Amreeta Abbott is the founder & CEO of Annature, a leading AU & NZ eSignature provider for small businesses and enterprises.
1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
I kicked off my career carving out a role for myself with my own financial adviser after my personal experience of getting a mortgage, buying a house, and a car at a young age made an impression.
From there I doubled down and collaborated with accountants and advisers for several years, really understanding how the industry works. Nearly a decade ago I started my own company, NowInfinity, a corporate compliance and documentation technology company that helped address an abundance of pain points.
In early 2020 I sold it to an ASX-listed company. Then I realised I missed the daily challenges and invested again in my own future – this meant I looked at further pain points I had identified. I could clearly see they needed solving.
Today, I’m at the helm or on the board of a dynamic ecosystem of multiple fintech organisations.
2) What does a day in your life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
I’m awake early, around 5am most days. That’s been the pattern of my life for years. I like the quiet of the morning – it helps to rearrange my thoughts and plan for my day ahead.
Currently I am kicking my day off with a team huddle which helps prioritise what’s happening on a daily and more long-term basis – and it helps me share information with everyone. I am also a big user of messaging platforms to share updates and positive feedback with my teams.
3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
Absolutely. Being a fintech innovator I have always advocated for total digitisation – this means flexible and remote working is normal. For me this gives me the ability to meet the demands of life and work and enjoy the journey, not just the destination.
4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
I am lucky that I live near the Gold Coast and seeing the ocean and people enjoying this great lifestyle keeps me in check. I don’t necessarily need to be the person walking along the beach to be reminded it’s important to put some balance into your life – a walk or run along beside it can be just as beneficial.
I’m also not going to lie – building successful businesses means that at some times you don’t have balance right then. But you can enjoy the benefits of demanding work with downtime when the time is right. This belief keeps me motivated.
5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?
Apart from COVID stopping my love of travel, the single biggest change I have made in the last 12 months is combining my entrepreneurial goals with a new phase of my personal life.
I love my two sons dearly and the oldest has been living abroad and is now planning the next phase of his life – he’s getting married! – and my youngest recently purchased and is renovating his first home. This means making new memories with my expanding family members.
6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?
When I was a teenager my father gave me Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill – and it really inspired me to learn more about being master of my own financial destiny. I also like The Spanx Story, the story of how Sara Blakely created a billion-dollar empire. We can all dream.
7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?
Well, Annature for eSigning for a start. Then I would have to say my phone, my laptop and my car. I am always on the go and doing things at the speed everyone tells me. Except for driving of course!
8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?
Alex Pang wrote a book about working a 4-hour day and why rest is so crucial for creativity. Literally working less equals doing more. I read that and it really freed up how and where I work – it was quite liberating to be honest.
9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
No matter what your personal circumstances are – sometimes you have balance and sometimes you don’t.
What you can achieve however is acceptance that you can control the outcome of these periods. If you don’t let either time overwhelm you, it won’t. You have more control over being satisfied with your life than you believe.
And to quote Sara Blakely again: ” Don’t be intimidated by what you don’t know. That can be your greatest strength and ensure that you do things differently from everyone else.”
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