CEOs / Interviews

Balancing the Grind With Reuven Barukh, CEO of Live Group

Reuven Barukh is the CEO of Live group, one of Australia’s leading payment service providers, where he leads a national team, across five Australian offices, as well as teams in the Philippines and Vietnam.

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

I am an entrepreneur at heart. I created my first business, a web hosting company, at age of 15, and then created an eCommerce mobile phone retailer, achieving eBay’s Titanium PowerSeller status in just one year.

I loved to tinker with technology from a very young age. I was fortunate to access the internet via a 28.8k modem and be interested in its evolution ever since.

I was an early adopter of DOS and Windows 3.1, and privileged with being intimately involved in the evolution of Windows, Microsoft and other platforms like UNIX/Linux and built my own PCs and coding scripts.

My dad was Executive Director and CFO of A2B Australia Ltd (formerly Cabcharge Australia Ltd). I was fortunate to watchfully see how one of Australia’s first truly mobile EFTPOS fleet was deployed across the country and gain an intimate understanding of how payment systems operate.

This experience paved the way to have a keen interest in payments in general and provided a foundation for a true understanding of the payment’s ecosystem.

I am currently the CEO of Live group and proud to lead a national team, across 5 Australian offices, as well as teams in the Philippines and Vietnam.

Live group has evolved from a one-brand payment technology platform geared to taxi drivers (Live taxi) to a diverse mix of brands offering everything from payment solutions (Live eftpos), lending and insurance (Live capital and Live insure), to the most recently launched SMS marketing tools (Live sms).

We are proud to service thousands of businesses across Australia and continue to introduce new products and services that adds value to their businesses.

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

I am very fortunate to have an extremely supportive wife! My wife and I have 3 children, all under 5 years old.

Meditation and mindfulness are extremely important to me, and something which I practise most mornings. It’s important for me to have ‘me time’ in the morning before the children awake.

So, that means an early wake up for me, to get ready, meditate, review the plan for the day, and work on any critical items which may need my attention. After that, I give complete focus to my family at breakfast time.

As our youngest child is only a few months old, I’ve recently been dropping the older two children to daycare on most days, which I thoroughly enjoy as a start to my day!

I love what I do and believe in intertwining the ‘work week’ and ‘life’ together. That means making time during the workweek to attend to family-related items, where possible, but also working before the children are awake, after bedtime and on the weekends.

I ensure that focused time spent with the family, is as non-disruptive as possible, especially during the weekend.

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

Yes, we have thankfully invested in the right tools and technology to allow for remote working conditions, especially with many national sales offices and offshore offices too. This was a critical investment which has really paid off.

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

Prior planning and prioritising! I plan each day and prioritise activities religiously, including on the weekends.

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

Work-life balance to me is enjoying what you do and understanding the fulfilment that will come after the hard times. I make sure that there is one day a week where I complete disconnect and take a ‘Sabbath’ from work, and focus on family, friends and self-reflection.

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?

  • Delegation – having an understanding that delegating too early is counterproductive and delegating too late is similarly counterproductive. True processes need to be developed, tested and implemented before delegation can occur.
  • Meditation – it’s important to constantly have perspective on your current situation, the reality of life situations and focus on long term goals which you set for yourself.
  • Perseverance – understand that only life experience can teach you the true meaning of this!

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

  • Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker
  • The Hard Things About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz
  • Ogilvy on Advertising by David Ogilvy
  • Principles by Ray Dalio

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

Try to be as ‘present’ as possible with my family every day.

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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.