Aprille Lim is the CEO & Founder of Seaquatix. Founded in 2016, Seaquatix was Aprille’s side hustle, but has since grown to become one of Australia’s leading travel accessories brand for waterproof phone cases and sand proof towels.
Seaquatix works with customers like Accor hotels, Hamilton Island, Elysian Luxury Retreat in the Whitsundays, and Canadian based global sports event producer, 365 Sports.
Let’s start with your background! Can you share with us your career journey and what you’re currently up to?
I have had an interesting career journey. I started off as a lawyer working in insurance litigation. However, after practising in the industry for about 5 years, I realised law wasn’t for me. After taking some time out to travel, I came back inspired to create a travel-related waterproof case start-up called Seaquatix.
We do premium and stylish waterproof cases for your phone and valuables. I was then approached by a PR Company who wanted to do PR for my brand, but as it was a side-hustle at the time, I didn’t have the money to go on a PR retainer, so I ended up leaving law and working for them instead! It was a scary leap of faith at the time, but I’m so glad I did it.
They were a great agency and really helped me hone my communication skills. Seven years later, I’m still in PR, working for Sefiani full-time in their tech division and working on Seaquatix as a side-hustle.
We’d love to know what a typical day is like for you. Could you describe a recent workday?
I’m not a morning person naturally, but I do believe in sticking to a morning ritual. I wake up, get ready for work (10-step skincare routine included haha), have a healthy breakfast, check emails on the way to work, work out my top 3 priorities for the day and focus on doing that first, then, I usually have a couple client meetings and team meetings, and then have a healthy lunch.
The afternoon is usually for writing tasks, and actions that need to be taken for the next day. After work, I go to personal training to get a solid workout in. Then, head home and make dinner for my partner and I while listening to a podcast.
After dinner, I spend about 2 hours working on Seaquatix (updating the website, dealing with orders, responding to emails, doing business development, or planning social content). Then, my partner and I spend some quality time together either practising Italian (mainly for my benefit and he is Italian haha) or watching something together, and then it’s bedtime!
Can you define work-life balance for yourself and share with us your approach in maintaining it?
I think the move to hybrid working has greatly improved my work-life balance. Prior to that, I felt stressed all the time trying to jam all my life admin into the weekends and still find time for myself and catching up with people. I never actually felt rested at the start of a new week because the weekend was so intense.
Now, having that flexibility to work on a schedule that works around me, has been key to greater happiness at work and at home. I’m also grateful that I work for a place that puts a lot of trust in its employees to manage their personal life but still get the work done. I think the key to maintaining it is having clear boundaries for yourself and communicating this to your teams. For example, Monday evenings is for Italian School or twice a week at 6:30pm is personal training.
Change is constant, and it’s essential for growth. Have you made any lifestyle changes in the past year to improve your work-life balance?
Yes. Learning to prioritise exercise and my health sits above everything. In my previous job as a lawyer, I spent more time wanting to make a good impression by working harder or longer, so that my health fell off the radar. As a result, I was always sick and had to take time out. Looking back, it was rather counterproductive.
Now, I make sure I prioritise my health – and as cliche as it sounds – if I can’t be at my best, then how can I give 100% to anyone else? So, I exercise 3-4 times a week, eat healthy, try to get 6-8 hours of sleep every night, and take time out on the weekend to do things which makes me happy. I think it’s about shifting your mindset and not feeling guilty for prioritising self-care. As a PR Professional and entrepreneur, I’m essentially working two full-time jobs, so being mindful of burnout is always at the forefront of my mind.
We’re always on the lookout for new resources! Can you recommend any books, podcasts, or newsletters that have helped you in your journey towards balance?
I am an avid podcast listener. My top 3 would be:
- Lewis Howes – The School of greatness
- Jay Shetty – On Purpose
- Lisa Bilyeu – Women of Impact
Finally, any of the teachings of Sadhguru – he is literally a spiritual master.
Before we wrap up, do you have any final words of wisdom or insights on work, life, or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
My three takeaways for everyone would be:
- Don’t take your health for granted – it sits at the core of everything else – like being productive at work, giving 100% to those around you, and being of service to your community.
- When prioritising your day, do the hardest things first – that way, it will give you a sense of achievement and set the tone for the rest of the day.
- Don’t feel guilty for taking time out to care for you – whether that’s doing something you love or doing nothing at all.
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