Founders / Interviews

Balancing the Grind with Andrew Kidd, Co-Founder at Onsport

Andrew Kidd is a co-founder at Onsport, one of Australia’s first online-only sports and fitness stores, bringing together a huge range of sport and fitness products for Aussie sport and fitness fanatics to shop online.

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

My career started in accounting at Macquarie Group, following a 6 month internship, as part of the UTS Bachelor of Accounting degree.

After 3 years working in accounting, I took an opportunity to move internally within Macquarie to a small cross-functional project team in Banking and Financial Services, to launch the Macquarie Cards Division.

It was a fast-paced, super interesting project, providing a great breadth of experience, in a start-up-like environment. In 2010, a Macquarie colleague, Matt and I co-founded, one of Australia’s first online only sport and fitness stores.

Onsport was the first Australian online only sports store to integrate loyalty rewards programs into our platform, for customers to earn and redeem loyalty points from our major loyalty partners.

In 2019, the business sought and secured investment to scale up and significantly grow. My current role is Co-Founder & Head of eCommerce and Marketing.

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

My day to day for Onsport is very dynamic and there really is no typical day (which keeps things interesting!).

The more regular activities in my day include: calls with our marketing agencies to brief in upcoming marketing activities and review performance and adjust where required, calls/meetings with our major wholesale brands to view new product ranges, discuss marketing opportunities and review sales performance of the brand.

I’m usually also on calls or emailing with the marketplaces that we’re listed on and our loyalty partners, discussing marketing opportunities.

In addition to this, there’s a number of internal meetings and tasks, such as planning and briefing in marketing promotions to our graphic designer, helping our content production team prioritise their pipeline of tasks, briefing our developers for core system and site UX updates and managing the integration of new payment methods or the integration of a new marketplace we may be listing on.

Finally, I spend time reviewing analytics and sales data and organising and planning activities across multiple functions.

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

Yes, my current role provides the flexibility of working from home usually two days per week.

This works well as my commute into the office is over 2 hours, so working from home a couple of days a week not only breaks up the long commute week, it also allows me to share home duties before and after work and spend a little extra time with my two kids first thing in the morning and in the evening.

Working from home two days a week, I usually organise my week such that I can get phone and zoom calls and more complex desk-bound tasks completed on the days I work from home.

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

To be honest, work-life balance is a struggle with long hours of work competing with family time (especially meeting the needs of a young family) and limited personal time.

I try to step away from the desk in the evenings around dinner time so that we eat together as a family and I also carve out time on the weekend to spend with the family and to go for a run.

Working from home provides the extra challenge of trying to switch off from work – this has been a challenge during the latest pandemic lockdown as with mobile phones and the computer just sat nearby, email, sales results and other things are very accessible and I can be easily distracted thinking I’ll do just one more thing for work and then put the phone/laptop away.

I’m learning that it requires self-discipline and sometimes a closed door to force separation between work and home life during the evenings.

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

Over the years I’ve enjoyed running for fitness and to compete in long distance events, however, when I’ve not had an event to train for, I’ve struggled with consistency.

Running more consistently is a habit I’ve introduced this year and it has helped to keep me on an even keel mentally and to feel sharper during the work day meaning better productivity. The other habit I’ve started is to have more protein in my diary.

This may sound like a very random habit but having enough protein in my diet by supplementing it each day with protein bars and a protein shake has allowed me to concentrate for longer, snack less and be much less reliant on hitting coffee during the work day for energy. Also taking short, regular breaks from my desk to stretch my legs is a habit that helps with my productivity.

Finally, I used to survive on 5-6 hours sleep, however, getting into the habit of banking more than 7 hours sleep a night has also really improved my wellbeing, concentration at work and life generally.

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

I love reading business books (my wife is always telling me to one day read a fiction book) and would recommend all of Richard Branson’s business-related books, The Long Tail by Chris Anderson, This is Marketing by Seth Godin, Blue Ocean Strategy by Chan Kim, Creative Calling by Chase Jarvis, Start With Why by Simon Sinek, Crushing It by Gary Vaynerchuk, The Messy Middle by Scott Belsky, Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh and many other business books!

In terms of podcasts I like listening to The Tim Ferriss Show, the GaryVee Audio Experience, Masters of Scale with Reid Hoffman, The Chase Jarvis Live Show and the Run to the Top by Claire Bartholic – my commute is long so I tend to listen to a lot of podcasts!

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

Ah, yes! I love my tech. First and most importantly, my coffee machine, then Google Maps (I would get lost all the time without that app as I’m very geographically challenged!), my phone (it goes without saying), desk monitor and wireless mouse and keyboard in my home office (hugely improved my posture), my running watch, running headphones, Strava (app) and in my down time, my DSLR.

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

I’d love to read an interview about work-life balance by the Prime Minister of Australia or President of the United States – if they can achieve some level of work life balance, everyone should be able to!

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

I think work-life balance should be a fluid/flexible concept in people’s minds – there’s always going to be times where work is extremely busy and naturally life needs to give way to work and vice versa for major life events with work necessarily giving way to those events.

I don’t think the goal should be work-life balance per se, because work is a part of life and the name suggests otherwise and that the two are opposed or at odds with each other.

Instead I think people should seek work that is fulfilling and enjoyable to them, whatever that may be, so that work feels more like part of life rather than this chore that needs to be done before life can be lived.

After all, most of us spend a lot of our waking hours at work over a lifetime. I believe the goal should be structuring work and leisure in the best mix to maximise happiness and success.

People’s views what of success looks like to them vary greatly depending on what they value the most – for some that may mean working 80 hour weeks to make a lot of money to buy things to point at and prove they’re successful, for others it might mean fewer hours and money because they value and prioritise other aspects of their life more than work, in their definition of success.

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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.