Founders / Interviews

Balancing the Grind with David Palacios, Co-Founder & Chief Revenue Officer at KartaSoft

David Palacios is the co-founder and chief revenue officer at KartaSoft, a geospatial platform that’s bringing mapping to the forefront of the digital customer experience.

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

I’m currently the co-founder and chief revenue officer of KartaSoft, a geospatial platform that’s bringing mapping to the forefront of the digital customer experience. I’ve spent over a decade in enterprise technology in both Australia and Silicon Valley. I’ve worked for Fortune Global 500 companies and small startups always in sales and growth. 

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

After decades of early morning wake up calls my body has become accustomed to waking up early, because of this, my body naturally wakes up at around 6:00am. I usually lay in bed and clear my inbox, read the Australian Financial Review’s tech section and then get up and do some stretching and make or grab a cup of coffee.

If I don’t have any early morning meetings I try and get a bike ride or run around centennial park in Sydney. My first meetings are usually at 8am and if I don’t have a meeting, I’m talking to my business partner.

From 8-12 I’m heads down calling clients, answering emails and getting as much customer facing work done before the afternoon. I take a 30-60 minute break in the middle of the day to eat lunch and I try to also get outside of a quick walk.

I use this time to gather my thoughts and prepare for what will be required the rest of the day. I schedule key meetings in the afternoon and use the time right after lunch to finalise preparation for these and do any non-customer work (legals, pricing, strategy, meeting prep).

At about 6 I down tools, watch a bit of tv, relax, and have dinner with my wife. At about 8 I put in another hour or so of mostly preparation work for the following day and by 10 I’m in bed reading or journaling. Rinse and repeat. 

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

Yes, as an entrepreneur my day to day is incredibly flexible. Most of our team is working from home and we only meet in person once a week. This has pros and cons. The flexibility is great when you have important personal appointments that need to be slotted into the middle of a workday or when life just happens.

It’s not so great when you have all this flexibility, but no structure and you feel a bit lost, so for me personally I’m pretty focused on having a structured day and week, obviously things change but it’s important for me to have key tasks and structure within my week, so I know what I need to accomplish and know how our business is progressing. 

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

I’m a big fan of Jeff Bezos’ viewpoint that it’s about work-life harmony. I think oftentimes we get caught up in the idea that work-life balance is a see-saw type of experience; you’re either on vacation recharging or you’re working.

In my personal experience it’s a little more chaotic and you constantly need to be assessing where you are at. Rules that have helped me are; be present, if you’re in a meeting you’re in that meeting if you’re out on date night you’re at date night.

Listen to your loved ones, oftentimes they are the best barometer of when you might be pushing towards the extremes. Don’t underestimate the value of a 4-day weekend, a mentor of mine  takes 4 days off once a quarter and it would make such a difference to his ability to execute.

In those 4 days he wouldn’t take any calls or look at emails but once he was back he was brimming with ideas and energy. Last but not least, breathe, taking three deep breaths has an amazing way of recharging your body and mind 

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

I’ve recently started journaling. As part of my executive MBA course, our class was able to meet a number of military leaders, I found it shocking how many of them journal on a day-to-day basis.

Many of them carried their journals to their daily meetings with their staff and made it a habit to close every day with an entry.

It’s been hard to put in an entry everyday, but it’s been very fulfilling to recap what you’ve done and realise how much actually gets completed. It’s also great for processing complex problems and situations. 

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

There are a number of amazing startup focused podcasts I’m currently listening to:

  • The Startup Playbook
  • Out of Beta
  • 37 Degrees Latitude
  • ‎Open the Pod Bay Doors 

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

My iPhone, MacBook and AirPods. 

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

I recently saw The Current War so I’d like to say Thomas Edison, George Westinghouse or Nikola Tesla. Leonardo DaVinci and Jesus would also be pretty amazing. 

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

I’m a big believer in realising that it’s not always about the outcome but it is about enjoying the process. 

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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.