CEOs / Founders / Interviews

Balancing the Grind with Byron Goldberg, CEO & Co-Founder at Bobbob

Byron Goldberg is the CEO & Co-Founder at Bobbob, an investment platform allowing users to earn a fair interest rate

Learn about the daily routines from the most successful people in the world by signing up to our newsletter

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

I studied at the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa, then worked at EY in Financial Services in Johannesburg, New York & Sydney. Whilst at EY, co-founders and I created a crypto fund where we helped people invest in the nascent asset class!

I then approached Luno to launch in Aus, writing a cheeky cover letter to an irrelevant job posting, and to my surprise, they hired me to launch and run the business in Australia. After a few years, it was time to start Bobbob.

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

A classic day for me is sleeping in as late as possible (I don’t function at 100% at anything less than 8 hours) so I take sleep pretty seriously. I try to wind down before bed by watching some non-fiction TV, usually docos, then read a non-fiction book (currently Obama’s).

I wake up, jump out of bed and make a coffee with my percolator right away. While that’s boiling, I open up my laptop and start off my day. I try to do deep work from around 7am till our stand-up at 12:30, and try to reserve that time to have no meetings at all.

Stand-ups unfold, we set our goals for the day and get to work. As a remote team, we actually sit on a video call the whole day, to try to increase communication and teaming, as WFH can be lonely! This has worked super well.

We build new features and bug-fix all day. After the stand-up, I’ll eat some lunch, then either help the team out with testing, or get onto calls with partners and investors. At around 3 pm, when my brain starts to frizzle, I head for a run or to the gym for a max 45-minute session to reboot.

Back to work, maybe get to the odd email or 2 and work till dinner. Eat with my partner, chat for a bit and back to my laptop until either 9 or 10 pm! Repeat.

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

It’s a mysterious art which I’ve not yet mastered. I’m a social human, but take Bobbob seriously, and often find myself neglecting the life side of things. I try to make sure I have plans every Friday and Saturday night, and on the odd occasion have a couple drinks to let loose (when I can do less serious work the next day).

It’s hard to achieve running a start up as there is always a long list of things to do, as well as more and more items adding to that every day, so every second is a moment to be able to tick some items off that list.

As of late, in an effort to try to live a little, I have calendar reminders set up every Tuesday to remind me to make plans on the weekend. I also try to read and reply to WhatsApps and texts on Thursday on my commute into the city when we work from the office, else they remain unread for a while!

Finally, I love to exercise, so exercising every day, running past the beautiful bays in Sydney or gyming outdoors, is how I stay sane and keep balanced. I also try either sauna or go for a walk for 30 minutes a day, without my phone, to just let my thoughts be.

I find this almost meditative, as there are no screens or notifications to break your thought process, and all the stressors or problems you have during the day can come out and you can think about them clearly, whether you solve the problems or not, you realise what they are, that they exist, and that you need to try to resolve them.

Elon Musk, Kobe Bryant, Naomi Osaka, Simone Biles, receive a new daily routine each week about some of the most successful people in the world.

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

I started turning off my alarm in the morning to allow myself to sleep in, this has changed my productivity immensely, and really helps me achieve more during the day so I can buy myself time to live.

I’ve also stopped looking at financial markets, as I found this sucks up a lot of time. I leave some crypto in liquidity pools to earn passive income and that’s about it. Something dramatic that also helped my sleep, a lot, is not going from my laptop, working, right to bed.

Having 30 or so minutes of TV to allow my brain to cool off allows me to fall asleep immediately, that’s been a massive game changer for me. Glad my partner forced me to buy a TV after living without one for 6 months.

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

Huge fan of Thinking, Fast and Slow, and Black Swan. They’re both perspective-changing books that have really changed the way I think about the world and decision-making every day. Podcasts: for crypto, Epicenter (super technical but amazing to stay in the know of what’s being built by the builders every day) while to chill out, I love No Such Thing As A Fish.

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

Elon Musk.

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

Hard work always pays off, no matter what you do. While it might be hard to step away, in a weird way, going out and being with friends and meeting people is often the best way to make new connections and help your work succeed, listening to others’ stories, feedback and real-life problems.

Before you go…

If you’d like to sponsor or advertise with Balance the Grind, let’s talk here

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.