Bill Mali is the CEO of Paycepaid, a software company that is a forerunner in providing an end-to-end automated solution for the entire receivables process to businesses of all sizes.
To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
During my teenage years, I lived in Kuwait. My father migrated to Kuwait in the late 1990s during a construction boom and established businesses there. As I moved between his various ventures, I received most of my education through home-schooling.
In the 2000s, I eventually settled in Australia, where I pursued an advanced diploma at TAFE. I quickly realised that university wasn’t the right path for me, so I started working in the hospitality industry, mainly on overnight shifts.
The exhaustion from those demanding hours prompted me to look for more stable employment options. I applied for several ‘collection’ jobs and was ultimately hired at Optus, which became a turning point in my career.
Over the past 15 years, I have dedicated myself to personal growth and advancement within the field of collections. Starting as a phone debt collector over the phone, I gradually progressed to senior management positions, overseeing global collections. Throughout the years, I harnessed the frustrations I encountered in the industry to create my own business, Paycepaid.
I consider myself extremely fortunate to collaborate with exceptional individuals who share the same passion, dedication, and ambitious mindset. Our collective goal is to develop one of the finest customer-centric debt collection software solutions available in the market.
What does a day in your life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
Every morning, my day kicks off at the crack of dawn, around 5:30 am. I kick-start my morning routine with a strong cup of coffee and a swift check of my emails and messages. By 6:30 am, I love to hit the golf course for some practice swings.
But things have changed lately. With the recent acquisition of Australian Debt Recoveries, my responsibilities have expanded. Now, I find myself embarking on a 100 kilometre journey each way to our office in Wollongong. By 9 am, I arrive at the office, ready to dive into action.
I start my day with a quick chat with our operations team, getting up to speed on the day’s plans and strategies. Then, it’s time to catch up with our brilliant technical team, discussing innovative ideas and tackling any challenges that come our way. As the day progresses, I navigate through various priorities, taking them head-on as they arise.
While we’re still a startup, I don’t hesitate to roll up my sleeves and pitch in wherever needed. From operational tasks to sales initiatives and even testing, I do whatever it takes to ensure that our team keeps moving forward and continues to grow.
Each day is an exhilarating adventure, fuelled by passion, ambition, and a relentless drive to push boundaries. I thrive in this dynamic environment, ready to conquer new challenges and lead our team towards success.
What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
I am blessed with a loving wife and two incredible daughters. Although our mornings are often spent apart, I make it a point to be home for dinner most nights, ensuring that I give my undivided attention to my precious little ones until it’s time for bed.
The idea of not working on weekends used to be a struggle for me. I would grapple with guilt, feeling as though I should constantly be doing something productive or achieving more. However, I’ve come to realise the importance of letting go and avoiding burning out. It’s a lesson I’m learning, one step at a time.
To balance it all, I’ve made it a priority to engage in family activities every weekend. We go on little getaways, exploring new places, creating memories together. We also seize every opportunity to spend time with our friends and family members. And of course, there’s our lovable furry companion, Byron, who always brings joy to our lives. We play endless games of fetch and take delightful walks, relishing in the simple pleasures of life.
Through these moments of connection, relaxation, and joy, I find solace and rejuvenation. It’s in the laughter of my children, the warmth of my wife’s embrace, and the wag of Byron’s tail that I discover the true essence of a fulfilling work-life balance.
In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?
One of the most powerful lessons I’ve learned is the art of saying “No.” It was a tough one to grasp, as I had always found myself overcommitting and striving to please everyone around me. However, those days are long gone, since now I understand the value of my time.
Furthermore, I have embraced the profound impact of listening more and speaking less in every part of my life. This deliberate shift has been instrumental in both my professional endeavours and personal relationships. I have discovered the immeasurable value of truly hearing others, granting them the space to express themselves fully.
By incorporating these principles into my daily life, I have witnessed remarkable transformations. I have grown more confident in my choices, more discerning with my commitments, and more attuned to the needs and desires of those around me.
Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?
Nearly 80 percent of the books and podcasts I listen to are based on entrepreneurship. What truly gets me excited, are the stories of audacious entrepreneurs who have defied the odds and crafted extraordinary companies from humble beginnings.
These entrepreneurial tales inspire me to push beyond my limits, to embrace challenges as opportunities for growth, and to cultivate an unwavering spirit of perseverance. They remind me that success is not reserved for those with privileged backgrounds or endless resources.
Instead, it’s the result of unyielding determination, relentless pursuit of knowledge, and an unwavering commitment to one’s purpose.
If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?
Stephen Covey wrote The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People and it’s a classic for a good reason. Those insights, more than 30 years after publishing, still ring true today .
Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
This advice is particularly aimed at aspiring entrepreneurs. It’s crucial to prioritise self-care and let go of any guilt associated with taking time off. Your well-being should always come first. In the early stages of building your venture, remember that without your own health and vitality, there is no company to nurture.
I confess, I too have been guilty of working long, gruelling hours and neglecting my own needs. Some days would pass without a moment of rest. However, I soon discovered the toll it took on my overall well-being. It became apparent that achieving optimal productivity and accomplishing more was intricately tied to taking care of myself.
When I prioritised getting a decent night’s sleep and incorporated regular breaks into my schedule, my productivity soared to new heights. I found myself thinking more clearly, making sound decisions, and maintaining sustained focus throughout the day. The seemingly counterintuitive act of stepping away from work actually allowed me to return with renewed energy and sharper insights.
Recognising the intrinsic value of self-care enabled me to strike a healthier balance between work and personal life. I learned that taking care of myself was not a luxury or a selfish act, but a prerequisite for sustainable success.
So, to all those entrepreneurs, remember this: prioritise your well-being, allow yourself time to recharge, and banish the guilt that may accompany moments of rest. Embrace the understanding that your productivity and effectiveness are intricately tied to your physical and mental health. By doing so, you’ll not only enhance your own journey but also set the stage for long-term success, paving the way for a flourishing company and a more fulfilling entrepreneurial experience.
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