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AMA: Ruari Fairbairns, founder of One Year No Beer

AMA: Ruari Fairbairns, founder of One Year No Beer

Table of Contents

Some businesses are truly transformative, and that’s definitely the case for Ruari Fairbairn’s start-up, One Year No Beer.

OYNB company aims to give people their money, happiness and health back by helping them to ditch the booze. 

OYNB has featured on the BBC News and across publications including The Times, The Telegraph and Men’s Health magazine.

Ruari Fairbairns

Hi Ruari! Tell us a bit about your company.

OYNB is an alcohol prevention program, aimed at anyone drinking more than three glasses of wine a week. Our mission is to transform the world’s relationship with alcohol. The future of behaviour change is peer support and we are amongst the pioneers.

The key to our program is not just cutting-edge behaviour change science, a robust technology platform to scale and reach a wide audience, but a highly engaged community that delivers 24/7 365.25 days support. 

The downstream impact of OYNB is enormous, enabling people to change behaviour before it’s a drain on social and economic factors. It's estimated to cost the UK government £52bn each year and that’s just alcohol.

That's staggering. So, how did the idea for your company come about?

I was an oil broker in London. I was never a problem drinker, no one told me I had a problem. I wasn't drinking every day or putting whisky on my cornflakes - I was just sociable and in London.

But, I took a break from booze and ALL of my life got better, fitter, faster, healthier, happier… I became a better dad, better husband etc. 

Now I'm passionate about helping everyone to experience the same benefits by taking a simple break from booze.


Love that! Do you think your views are mainstream or a little off-centre? How so?

We are disrupting a space so we are very much off-centre!

What are your three most important company values?

  • Be the change, lead by example
  • Serve others, make a difference
  • Ask what else can I do.

What is the biggest mistake you've made as an entrepreneur?

There are soooo many.  I am still making them. The biggest mistake was thinking I wouldn't make A LOT of mistakes.

Can you share any practical tips or processes to help people work remotely?

YES! Make sure you connect to your team daily, remember there is a pandemic going on so it’s really important to protect your team’s mental health, and they still need to feel connected. 


Couldn't agree more. So, how do you keep your team aligned?

Communicate the vision, communicate the vision, communicate the vision.

Do you have a share or option scheme in place for your team? What impact has it made?

Yes, and that has bonded us all together with a common goal.  They are invested in the business and excited to see the growth.

Equity aligns teams for sure. And finally, do you think you’ve got your work/life balance right? And if so, how so?

Ask me later it will be a different answer. It’s never a place... it’s a constant adjustment. Sometimes work is predominant, sometimes life is.

Thanks so much, Ruari! All the best with OYNB, it's a fantastic initiative.

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