Cassie Bell is the Co-Founder of Butter, an insurtech start-up that’s helping people protect the things they care about.
1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
I started my career working as a corporate lawyer and really thought I would just continue on that career path. But in August 2021 I decided to leave the law behind to build a startup.
I’m now the Co-Founder of Butter – an insurtech start-up that’s helping people protect the things they care about. My co-founder and I had the idea for Butter at a party when we were complaining to each other about the things we’d recently broken (laptop, earrings, etc.) that cost a lot to replace. We wanted super affordable and flexible insurance that we could manage like any other subscription, but it just didn’t really exist.
It sounds like a bizarre transition – especially because I had no insurance experience – but the idea for Butter kept me up at night. I knew that if I didn’t act on it, someone else would inevitably build a Butter equivalent, and I’d watch from the sidelines and wonder ‘what if?’.
As a lawyer I also worked on a lot of IPOs, so I saw a bunch of start-ups at the ‘exit-stage’ of their journey, and was really fascinated by the way they built their businesses. So I took the leap and quit my job! It was terrifying but I’m so glad I did.
2) What does a day in your life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
- 6.00am – Gym, coffee, toast and wordle
- 7.30am – Check calendar, touch base with Steph (my co-founder) about priorities for the day
- 8.00am – Work on marketing strategy for launch
- 11.00am – Interview with a candidate for our Software Engineering role
- 12.00pm – Make lunch, go for a walk and get some fresh air (if it’s nice outside)
- 1.00pm – Startmate session on B2B sales
- 2.00pm – Catch up on emails / slack messages
- 4.00pm – Meeting with our tech teams to go through recent updates
- 5.00pm – Review copy for our app and website
- 6.30pm – Make dinner, watch an ep of The Bear (so good)
- 8.30pm – Check to-do list and chat with Steph about any blockers
- 9.00pm – Scroll TikTok in bed and bookmark 1000 ideas for Butter (I should say ‘read a book’ here but I would be lying)
- 10.00pm – Bedtime!
3) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
To me, work-life balance means viewing life as a whole instead of two separate parts. Some people love having a really clear distinction between work-time and personal-time. I prefer to go with the ebb and flow of the demands of both, and get them working together.
I achieve that in little ways like taking calls on the fly; running personal errands during the week when I need to; taking breaks when I’m feeling unmotivated or low-energy, and capitalising on times when I’m keen to get sh*t done.
Burnout is not only bad for your personal health, but it’s bad for business! If you’re not making time to see family, recharge, eat proper meals etc. then inevitably both your work and your wellbeing will suffer.
I think we could all benefit by appreciating that.
4) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?
I’ve started exercising a lot more consistently in the last 6 months. I’ve always been active, but never made space for a solid sweat session consistently in my day-to-day routine until this year. I know it’s cliché, but it really does help with your mental and physical health.
I also hate meditating – I know everyone tells you to do it, but it’s just not my thing. I’ve tried! I find going for a really long walk and listening to a podcast my form of meditation, so I’ve made more time for that this year as well.
5) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?
I’m a podcast junkie so my recs are all podcasts:
- For long walks: This American Life (a classic), Heavyweight, 99% Invisible
- For start-ups: HBR Ideacast, How I Built This
- For laughs: Smartless, Shameless, You’re Wrong About
6) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?
Generally I love hearing from other start-up founders who are balancing building a business and staying sane. Zara Seidler and Sam Koslowski (founders of the Daily Aus) in particular come to mind, because the news cycle is relentless and they are so QUICK!
7) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
I’ll share some advice we recently got from a mentor of ours: be kind to yourself – you’re doing better than you think!
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