Balancing the Grind with Anastasiya Loukienko, Co-Founder at VIA Co

Anastasiya Loukienko is the co-founder at VIA Co, a company that systematically develops mission alignment and strategic advancement across your organisation.

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

My career really reflects my growth as a person. 

At the start, I kind of “fell into” recruitment and that was one of the most exciting and challenging things that could have happened to me. That time in my life really helped me to grow and partnering with such a variety of businesses (from start-ups to big enterprises) gave me so many insights into what works and what doesn’t in a business.

I became empowered to start actively shaping my career and life. This led me into trying people & culture, which broadened my scope and influence within an organisation and gave me an even stronger appreciation for start-ups, ultimately giving me the courage to jump into my own venture.

My partner and I had talked about starting our own business for many years and he had actually wrapped up his job a year earlier to give it a go. Having done as much as he could then, it was either time to pause or an opportunity for me to jump in. I decided to go for it and it’s been the best decision I’ve made!

Together, we co-founded VIA Co, a company that helps founders and executive teams with strategic focus across their organisations. The most exciting part for us is applying some of the latest discoveries in neuroscience and quantum physics to how business leaders execute their strategies better!

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

I’ll be honest with you, the start of my day looks like a conglomeration of all those personal development articles bundled into one: “the top things all highly successful people do as part of their morning routine to have the most productive and happy day!” 

But there’s a reason for it, one of the big pillars that underpins VIA Co is maximising performance and once I figured out what works, and experienced flow state, I started craving it. It’s incredibly peaceful and blissful.

So, my days always start with my 2 hour morning routine – including stretching, yoga, meditation (or breathwork, depending on the day), and exercise – to prepare my body for deep focus. 

Then I start work by syncing up with myself (while enjoying a celery juice, of course) and then a quick sync up with my partner (which includes a little visualisation exercise).

Then breakfast and diving into my tasks for the day. Just like all founders, my day varies from doing accounts and finances one day to social media the next to sales meetings the one after that. It’s really satisfying to make our vision a reality, one day at a time!

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

Well, a good example of this is going back to my morning routine.

When I was working an office job, I *had* to wake up at 5am to make time for myself. With VIA Co, we have the flexibility to start the day after balancing and taking care of ourselves, because we know the quality of the work we produce after is significantly higher. Some of our best “aha!” moments and breakthroughs happen when we’re most at ease, so that’s always a priority.

I’m also pretty lucky in that I work with my partner and we keep each other quite grounded and balanced (especially when one of us gets carried away). 

As a founder, it’s easy to get excited and just keep going, but it’s really important to watch out for your own early-warning signs (e.g. procrastinating, craving junk food, bingeing on social media, etc.) and address them before they snowball. My go-to is getting out to nature. It really helps me to rebalance and get a bit of perspective.

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

Over the course of the past three years, after learning about gut health and experiencing the positive effects firsthand, I’ve really transformed how I eat. I quit caffeine and alcohol, started cooking more at home (knowing what I’m actually putting in the food I consume), and incorporating more probiotics in my diet.

But I kept putting off quitting refined sugar. I knew it wasn’t good, but I had the biggest sweet tooth and kept that as my little vice, until about 8 months ago, when I discovered Medjool dates (and other healthy alternatives). Once I started, it was actually much easier than I had anticipated and it really made a difference to my energy levels (especially that afternoon dip).

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

A really cool book that transformed how I view the world around me is one by Thomas Campbell (a former NASA physicist) called My Big Toe: A Trilogy Unifying Philosophy, Physics, and Metaphysics: Awakening, Discovery, Inner Workings. It really broadened my understanding of reality, especially in relation to consciousness.

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

In work and in life, we experience highs and lows. One thing that has helped me develop resilience is writing down (and regularly revisiting) my long-term vision. It serves as a “North Star” when times are tough, and also when times are really great (which, oddly enough, is when people are more prone to veering off-track). 

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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.