David Boyd is the Co-Founder & CEO of Kickback, a new cashback platform for Australian shoppers. He is also the owner of a tiny house manufacturing company, Hauslein Tiny House Co.
1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
I’ve been around ecom and digital for most of my working life with a couple of years working remotely for a UK digital agency, then a few short years in an office environment at one of the WPP agencies in Sydney.
Along the way I also helped to start a tiny house manufacturing company, Hauslein Tiny House Co, with 3 friends just two years ago. It is a radically different business to what I’m used to but I’ve relished the challenge.
2) What does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
Before COVID I was making the easy 7 minute drive into our main office here in Port Macquarie and getting a reasonable amount of exercise squeezed into my day at F45.
Currently we’re all working from home. What hasn’t changed is that my day consists of a lot of screen time. Daily WIP call with the team. Another few conference calls with time in between for actioning things and maybe even some deep work. And some days, if I’ve got time I might call out to the Häuslein workshop to check in on those guys.
With two small children in my family some evenings I come back to my home office to continue working. When there’s no natural daylight pouring in, no noise, no phone calls, no distractions it can be some of my most productive times.
3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
Prior to COVID-19 almost every one of our 20 strong team worked remotely anyways. Now, it is everyone company wide including everyone in Australia. So it’s completely normal.
As restrictions are lifted we’re hoping to establish a pattern of meeting up for a few hours at my home office or a cafe to run our daily WIP.
The big blessing of being at home more has been that I get to spend a lot more precious time with my wife and kids.
4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
Balance is something to aim for but I know that is something that can only be achieved briefly before it’s gone again. I think it’s illusive. For me it means not letting work and business chew up every waking moment of my life.
I’m trying to use my time, talents and treasure for important things and often that has to do with my businesses. I enjoy what I do but I won’t sacrifice my family and relationships on the altar of success.
To achieve anything I, like most people, I need peace and quiet to get anything done. Noise cancelling headphones are a must.
I’ve also found that it helps me get things done if I change up my scenery from time to time by going to short stints of work from the kitchen table or the sofa.
I also listen to my wife. If she says that I’m working too much then I know that I’ve gone too far. Time to reign it in.
5) What do you think are some of the best habits or routines that you’ve developed over the years to help you achieve success in your life?
Stay organised as much as possible.
Don’t spend your day in your email inbox. Otherwise, it’ll run riot over your priority list because your most recent email just becomes your top priority over and over again.
Beyond each day, I set aside my weekends for family, rest and community. I really resist doing any work on Saturdays and Sundays.
Take proper holidays too where you’re away from your work entirely.
6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?
I hardly ever read physical books any more. I listen to a bunch of podcasts and content on YouTube.
There’s the Craig Groeschel Leadership Podcast. He’s not well known outside of Christian circles. He’s a pastor of Life Church and one of the people behind the YouVersion Bible App which has over 424 million downloads – making it the biggest app of its kind and one of the most downloaded apps in the entire world.
Shopify Masters for all things ecommerce. They do a superb job of interviewing people with fantastic businesses who use their platform to run their ecommerce.
11FS Fintech Insider podcast for all things fintech globally.
Andrew Warner’s Mixergy podcast since around 2008. He’s done many incredible and often very raw interviews with entrepreneurs and founders who let their guard down. I still listen to it from time to time.
7) What is the number one thing you do to make sure you get the most out of your day?
Aim to get the big important things done and not get too hung up about the rest. Think of filling a glass jar up with small rocks, pebbles and sand. To fit the most into the jar it’s best to put the rocks in first (big important things) and then fill in the gaps with the pebbles and sand (the other smaller, less important, less urgent things). Same goes for our work days. It is not about trying to cram in as much as possible.
8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?
Anyone who leads companies and start ups or interesting historical figures. For example, I listened to Boris Johnson’s recent audiobook on Winston Churchill which was very interesting. Suffice to say Churchill did not believe in work-life balance at all.
9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
Protect your sleep, it’s probably the #1 productivity killer.
Boundaries. I have purposely set up a small home office as my space where I can take calls, concentrate and get things done. It’s not a bedroom. It’s not a storage room. It’s not a kids playroom. It’s not Piccadilly Circus.
And during this pandemic I think that we should try to over-communicate within your company. Help put some life in the work relationships. The chances are that you need to be proactive and reach out to your people rather than wait for a call or a message.
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