Annie Flamsteed is the Founder, Managing Director & Group CEO at iNSPIRETEK, a company that has combined evidence-based wellbeing programs with highly innovative technology.
1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
I am the founder and CEO of iNSPIRETEK, a health tech company I founded in 2019, off the back of my own personal struggles with Anxiety and an Eating Disorder.
I was an elite gymnast growing up, and although I had everything I needed to succeed as a young athlete, I struggled due to not having the support and resources I needed to develop mental resistance.
I grew up in Toowoomba, 1.5 hours west of Brisbane and there weren’t a lot of mental health practitioners out there, nor were there the systems in place to monitor and intervene with supportive platforms for young people in schools or sporting clubs.
After playing literally every role in the company, I now focus my attention on product innovation and vision, capital raising and strategic planning and development of the long term company strategy.
2) What does a day in your life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
At the moment, every day is different #startuplife. But I do have two semi-consistent days I rotate through depending on schedule.
These are my ‘US days’ or my ‘AU days’. The main difference is when I sleep. Yesterday, for example, was a US day. My alarm went off at 3am, and the first meeting was at 4. So I wake up, have a hot lemon water and a shower, then I try to meditate for 5-10 mins [try is the key word here], then I make a coffee and check my emails / prep for my first meeting. On US days, I then dive into meetings for a few hours, do the follow-up needed straight after and then I go out for a run or hot yoga.
The rest of the day consists of meetings and action items, usually with a 20 min arvo nap. Then I hit the hot yoga studio again, and make a super healthy meal. On US days I try to stay up as late as I can to get myself back into my sleep routine, and MAKE SURE I wake up at my usual 5am the next day.
On AU days, it is much the same, except my alarm goes off at 5am, lemon water + shower, meditate and then exercise. Shower and off to work. Similarly, I end my day with exercise, either a run, a walk or some yoga and usually even though I try not to, I need to take action after dinner, just the nature of the beast!
3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
YES, and with ALL of my staff across all divisions of our company we make sure this is an option for them. For me, I work odd hours as mentioned above, but I also work between three cities: Toowoomba, Brisbane and Sydney. So working from cafes, hot desks and our HQ is usual during my weeks at work.
I used to be super super regimented with my schedule, now I am more flexible and allow myself to do whatever I need to be my best self. Sometimes that means working from home on days I had planned to go into the office, and others it has to be working from airport lounges and doing emails until 2 am to catch up.
4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
I have learned the secret is to remove too much-regimented structure from each day, and learn to be flexible with what ‘ work-life balance’ looks like and feels like for me that day. Sometimes I need more rest, others I can work an 18-hour day.
Work-life balance to me is feeling like I have achieved what I need to achieve without completely neglecting my health, my friends, my family and hobbies. I achieve this by journaling, being really honest with myself about what I need to be my best self, for the company and for my loved ones, and then making changes quickly to achieve this.
5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?
YES, I have stopped forcing myself to work massive hours when I am exhausted, and instead focus on quality over quantity. The best part is this has allowed me to achieve more, who knew!
6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?
Yes! Fitt Insider, Hustle Magazine and Invest Like The Best.
7) Are there any products, gadgets, or apps you can’t live without?
My Oura Ring. I have tried so many wearables and I LOVE this. It is the perfect balance between performance and recovery. Plus I wear a lot of gold so the gold one matches all of my corporate and sporty attire!
8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?
As crazy as it sounds, I would love to read a Q&A between a super early stage start-up founder who’s in the busiest / craziest phase, and a super late-stage founder who’s further down the track. I think it would be pretty clear that their habits are the same and their stresses are the same, and they need similar skills to cope. But I would love to read that.
9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life, or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
Work-life balance is different for everyone. Sometimes, a hard-core grind is needed to achieve what you want or need to achieve. Other times, less is more. Be really honest with yourself about what YOU need, and be kind to yourself to allow it to shift as you go through different life and work phases.
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