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Balancing the Grind with Daniel Faloppa, Founder & CEO at Equidam

Daniel Faloppa is the Founder & CEO at Equidam, an online platform for startup valuation that is quicker and more cost effective than traditional services.

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

I’m the founder and CEO of equidam, a startup that helps other startups estimate their valuation online when they are raising capital. 

My background is in software and finance, I’ve been coding since middle school, but it has always been a side passion. I went on to study finance and then started Equidam straight out of my master’s studies.

During the years at Equidam, I’ve been wearing all hats, and conducted valuations of companies from all industries and sizes, from the smallest family investment to a Nasdaq IPO valuation.  

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

The structure of my days is fairly regular however the content varies a lot. After a simple breakfast, I check my emails, calendars and todos and write down the three priorities for the day. The next step is our web development daily meeting, the only fixed staple of the day.

The rest of the hours are spent on meetings and tasks depending on the day, but I generally try to reserve one or two hours for focused work every day. After work I generally go for a run and cook a simple dinner. The evening for me is reserved to reading or other activities.

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

We’ve been fully remote since covid so I’ve been working from home for about 2 years now, and it’s great.

We’ve developed practises and an internal culture that favours it and deals with the drawbacks (namely that you don’t bump into people randomly during or after work) and they allow us to turn remote working into a strength. Now we can hire from anywhere and talk to anybody around the world. 

It fits perfectly in my routine as it saves commuting time. It also makes the day more regular, allowing you to make lots of little habits for minor but necessary things. 

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

I love what I do, so I want to do as much of it as possible. However, I found out over the years that that doesn’t mean working all the time. If I do, my productivity goes down and then I need a longer recovery period. 

So for me, work life balance is about maximising my impact in the long term. For that, I found out that I need some time every day to ingest information that is not exactly work related, it can be adjacent or very far, but it has at least to be about another company or industry. This keeps adding to my knowledge without depleting the curiosity and energy that keep me going. 

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

Yes, I’ve started writing down in the morning the three things I want to accomplish today as well as three things I’m looking forward to in the same day. When I’m done with those three, I’m done for the day! If it’s early, great, I have time to focus on more priorities and have an extremely productive day. I commit to finishing them though, and this sometimes can take quite a bit of time. 

Overall though, I found that by writing down my goals and checking them, I get better at setting, completing and checking them. On the bonus side, you can have success streaks.

That’s why, if you adopt this system, a huge tip is to check emails, calendars and todos before setting the goals. You need to be realistic with what you have to do during that day, and how much time you have. All of us want to get rid of the urgent and focus on the important, but doing that completely is impossible. 

The main reason to adopt this system though, is to reach a balance. The strive of doing more is always there but it can be logorating. You can set your three priorities as big as you’d like, and this allows you to balance how much you strive forward vs the need of accomplishing something from time to time in order to keep going. 

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

Sure. 

Podcast: 

  • Below the line with James Beshara: For all founders and entrepreneurs tired of the hype that want to get honest advice from extremely successful people
  • Philosophize This! : Learn philosophy in the easiest and most entertaining narration ever

Books:

  • When I Stop Talking, You’ll Know I’m Dead by Jerry Weintraub
  • Creativity, Inc. by Amy Wallace and Edwin Catmull

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

Unfortunately my glasses and related cleaning cloth. My Kindle and running shoes probably.

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

Reid Hoffman and Jeff Weiner. Looking at the culture they created at LinkedIn I think they’d have very interesting points on the subject.

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

I’m not sure who’s the original author of this, but I think something worth thinking about is that the 9 to 5 work is a product of the last 200 years.

Before that, the vast majority of humans would wake up in the morning, often look at the weather, and decide if that was a good day to work or not. They also decided when to stop, they worked more when they had more energy, and relaxed when they were tired. 

We are trying to fit into this industrial age job definition that was really set for machines, 8 hours 3 turns a day allows you to run a factory 24/7. I think there are big gains in both happiness and productivity by striking the right balance between these two systems.

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About Author

Balance the Grind is a work-life balance publication on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.