Balancing the Grind with Daniel Kitay, Founder of FUNDAY Natural Sweets

Daniel is the owner & founder of Australia’s no. 1 better-for-you confectionery brand, FUNDAY Natural Sweets, sweetens the world with guilt-free indulgence.

Let’s start with your background! Can you share with us your career journey and what you’re currently up to?

Sure thing! So, after getting my degrees in commerce and law, I jumped into the tech world and landed at Lux Group (known for its popular Luxury Escapes business). I did a bunch of stuff there – everything from managing customer service, heading up sales, to eventually running a whole business, all thanks to my awesome boss, Adam Schwab.

After a while, my love for retail and FMCG took over and I switched gears to the vitamins and supplements industry and ended up working for the world’s largest vitamin brand BY-HEALTH. Truth be known, despite the great entitlements, I really didn’t enjoy the work and eventually wound up starting my own thing – FUNDAY Natural Sweets!

At FUNDAY, we’ve found the sweet spot; deliciously natural lollies packed with gut-loving goodies, no sugar added and no sugar alcohols. We are Australia’s leading better for you confectionery brand and stocked in 5000 stores across the globe.

We’d love to know what a typical day is like for you. Could you describe a recent workday?

You bet! I’m not naturally an early bird, but try to kick start my day at 6 AM with a Peloton ride. Post workout, I hang out with my wife and our adorable 2-year-old, Willow. Depending on the day, I either get cracking with work from home or head into the office, usually with a podcast keeping me company.

Now, work’s a whole cocktail of phone calls, meetings, emails, and catching up with our team, suppliers, and retailers. When the day wraps up, it’s back to home base where I put on my chef’s hat and whip up dinner for Willow – can be a bit crazy (in fact, most evenings are a bit hectic!) but I wouldn’t trade it for anything!

After my wife gets home, it’s our dinner time – usually something healthy like grilled protein with a side of salad and veggies. We’ve been crushing on this local restaurant’s hot Asian broth with wontons and veggies – super yummy and perfect for winter. We always end the night with a pack of FUNDAY – at the moment we are crazy about the Sour Cola flavour!

Can you define work-life balance for yourself and share with us your approach in maintaining it?

Yeah, for sure! Work-life balance for me is all about making time for the stuff that really counts: getting fit, hanging out with my family, and of course, doing the work I love. As I am Jewish, I take inspiration from the principles of Shabbat. It’s all about taking a step back, relaxing, and really switching off.

So, I’m a weekday warrior, putting in the hours from Monday to Friday. But when it comes to weekends, I switch gears completely. It’s all chill time with family and friends, just like switching off for Shabbat. It’s my way of creating a clear divide between work and life, and it works for me!

Change is constant, and it’s essential for growth. Have you made any lifestyle changes in the past year to improve your work-life balance?

Definitely! I’ve been loving morning workouts thanks to Peloton (not sponsored!) – it’s been a game-changer amidst juggling parenthood, work, and fitness. I’ve also tuned up my diet for the better. But hey, work-life balance isn’t a one-stop destination; it’s a journey. I’m constantly figuring out how to balance the hustle of growing a business, creating a tight-knit family life and being social with mates.

We’re always on the lookout for new resources! Can you recommend any books, podcasts, or newsletters that have helped you in your journey towards balance?

Oh, absolutely! I’m a big fan of podcasts. How Dad’s Dad by Hamish is my go-to for parenting tips, Flux for news updates, and How I Built This for stories that pump me up.

Before we wrap up, do you have any final words of wisdom or insights on work, life, or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?

I’ve got two nuggets of wisdom. The first one is from Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers: “There is no such thing as luck, luck is when preparation meets opportunity.” It’s my mantra for staying prepared and hustling hard. The second one’s a quote from a Peloton instructor (I NEVER expected to say that!) who says: “Working hard is a privilege.” I take it to heart as a reminder to be grateful for my ability to put in the hard work – whether it’s getting up for that morning ride or growing a health-focused confectionery business.

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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.