CEOs / Interviews

Balancing the Grind with Daniel Wasilewsky, CEO (Chief Explorer Officer) at FreeGuides

Daniel Wasilewsky is the CEO (Chief Explorer Officer) at FreeGuides, a peer-to-peer platform that empowers travellers around the world to create, explore and share.

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

From a young age I was always interested in startups. From year 10 I started selling cookies at school. At my peak I had an employee and was selling 100+ cookies a day.

I began my career at Tank Stream Labs a tech coworking space where I started as an Intern and after 3 years worked my way up to Head of Business Development. Now I run FreeGuides and strategies our future internationally.

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

Wake up and always start the day with a coffee and some savoury oats. First off, stand up with the domestic and international teams to keep track of what everyone is doing and whether there are any barriers I need to remove.

Then respond to guide enquiries and help them improve their experiences. Then a lot of emails and meetings with potential partners. Then to end off the day I take my last meetings while on my afternoon walk Bondi to Coogee and back so 10km

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

Im role is completely flexible we have an office of 7 in the Sydney Startup Hub but we work from home or anywhere. I usually take afternoon meetings on my walk where I have a phone mount to my chest so I can walk and engage in video meetings.

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

Work-life balance is getting everything done at its most opportune time. I do this by working into the nights and prioritising daylight. It’s very hard to go on a 10+km walk at night but very easy to respond to emails after dinner. As we are an international startup our customers are always awake and thus we are too. 

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

During the first Sydney lockdown, I lost 25kg and since then I have changed my entire relationship with exercise and being outside. As I’m lucky enough to have beaches in my 5km radius I go for very long walks and try to go for at least one 20+km on the weekends.

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

Acquired is exceptional, especially their long-form podcast on little known companies such as TSMC. 

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

Well, obviously I couldn’t live without FreeGuides but Google Keep helps me organise my personal and business life. 

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

Elon Musk.

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

Invest in yourself, if you are happy, healthy and healed you will be able to make quicker more effective decisions. You need to invest to expect a return.

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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.