Founder Series: Profile of Runneth’s Founder, Kath Sloggett
In this article, Kath Sloggett, the Founder and CEO of Runneth London, was interviewed by Dahlia Dajani, the Founder of Entreprenursery.
Let’s dive straight into the questions.
So Kath, what’s your story? How did you become an entrepreneur – what was your motivation to start Runneth?
Runneth is my third business, and it really came about very naturally. I had been coaching startups for almost ten years and then, more recently, started two businesses as well – an upmarket matchmaking service for professional Londoners and a parenting consultancy. I launched each of those businesses while on maternity leave.
Because of my experience with startups, I was often contacted by women in my network who wanted to start a business of their own. And sometimes I was contacted by women who felt that starting a business was perhaps their best option because they couldn’t see how they could return to their pre-baby career.
My own working career has spanned professional consultancy (as a Chartered Accountant at PwC), blue chip organisations (Commercial and Finance roles at Coca-Cola, BT), smaller businesses (CEO of Everyman Cinemas) and startups, so I bring this breadth of experience to Runneth.
I decided to launch Runneth so I could help people decide what role they really wanted to do, before helping them to achieve it. Some people still want to start their own business – and I coach people through that process, helping them to launch faster and with less risk – but others decide they would be happier being employed if they can find the right role. So I also offer career coaching and practical and step-by-step plans to help people change careers or find a new job.
Who is your role model and why?
I’m not a big believer in having a single role model because it feels a bit one-dimensional to me. Like everyone I know, I have many hats: I am an entrepreneur, a CEO, a Director, a mentor, a coach, a mother, a friend, a daughter, a sister, a wife and more. Long ago I stopped striving to find one person who would inspire me on all those levels. Instead, I take inspiration from the people around me – real people, usually women and often mothers because they are relevant to me and my life.
I often advise women to do the same for their career – don’t find one mentor, find several and take the best nuggets from each. Also take the positives from each of your bosses. Then, start to add all them together to create a clear idea of who you aspire to be. In this way, you can create your own role model.
How would people closest to you describe you in 3 words?
Positive, insightful, inspiring.
My husband would add messy to the list but that’s just a sign of a busy, creative mind, right?!
What is your favourite entrepreneurial brand? Why?
I like Joseph Joseph, the brand started by twin brothers, who redesign everyday household items to work better. It appeals to me on lots of levels, including that they designed the Triscale, the nifty folding kitchen scales which make me happy every time I use them. I really think I could have been a designer in another life.
Who would be your dream contact in the business world?
I have worked in the business world all my life, and I’ve met some amazing people along the way, and have been constantly amazed by how accessible and how decent the very successful people I’ve met have been. But I don’t have a dream contact that I haven’t yet met – unless there is someone out there who has invented a time machine to can add a magical extra 30 hours to my working week?
What was a recent funny incident with your children?
My kids are 6 and almost 4 years old. Driving them to school one morning, we were enjoying a leisurely game of eye spy which (as usual) soon turned into an opportunity for my eldest, Sam, to explain something to his little sister. This time it’s road signs.
He points to a ‘no right turn’ sign, with the red cross through the bent black arrow. “Syd, do you know what that sign means?” She doesn’t. He puts on his patient teacher voice and says: “It means no boomerangs allowed!” 🙂
What are you reading right now?
I very rarely squeeze in a book around kids and work although I do love reading. So it’s normally a treat reserved for holidays – especially long haul flights to my home city of Sydney. I do, however, stay up to date with podcasts which I listen to on the school run (walk) home after dropping off my kids and while cooking. I also check in daily with the Apartment Therapy and Little Spree blogs for interiors and fashion inspiration.
What keeps you up at night?
Nothing. I have always been a great sleeper. I even trained my lovely husband to (mostly) do the night time wakeups when our kids were very little.
What is your biggest achievement?
Helping other people. Honestly, nothing beats the buzz of knowing that I have helped someone else – and all my businesses have had that concept as their core: whether it’s finding someone a partner, or helping young families to sleep better, or helping people to find their dream work life. I’m lucky that I get to experience that pretty much every day.
I’ve also managed to co-hatch two of the best kids ever so that is, without doubt, my biggest personal achievement.
Where do you hope to be in a year with your business?
One of the things we hear regularly is that people would love to work with us at Runneth but they aren’t able to meet in person or attend our workshops – since the time commitment can be difficult to manage around family and/or work. Within the next year, we’re aiming to have launched an online service option so we can give people more flexibility, to fit Runneth around their other commitments, all from the comfort of their sofa.