CEOs / Interviews

Balancing the Grind with Chris Noone, CEO of Collaborate Corporation

Chris Noone is the CEO of Collaborate Corporation, which operates flexible car subscription company, Carly Car Subscription, providing an alternative to buying or leasing a car.

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

My early career was in marketing and this led to gigs working in the jewelry industry, running a video game publisher and a TV production company. While living In London I worked in the early days of the mobile content industry when touch screens and apps were still in the future.

I ran the mobile business for NineMSN before running my own mobile games and apps business. I was tempted away from self-employment for my current role as CEO of Collaborate Corporation which operates Carly Car Subscription, an alternative to buying or leasing a car  

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

The work day starts on my phone (yes, I am probably a bit addicted) before I get to work, scanning for important emails and anything urgent. I have 1:1 catch ups with my team most days to keep up to date with marketing, sales, finance, tech and business development.

Carly is a growth business so there are a lot of new things to work on, launch and promote. I find myself writing and reviewing numerous press releases, ASX announcements and investor presentations which requires deep concentration (headphones on, thumping beats).

Meetings with clients are now usually held via video which is much more efficient than travelling hours for a meeting.

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

We have found a remote work/office compromise to balance the need for COVID-safe working whilst also ensuring that the team spends time together to collaborate.

We work 3 days in the office and 2 days at home and this has been really well received – attendance at the office is voluntary but we have close to 100% attendance. It has helped us all strike a balance between work responsibilities and life admin , making it easier to do something as simple as picking up a parcel from the post office.

It’s a nice change to take the dog for a walk at lunch time instead of eating in a windswept city food court.   

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

If you look after your mental and physical health it usually means you can work more efficiently and then you have more time (and energy) to focus on life outside of work. If you get it right it forms a virtuous cycle where each action makes the next easier or more enjoyable.

You know when you are in the groove, and when you’re not you have to make some changes to re-align. To get in the groove I start the day with exercise. When I’m in the office I commute to work by bicycle and when working from home I swap the commute for an ocean swim.   

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

I haven’t worn a suit for 6 months or handed out a business card and I own a lot more T-shirts. I exercise more and have tried to stop worrying about things I can’t change. I still haven’t learnt to play that guitar that is sitting in the corner, taunting me.

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

I should say the FenderPlay guitar lesson app, but alas it’s not being used much. I’m not a big one for podcasts for newsletters, but I’m in some chat groups with some great friends who I swim, sail, fish and do yoga with. I laugh a lot and learn a lot more from them than any stranger who professes to be an expert.

7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?

Samsung Galaxy S20 (never an iPhone) with Bluetooth headphones. Fly6 bike camera so I can see who ran me off the road

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

Any of the Chief Health Officers who have gone on TV each day to announce how many people have died and why others can’t go to work. Tough, but very important job with so many consequences.  Would like to know if they find any balance.

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

You are responsible for your own happiness.

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Order our Daily Routines ebook today! Featuring first-hand interviews, insights and revelations compiled from 50 of the world’s most successful people.
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.