CEOs / Founders / Interviews

Balancing the Grind with David McLean, Founder & CEO at HUBBED

David McLean is the founder & CEO at HUBBED, a tech company with a parcel collection point network.

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

I started my career in finance working for UBS as an accountant before moving into technology with Microsoft, where my focus was consumer technologies and retail. Post Microsoft I founded Hubbed which is a technology company with its own collection point network for click and collect and return of ecommerce parcels.

Our vision is to reduce carbon emissions and congestion in last mile delivery, we’ll do this by moving as many parcels as possible through our networks. We have locations across Australia, New Zealand and the Philippines. We are currently expanding into 4 new markets this year. I’m lucky enough to work with a great team of people.

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

I usually start my workdays at 5.30am and get to the gym by 6am. I do a 60 minute workout with my trainer both cardio and weights. I get to work by 8.00am and have a light breakfast while I check my emails and diary.

My days are typically a mix of meetings and catch ups with my direct reports, key partners, customers and work to support my governance role with our board. I’m fortunate enough to work with a great COO and CFO and tend to focus my time on sales and marketing because that’s the fun stuff! I love seeing our new brand come to life.

A part of my day which I really like is exchanging banter with my team for some light relief, this sets me up to then start focusing on decision making in support of our strategic priorities. I research the industry a lot and spend time analysing data in support of our strategies. I have a real passion for our technology and annoy my COO with the most ridiculous questions about what is possible. 

Our offices are on the water in Balmain East. It’s a nice area for walks to the local café or have a sit by the water – we tend to incorporate this into our approach to meetings also.

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

Time away from work is key for me – I love what I do, our business and the people I am lucky enough to work with – however disconnecting from all of that is important as I am quite an intense person. If I don’t have enough time to myself I don’t believe I’d be anywhere near as productive as I could be.

I firmly believe in the law of diminishing returns. I schedule focus time for myself during the work day sometimes simply to reset. Outside of the office I treat time with the family as a privilege and they endure my bass playing and music tastes for the most part. I coach my son’s soccer team and that allows me to completely switch off from work.

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

My life is hectic and pretty demanding, so for me health is always top priority. I tend to avoid drinking these days and at the moment I’m trying to cut down on sugar. Food wise, I track my food in an app to make sure that my diet doesn’t get too out of control.

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

I have 3 books that I read on repeat. The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari, and Start with Why – by Simon Sinek. I am also currently reading Hail Mary by Andy Weir, and Anthill by E.O.Wilson on the advice of my daughter.

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

Dr Mae Jemison – Chemical Engineer, Doctor, founder of the Jemison technology consulting group, NASA astronaut and the first black women into space. She stated once “Never be limited by other people’s limited imaginations”.

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

Only that in this day and age it’s hard to find the right balance and sometimes life gets in the way – however in my view the most important thing is to simply be mindful of the fact that work-life balance is important and you should know how you score yourself at any given time.

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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.