Founders / Interviews

Balancing the Grind with Alex Logan, Co-Founder at Cecil

Alex Logan is the co-founder of Cecil, a global platform that makes it easy to manage natural capital assets that enhance ecosystems, preserve biodiversity and accelerate the transition to net-zero.

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1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?

I started my career packing boxes for Hellofresh when it launched in Australia. Aside from wicked packaging skills, I fell in love with the start up culture and working environment. This encouraged me to join a startup when I finished my degree at UTS (University of Technology Sydney).

I had the privilege of finding my way into product management at two start ups in the Sydney tech ecosystem, Beat the Q (now HeyYou) and Ordermentum. These experiences were formative in teaching me how to build sticky products, execute growth strategies and lead a team.

I took a step out of the local ecosystem and joined Boston Consulting Group Digital Ventures to experience how the rest of the world builds products. It was a crazy ride living in Tokyo, Los Angeles and different cities in South East Asia.

I was thrown to heavy construction industries, pet insurance and ended up building seven products from 0 to 1 in four years. These diverse experiences changed my view on the world and exposed me to incredible humans, such as my co-founder Rory.

Together, we have committed the rest of our careers to building climate tech companies. Beyond our ambitions to build a global natural capital platform, we’re determined to encourage others to work in climate tech and apply their skillset to the existential issue of our time.  

2) What does a day in your life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?

I am going to share the ideal state, but this isn’t always how it pans out. Early gym session to get my body moving and start the day with a clear mind. I only have one recurring meeting which is a stand up with Rory at 8:30am.

The core part of my day is currently filled with candidate interviews, sales pitches and other varied catch ups with investors, climate network etc. I’m also responsible for product operations and working with our distributed engineering team.  

3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?

We are a fully remote and distributed team across Australia, India, Estonia, Spain and the US. We have a book worth of learning from the experience, but we make it work by staying super organised in Notion.

We encourage and promote flexible work and it’s at the core of how our business started in the pandemic, twelve months ago. The best part is our team members are empowered to manage their own time and they feel trusted by others.

I haven’t always managed my time effectively as a first time founder and I can find myself on calls at all hours of the day making up for lost time. 

4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?

Energy is my key indicator for work-life balance. I track this across a number of different qualitative and quantitative measures.

I wear a Whoop and obsess over my recovery scores to understand if I am ready to perform at work, enjoy exercising and make the most of time with friends and family. I practice mindfulness with meditation, a psychologist and multiple advisors to understand how I am performing and clear my mind from the noise. 

5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?

I have doubled down on a habit that was giving me varied success over the past 5 years. I write down every thought, as quickly as possible. Mostly, these thoughts end up on a post note or in the notes app on my phone.

I started to recognise that I would have a thought, forget it and then it would often take days, if not weeks, to pop back into my mind. Writing it down captures the thought and helps ensure I have a tangible reminder of what needs to get done.

This works for meetings, when I am chilling out or even those moments where you wake up in the middle of the night with a thought (hoping that’s not just me). 

6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?

Podcast – Investing in Operating Systems with Alex Rampell 

Book – High Output Management by Andrew Grove

Newsletter – Climate Tech VC 

7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?

Post-it notes

8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be? 

Any other first time founder! 

9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?

Everyone has experienced tremendous change over the past two years and it’s important to pause and reflect on what is working for you. Employers are ready to be guided on the future of work, take the opportunity to reimagine what’s possible for your career.  

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About Author

Hey there! I'm Hao, the Editor-in-Chief at Balance the Grind. We’re on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.