Balancing the Grind with Ben Ratner, Product Manager, UX Designer & Growth Marketer

Ben Ratner is a freelance product manager, UX designer and growth marketer, with former stints working at HubSpot’s marketing & product team and a New York-based startup.

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

I am a Product Manager, UX Designer, and Growth Marketer. I started my career at HubSpot and spent 6 years on the marketing and product teams before leaving to join an early stage startup as their first product manager.

Unfortunately, COVID-19 hit us like it hit everyone else, and I was laid off in March. Currently doing freelance design, marketing, and product management.

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

Well, there are no work days anymore, per se! But I wake up around 8. Then I make coffee and eat breakfast. Then I meditate. Then I work from 9 to about 5 or 6. At some point I take a break for lunch and to take my dog out. When I’m done working, I work out or go for a run. Then I read and hang out!

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

I worked remotely for HubSpot for 1.5 years, and at the time that I left my previous company, we had transitioned to being fully remote.

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

Work life balance means achieving my professional goals and getting everything done, but not at the expense of my personal life and goals.

5) What do you think are some of the best habits or routines that you’ve developed over the years to help you achieve success in your life?

Meditation. A clear headspace is the foundation for everything else. It helps me focus, think through problems, organize my day, and stay on top of things.

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

  • Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig
  • Atomic Habits by James Clear
  • How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
  • The Art of Loving by Erich Fromm
  • Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

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


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

Marcus Aurelius.

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

The internal dysfunctions of the mind become the external dysfunctions of the workplace. Chaos within manifests itself in everything you do.

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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.