Craig Douglas

Do what you love, not what earns the most money – and keep learning!


Craig Douglas is the co-founder of the luxury holiday apartment provider, Reserve Apartments based in Edinburgh, Scotland. He is also the Chairman of the Board at the innovative technology company Tribalogic and holds a similar position at the popular Camping and Caravan website ‘Caravan Sitefinder’. Craig has extensive experience in developing online booking systems and directory based web-sites within the travel industry.

Where did the idea for your company come from?

I had just sold to Haymarket Publishing and wanted to utilise the booking engine we had built into another industry.
At the time (Pre Air Bnb) booking a holiday let was done by the potential guest sending several enquiries to prospective properties by email and waiting for responses. So it seemed like a no brainer of an idea-however it was amazing how much resistance we got at the time from property owners.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

I try and work “on the business” most of the time, however I think it is important to also not lose the grass roots of working “in the business” as without intimate knowledge of the business you restrict your strategic ideas arising.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I recognise that I am much better at the big picture than the detail. So it’s important for me to work with detailed individuals to help bring my ideas to life.

Most often this will involve writing a long list of To Dos in order of priority.

What’s one trend that excites you?

The ever increasing rate of technological change and what opportunities and challenges it brings to business.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

Doing an easily identified productive job first thing in the morning to get you into the swing of the work. Too often as an entrepreneur there is too much talk and not enough productive action.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Do what you love, not what earns the most money – and to keep learning!

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

Most entrepreneurs are driven by a need to be recognised rather than a love of what they do.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Play devil’s advocate with all your wonderful ideas…and listen to people who you respect before you waste a lot of time and money trying to make a “pig fly”

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

Know what you want and set a target…it focuses the mind and stops distractions wasting your time.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

Invested in a new business and did not manage to convince investors to provide the right level of capital required to compete with the main competitor.

I cut my loses early and acknowledged the mistake before I wasted more money and time -its only human too make mistakes…make sure you can accept that fact.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

Lease or buy a very unusual creative property e.g. a yurts-make it funky with outdoor area/hot tub and hammocks and holiday let it….once successful -repeat.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

Put this money into go henry for my 13 year old son…it is a fabulously simple app that teaches my son the value of money.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?

Basecamp – I use it religiously, if used correctly and you follow it -your business will be successful.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

The Power of Now by Eckart Tolle…it’s my bible

What is your favorite quote?

A situation needs to be either dealt with or accepted. Why make it into a problem? – Eckhart Tolle

Key learnings:

  • If you are better at the ‘big picture’ then it’s important to collaborate with or employ detailed individuals to help bring ideas to life
  • Do an easily identified productive job first thing in the morning to get you into the swing of things
  • Know what you want and set a target