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Interviews / Founders

Balancing the Grind with Drew Haupt, Co-Founder at WLTH

Drew Haupt is the co-founder of WLTH, a Brisbane-based startup, digital lending and payments provider.

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

Having worked in the financial services industry for the last 12 years, I identified a significant gap in the market to better service clients and improve the overall experience. It was at this time my brother Brodie and I started our first business.

Nine years and several businesses later, across the financial and property services industry, property development, proptech and fintech spaces, I’m now the co-founder at WLTH and working to change the lending and payments industry in Australia and eventually globally.

To go back even further though everything was always about the water and ocean. I was a lifeguard, surfed, taught sailing and wakeboarding overseas, and WLTH has enabled us to merge this love affair for the ocean in introducing our partnership with Parley for the Oceans, which is core to our DNA.

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

During the week my day is pretty structured. Starting with the kids organised chaos in the morning, school drop off with my eldest daughter then grabbing a coffee on the way into the office.

Once in the office, I will make time to greet the staff and check in with everyone, making sure the culture within the team is always a priority to me.

The majority of the day is then consumed by meetings and often make time to head to a PT session around mid-day, so I can return in the afternoon with a clear mindset.

After picking my daughter up from school, I head home from work to spend time with my family before catching up on emails and attending to any calls to finalise the work day.

Once my kids are in bed it allows me to have some downtime to catch up on any trending media and stay current with any changes predominantly around our industries and also new sustainability innovations. This is a huge passion of mine.

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

As technology has always been a strength of ours, right from the beginning we structured our businesses to allow for remote working. During the pandemic, our team was able to seamlessly work from home by utilising video conferencing for meetings and multiple communication streams.

Whenever possible I prefer to work in the office as I like being around the team, however, I occasionally work from home if required to assist with the family. Having flexibility has been great!

We provide a comfortable working environment and try to maintain a thriving culture so by being in the office, it’s a great way to check in with the team so they feel supported.

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

Work-life balance is really important to me. There is so much to be said about having a good balance to offset the stress that comes with running a number of businesses and ultimately improve performance.

It is commonplace to check emails at all hours, take business calls at the dinner table and work on my laptop on weekends, but I am trying to make sure I still maintain the balance with family life and relationships by always prioritising social engagements and making time to see friends no matter how busy work is.

I also ensure that I have time to relax and spend quality time with my family, we will quite often spend the weekend at the coast to wind down and recharge for the week ahead.

And of course, there is sport, I’m a loyal fan of Formula One, NBA, surfing and Sail GP and blending these experiences with friends, family and colleagues always creates a fresh tangent to build upon stronger relationships.

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

Over the last several months I have been making exercise a priority. For me it is a great way to be able to break up my day and clear my mind. These training sessions, whether in the gym or going for a run, have been a great way for me to destress and perform at a higher level. It is definitely something that I will continue.

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

I spend a lot of time watching video content and reading to continually learn. A passion of mine has always been sustainability, and especially in regards to protecting the oceans.

As a business, it is core to what we are doing and our partnership with Parley for the Oceans has only compounded my interest more, finding out as much as I can about how we can work together to address the fast-growing threat of marine plastic pollution and other eco-innovative solutions.

For anyone that isn’t aware of the issue that exists and the damage that plastic pollution is causing to the planet, I definitely recommend looking into it, to better understand what you can do to make a difference.

I definitely recommend checking out Parley’s brain food resource page.

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

My Apple AirPods. Spending most of the day on video meetings and phone calls, they have changed my life. The Google Meet app is also great. I love being able to login and see all my meetings for the day and be able to access these calls so easily, especially when I’m out of the office.

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

I have several: Richard Branson, Elon Musk, LeBron James and Nico Rosberg for a start. They all have kids and are hugely successful. I look at it more as work-life-family balance.

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

I encourage everyone to ensure they are balancing their personal life, family life and their work life, as it is not only important for your health and relationships but it also improves your overall productivity. It’s not sustainable to have one side firing and the other lagging.

Also if you are a business owner, by encouraging your people to have a healthy work-life balance, you will create an environment where everyone is dedicated to the task at hand. This will improve retention rates, productivity and ultimately profit.

But on a simpler note, take each day with a smile and a good positive attitude, that stuff spreads and wouldn’t it be lovely if there was more of it, we live once, so let’s make the most of it!

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About Author

Balance the Grind is a work-life balance publication on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.