CEOs / Founders / Interviews

Balancing the Grind with Bettina McLeod, Founder & CEO of Try@Home

Bettina McLeod is the founder & CEO of Try@Home, a company on a mission to bring the enjoyment back to online shopping.

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

Throughout the years, I’ve built, grown and transformed numerous brands. I have a strategist background and love to problem solve. I currently own 2 businesses, a stunning 1950-60s swimwear label, called Sirens Swimwear and my largest and most challenging venture to date, the technology platform called Try At Home. 

I always had an entrepreneurial spark that began at the age of 14, I challenged the status quo by leaving school early and diving straight into business. Working on so many projects and businesses taught me that trading time for money was not a winning situation, and in order to create the lifestyle I wanted; I would need to become my own boss. 

As a single mother of a child with special needs, I know how important it is to create a balanced, automated and fun lifestyle. So when I’m not working on my businesses, you can normally find me spending time with my 15-year-old son, and Sir Wilson (my mini Old English Sheepdog) or socialising with friends. 

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

My mission is to disrupt the flow of e-commerce by making the customer the focus and putting the power back in their hands (literally) by allowing them to Touch, Try and Experience products before committing to their purchases with our Try@Home service. So I spend a lot of my time educating the mindset of brands, agencies, right through to my team. 

My natural flow is developing systems to enable scalability. This is only possible by how you think rather than how many tasks they complete. I spend time with my leaders to find constraints within each team, look at how we are approaching them and help those leaders to shift the block and regain momentum. 

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

About 10 years ago I learned about working to your natural flow. I understood clearly that I was incredibly talented at some things but was only using 5% of my ability in that area.

I was acting from the learned behaviours (that I’d read about, or learned in workshops, or seminars, or via private mentors) that I’d practised repeatedly but not necessarily out of my natural state of flow/talent.

Once I shifted my focus to working on the things that were really natural to me, I was able to redirect tasks that I wasn’t really good at. I recruited very intentionally to fill in the gaps with genius people in their flow, which allowed me more time to embrace the things I’m really good at. 

4) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?

I made a divinity lifestyle choice when I opened my office on the southern end of the Gold Coast where life is all about lifestyle.

Our offices sit right on the lake where everybody can enjoy the peaceful calm water and light-filled space. We filled our offices with plants to create that home-style feeling. I wanted to make coming to the office feel as cosy as working from home. 

After 10 years of working from home, I’ve now got myself back into a fast routine in the morning to be able to get myself to the office and execute all my tasks before our 8.30 stand-up with all the staff. 

I curate days during the week to leave early to allow my brain some thinking time and I work very systematically by grouping my like-minded tasks on certain days during the week. 

  • Mondays: Focused on internal staff, meeting with all department managers. 
  • Tuesdays: Work from home and focus on financials and spreadsheets with no other distractions.
  • Wednesdays: Are about creativity, focusing my day with the Marketing team.
  • Thursdays and Fridays: Are spent out of the office networking, external meetings and networking to help scale the business. 
  • Saturday & Sundays: Are all about that beach life, bike riding, cocktails, markets and any other form of outdoor activities. 

5) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?

Add to Cart, has really relevant speakers in the E-commerce sector which I find really valuable. 

I stopped reading books recently, it’s all about the execution and what’s in your head. I’ve read so much over the years so it’s now time to use it. However there was one book that helped change my view on automation in business to free up my time: Rework by Jason Fried, the CEO of Basecamp. It shows you a better, faster, easier way to succeed in business.

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

I would love a book filled with answers from tech startups in e-commerce who have scaled globally. Wouldn’t that be the golden ticket! 

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

At the end of the day, it is not about how many hours you put into something but it is about the outcome that you achieve. I am all about outcomes and one of my talents is finding the gaps and solving the problems.

So I allow my mind plenty of time and space so that when real problems arise I can jump on them with a very clear mindset and solve them succinctly, rather than stressing about things. 

Stress is one of the biggest killers in making good decisions and it is the number one thing that I aim to avoid and therefore I have really programmed my brain to be able to respond to difficult situations without letting my head spin, and calmly and strategically be able to execute with exceptional outcomes.

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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.