CEOs / Founders / Interviews

Balancing the Grind With Oliver Slobodetsky, CEO & Founder of Goodwill Getaways

Oliver Slobodetsky is the CEO & Founder of Goodwill Getaways, a company providing exclusive and luxurious holiday retreats for charity auction purposes.

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

Before my current role, I started my first business in high school selling sports trading cards and memorabilia with my business partner, Richard Ernster. It grew rapidly within a few years and before I knew it, we were running six shops around Sydney.

Since then, I’ve been in the charity and fundraising sector for more than 22 years now, providing unique auction items such as memorabilia, artwork and luxury holidays to charity events to maximise fundraising potential. It’s been incredibly rewarding and I’ve met a lot of inspiring people along the way.

I’m currently the Managing Director of Goodwill Getaways and we offer exclusive holiday packages and experiences to charity groups around the world, including groups in Europe, Asia, North America and Oceania.

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

A typical working day for me involves a lot of emails and phone calls – it seems I’m always on my phone!

I’m fortunate that I can work flexibly and I don’t always have to be in the office. As long as I have an internet connection, I can work from anywhere, which is particularly handy when I can choose an environment where I know I’ll be the most productive.

There’s a lot of managing and building relationships in my role so you’ll often find me in conversation, whether that’s a call, over email or in meetings.

Once I’m done for the day, I switch off from work, relax and spend as much quality time with my family as possible, which is without a doubt the best part of my day.

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

It definitely does! Since all my work is easily accessible with just an internet connection, I can work from anywhere and everywhere. I’m able to prioritise tasks better and manage more personal matters in my life. It’s all about achieving that balance and I’m lucky I can easily do so.

4. Do you have any tips, tricks or shortcuts to help you manage your workload and schedule?

This may seem obvious but it all comes down to knowing what works for you.

If you’re the type of person who remembers everything and stores every piece of information in your mind, then it’s likely you don’t need a diary to help you manage your schedule. If you’re like me and perhaps need a little bit of help, find the tools or kits that suit your needs and ones that you can easily manage.

For me, that means taking notes and documenting everything that happens in meetings, making sure all my work files can be easily accessed via a cloud drive and using Outlook Calendar where I make sure that every meeting, call, event or appointment is in there.

Being able to manage your workload and schedule is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Find what works for you – go through a bit of trial and error if you need to. If it’s something you can stick to and can regularly follow, then great!

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

Achieving a work-life balance means being able to prioritise the people and things that matter to me the most. I’ve worked extremely hard and have been able to figure out a work-life balance that suits my needs. I’m in a place now where I can enjoy the journey and spend as much time as possible with my family.

6. What do you think are some of the best habits you’ve developed over the years to help you strive for success and balance?

Being able to switch off when I need to. I know when I need a break from something and focus on another project, or switch off mentally from projects altogether.

In the times when I need a break, I turn off my phone for a couple of days and let myself recharge; it’s amazing what a couple of days or even a couple of hours can do for your productivity, not to mention, your wellbeing afterwards.

7. Are there any books that have helped you improve over the years?

This isn’t a book, but in terms of inspiration to help me succeed and improve over the years, it would have to be my parents. They came to Australia as refugees with no money and the absolute bare minimum when I was 6 years old, along with my brother.

Their bravery and hard work have always been at the back of my mind and at the forefront of allowing me to improve and be the best I can be every day, for me and my children.

8. What is the number one thing you do to make sure you get the most out of your day?

Apart from having a good rest the night before, I love relaxing and reducing stress by going to the sauna. If I’ve had a stressful day or I need to recharge, my answer is the sauna. I always leave feeling refreshed and like I can take on whatever is coming my way.

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

Prioritise what’s urgent and what’s important in your work and life. Try not to lose focus on those things and you’ll be able to achieve whatever you need to. Even better, find what motivates you and what your goals are.

My goal in life is to be the best parent I can be to my children and giving them more opportunities that were afforded to me. My family are the ones who guide me in my life, and my work and life are driven by them.


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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.