build business and get my life in order. Leslie, my executive PA has even paid my electricity bills for me in the past!

How do you hire your team? What traits do you look for while hiring?

I hire for aptitude, not experience!

I focus on getting the right people on the bus. They have to be great at what they do, but also willing and able to fit in with the culture of the team. I want to know they are determined to make something of their lives, both personally and professionally. If I cannot help them get there, then I won’t hire them.

Ultimately, I am looking for someone I can be in business with for a long time, someone I can trust to make the right decision with the information to hand and someone already on their way to greatness. If I get that right, everything else is easy!

What advice did you get which changed your life?

Enjoy the journey, not the destination. It’s about being in the now.

As an entrepreneur if you are myopic about making money, getting an IPO, raising a bigger round than your friends you’re going to be really unhappy. Life is about finding something you’re happy to do, be it personal or professional and becoming a master at it. If you can learn to live in the moment, then you might just learn to love the journey and forget about the destination. That is how you find balance in your work and personal life, which is what it’s all about.

What advice would you give to people looking for success and growth in personal and professional life?

Life is a gradual release from ignorance, so focus on what you can achieve in 10 years and don’t blow yourself out trying to get there in 1 year!


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