Ben Saul-Garner, Co-Founder of Rebel Book Club
Welcome back to Friends With Leafage. Today we’re catching up with Ben S-G, co-founder of our favourite membership, Rebel Book Club. With a mission to accelerate reading habits and make a positive change to our ever-evolving world, Rebel Book Club is strictly non-fiction and welcomes thousands of members each month. We chat with Ben about his latest read, his favourite houseplants, and how he keeps his mental health in check whilst running not one but two businesses. Let us know what you think!
Hey Ben! We’re so excited for you to join us today on the next instalment of Friends With Leafage. First things first, do tell us a little more about you and what you’ve been up to recently?
Hey! Always lovely to chat to you guys.
I’m Ben Saul-Garner, otherwise known as BSG. I think we first met through Rebel Book Club which I set up with Ben Keene about 5 years ago in Indonesia after realising we had the same problem. The Japanese call it Tsundoku which basically means accumulating an ever growing pile of unread books! Every month, we help our global community of thinkers and doers start and finish one non-fiction book and come together to discuss it. Whilst the last year has been a big challenge to pivot to an entirely digital proposition we’ve continued to grow, had some lovely press in The Evening Standard and made our first TV appearance on Sky Arts with Elizabeth Day :)
Away from book life, I co-founded an agency called Attachment and work with talent (everyone from musicians to athletes to comedians) across campaigns with awesome brands like Google, AirBnB, Etsy and Bumble. We’ve just wrapped a great project with Google called #DearLocal to fly the flag for the local businesses that we love and have been our saviour throughout lockdown. We shot a TV ad with Anthony Joshua giving us a tour of his favourite independent spots in Golders Green and created digital love letters to local businesses with the likes of Clara Amfo, Reggie Yates, Jessie Ware and Laura Jackson.
Outside of work, I’ve got a baby coming in just over 3 months so currently enjoying a full nights sleep and getting prepped for that arrival!
Now that it’s a new year, there’s a lot of talk online about resolutions and goal setting. Do you have any top tips for setting goals and achieving them?
Atomic Habits by James Clear is a great book on this and worth re-reading annually! My personal top tip is to put your goals out into the world - tell people you respect and they’ll help hold you accountable.
Atomic Habits by James Clear
Lockdown life so nothing particularly wild at the moment! Up at 6ish. Feed the cat. Ideally get some exercise and fresh air in. Porridge on the sofa. At the desk for 8.30ish - currently rotating with my fiance between the dining table and spare room! Catch up with the team and then get stuck in. Early lunch. Early dinner. Bit of chill time with Soph in the evening. We’re usually in bed by 9pm with a tea and a book!
You’re a pretty busy guy. How do you go about unwinding? Does nature play a part in this?
I’m always trying to get better at unwinding - nature definitely plays a massive part though! We’re very lucky to have Wanstead Flats at the end of the road and getting outside and away from screens is always a good idea.
We’ve all been at home a lot over the last 10 months. Have you adapted any new routines or rituals to keep your wellbeing in check?
Haha yes, I’m now low key obsessed with two things - BBQing which I’m convinced is the best way to cook all year round and hacking my sleep - I got an Oura ring towards the beginning of lockdown which basically gamifies your sleep score and definitely forces you to keep a healthy routine on that front.
Lastly, we’re all about spreading joy at Leafage so tell us something that’s made you smile recently?
Other than a Leafage terrarium… our cat Gus! I think lockdown has made a lot of us appreciate how awesome pets are to have around day to day - they don’t give a shit about your video call and just do whatever makes them happy in that moment!
Gus, Ben + Soph's cat
Describe yourself in one word?
Name the last book you read?
Greenlights by Matthew Mcconaughey & The Almanack of Naval Ravikant
If you could be any houseplant, what would it be?
Something you'd love to do more of?
Hug my mates
Name your favourite podcast(s)?
Courier Weekly, Modern Wisdom and Take Flight but I listen very sporadically to lots!
A destination you'd love to visit?
If you weren’t doing your current job, what would you be doing instead?
Something in sport!