CEOs / Founders / Interviews

Balancing the Grind with Daniel Maneveld, CEO & Founder at JustFound

Daniel Maneveld, CEO & Founder at JustFound, a technology company based out of Asia that uses 360/VR/AR technology as an innovative solution to media and marketing.

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

I started my career journey when I was 16 (currently 28) working in a pizzeria and luxury events company based in Cape Town, South Africa. After that while I was studying I worked at one of the best restaurants in cape town where you work with many executives, producers, movie stars etc. where I learnt most of my people skills that I still use today. 

When I finished studying, I had always loved travel, so I decided why not become a travel agent and I started working for a flight centre which originally comes from Australia and at the time was the 3rd/4th biggest travel agency in the world. Here within 6 months I was working as assistant manager with the best performance in my store. I decided at this time to move to Asia to follow my dreams of firstly living in Asia and secondly becoming an entrepreneur. 

When I first moved over to Asia I worked 3 jobs daily 6-7 days a week. In the mornings I worked for a medical travel startup backed with seed investment of a few million. After that, I would go and private tutor English to 3 teenagers from 5-7pm and in the late evening teach English to children and adults online from 7:30-10:30 pm. 

After this I launched my first startup working in import and export bringing Tea from South Africa to Vietnam, we managed to get a massive first deal of over 100,000 tea bags and boom! Corona hit. The company fell through and we all went our separate ways. 

In November of 2021 I was selected for the Antler VC program in Vietnam for top founders and technical people. Where they select 60-70 people from around the country and region and put you together for 10 weeks with training on: business idea creation, validation, pitch deck creation, pitching with storytelling and much more by the best in the industry. 

Currently I am launching my next startup JustFound, an innovative Technology and Media company based out of Singapore. We are the bridge between past and modern agencies, we work with everything from traditional content creation to innovative means such as 360*/VR/AR Media & Marketing. 

I also do some consulting with most recently Lares.AI from India which helps make AI systems as easy as Canva. 

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

My workday starts at 6am when I wake up with my family and we do morning meditation (my partner, my two dogs, cat and I). 

After this we jump straight into cleaning the apartment as a clean space means a clear mind. 

Once it is clean we do exercise or yoga at around 7:30 am for 30 minutes before taking the next hour to get stuck into admin tasks, writing in journals and other tasks before getting stuck into work. 

At 9 am I start work officially even though I have been doing pre-work setting up the day the hour before. This is usually where I give my team updates, tasks, client info, social media management and sales.

From 9am – 12am I will work where I will take 1 hour to eat and play a game online, something that usually helps me reduce stress and activate different parts of my brain. 

From 12-5pm I work on creating new content for our site and socials, customer relationships and strategic partnership development.

After this from 5pm – 7pm I work on urgent issues that weren’t completed or came up late in the day. 

Often after this time I will consult however I don’t see that as work, all my past and present clients and I have great relationships where we can have in-depth conversations about the topics and other life related topics as being a founder/CEO doesn’t mean you aren’t a person. 

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

For me this is essential, burnout is real and I’ve had it a few times over the last few years. For me work life balance means remembering to find time to do the things that make us human and fulfil the other needs we have as social creatures. 

I surround myself with people that make it very easy for me to have this balance. My partner, friends and family are all extremely hard working but all have the ability to turn it off when they need to which I really struggle with. This helps me to be in environments that teach me how to do this and make it easier for me when I am taking a break. 

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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?

In the last year we made a big change to our life, we moved to the ocean and I took countless extra nights to make my company remote work only so that not only me but my staff can live anywhere they like. I grew up with oceans and mountains and living in inland mega cities with pollution was very difficult. So we moved and it was the best choice we ever made. 

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?

Absolutely! My two all-time favourite books are Lateral Thinking by Bono and Originals by Adam Grant. For my balance every night I watch a scientific based video from the Youtuber Anton Petrov who breaks down complex topics on Astronomy, AI, syntenic based computing/quantum computing, quantum physics and more. 

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?

Our bodies and minds are like a car, if we don’t feed it well, fix it up from time to time how can we expect to race. 

Would you let your business run at 80% capacity because of a faulty system? 

No, so why would you let your body and mind?

Motivation comes in many forms, especially self-belief. When you feel good and believe in yourself you can achieve anything you set your mind on. 

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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.