Chapter 4: Startups, Health and SmartWorking | Ross Good

Chapter 4: Startups, Health and SmartWorking | Ross Good

21st August 2018 Off By Guest Blogger

What’s the first thing that enters your head when you hear ‘I work from home’? It is positive or negative?

Do you think …

  1. Jesus, fair play. I’d love to be able to work from home like you
  2. He’s no more working than the man in the moon. Playing the XBox in his jocks ya mean

The later was closer to the experience I had when I first started Smart Working in 2011/2012. A buddy of mine once asked me (and this is the exact quote – fact)….

So seriously, what do you really do? Just dodge the boss, do the minimal & fold some knickers and *stuff’? (*edited slightly from the original word used 🙂 ).

I covered a typical conversation I used to have with some of my mates around 2012 in my last post. Most found it weird. Unthinkable in some cases. Generally, tech folk got it whereas non tech (real estate / bar person / financial etc) simply didn’t.

Back then I also (wrongly) thought it was also down to generation. The younger ones got it, the older ones didn’t simply because it wasn’t an option for them. Now I know I was incorrect.

Here’s what Sir Richard Branson has to say about ‘Smart Working’ (for the record, he’s 2 years younger than my Dad):

“We like to give people the freedom to work where they want, safe in the knowledge that they have the drive and expertise to perform excellently, whether they are at their desk or in their kitchen.

Yours truly has never worked out of an office, and never will.

To successfully work with other people, you have to trust each other. A big part of this is trusting people to get their work done wherever they are, without supervision.

Forcing everyone into the office every day is an organizational SPoF (single point of failure).

One of the secret benefits of using remote workers is that the work itself becomes the yardstick to judge someone’s performance.” (Source: The RemoteWorkers)

An amazing mindset. I absolutely love the part where he says ‘Yours truly has never worked out of an office, and never will.’

How powerful is that? Look at what he created – and all from anywhere BUT a traditional office. Amazing when you think about it.


I wish I’d read that quote when I first started working from home. Purely from a movitional point of view as I was fully engaged with my tasks when working from home – not always successful mind you (I was in sales) – but focused nonetheless. We had a virtual weekly sales meeting where you had to give your weekly report (good or bad). Extra motivation from anywhere helps.

I worked remotely with Pubble for the next 3 ½ years from Dublin. Add in the occasional trip to HQ in Cork (Ireland), sometimes for sales only, sometimes with the entire team (who were also Smart Working in numerous different countries). It proves the model & structure works. #TeamPubble

Smart Working Works

We are grown up adults. We want to succeed. We want to work. We want to win. We all aim for the same objective. #Success. If you don’t have that drive, you are probably better suited to the 9-5 gig – and you know what – fair play if that’s the case, good on ya. The world would be a fairly boring place if we all went the same route.

Health is Wealth

So as I said above, 2 years in Cork followed by 3 ½ yrs in Dublin with Pubble and very happily I might add. But why so short I hear you say? Ischemic Heart Disease I say. Yeah this fairly put a feckin spanner in the works, trust me!

I’m 40 now – at 37 I was having pains in my chest & arms. Family genes. No heart attack thankfully but one night, the pains were serious. Wifey drove me to St. Vincents Hospital and 24 hours/angiogram/angioplasty later – I had 4 stents inserted into my heart. #Life Saviour

(Side note & shameless plug btw – my blog, The Stented Papa was born – get it?!! 4 stents/2 kids?! Go on, take a peek!!! Also I’m up for an award atm, click here to vote for me please!)

Mad to say this but getting the news of a serious diagnosis turned out to be the best news of my life. I (reluctantly) gave up work and became a full time Stay at Home Dad (SAHD) to watch my two girls grow. Best move ever.

Booky Wooky Ltd

During these years, myself and my wife Mel (who works full time externally) set up our own business. Side Hustle if you will. Booky Wooky (Ltd), a site which allows you to create your very own 100% customisable/personalised baby or child board book. You are the author & editor. You design it from cover to cover and everything in between.

A smart working business. A Mama & Papa business that we run from home. 100% Irish. Yes, remote / home / smart working – whatever term you prefer – but it suits us. It suits our life. It fits like a glove.


I stopped work at the end of December 2015 due to my heart issues. We also put Booky Wooky on hold too. Both decisions were tough. We were generating business. Book orders were flowing but with Mel working full time and me in carido rehab & minding our beautiful daughters, it just seemed too much to handle. We were gonna fold it.

Kerry 2017

But we didn’t! 2 years on from the stents, I feel like a new man so while on a family ‘staycation’ in County Kerry last year we decided to give it another crack. But this time do it better that the first time. Startups make loads of mistakes and we were no different. Live and learn baby, live and learn.

During my time recovering from the stents, like I said above I became a Daddy Blogger. The followers I’ve built up are primarily parents. Mostly Mums (& some Dads I’m delighted to say) but guess what? Booky Wooky’s main target audience are? ….. Parents!!! My blog readers are? ….. Parents!!!

(For the record – this was 100% completely coincidental. AKA Result!!)

So I put the feelers out to my blogging buddies and the feedback was so good, we decided let’s do this. Relaunch Baby. New site. New user experience. Easier to use. More options. Great quality books. And to date, our new customer replies & reviews are as good as back in 2014. Deadly stuff.

New Beginnings

Trying to get any work done while you have two children (the ‘nips’ as I call them) around you all the time is so hard. But come the start of September, Nip1 is in First Class with a new teacher. Nip2 starts montessori for the first time. And I – well, I go back to work for the first time since end 2015. This time for myself – massive thing to say. For my family. From home. Smart working is active and I cannot wait to focus on 4 hours work M-F kiddy free. #SmartWorking

Posting this from San Fran Baby!! Work / Life Balance – Do It …… Do It Now!! More updates @thestentedpapa

Read other posts from Ross Good’s Series:

Chapter 1: My Journey to SmartWorking

Chapter 2: My Change to SmartWorking

Chapter 3: ‘Goodbye Office – Hello Home’

Guest Blogger:

Ross Good, SmartWorking, AbodooRoss Good is a Full Time Stay at Home Dad looking after his two girls and dog. He gave up work after needing 4 stents inserted into his heart at 37 due to hereditary Heart Disease.

Since becoming a SAHD, he blogs at The Stented Papa and was the only Irish Daddy blogger finalist for the Best Parenting Award at the Boots Maternity & Infant Awards 2017.

He has appeared in a number of TV shows and has recently started a new business with his wife Mel called Booky Wooky.’