CEOs / Founders / Interviews

Balancing the Grind with Eli Bode Muse, CEO & Founder at Chippit

Eli Bode Muse is the CEO & Founder at Chippit, a peer to peer app that enables people to save faster together for life goals, borrow interest free, co-pay bills and co-invest with mates.

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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 first journey into entrepreneurship in my early twenties, providing a marketplace for  buyers and sellers of liberty reserve and e-gold – the earliest form of digital currencies before bitcoin and the wave of cryptocurrencies.

It was a success till the company behind liberty reserve got into regulatory trouble and had to cease business. The experience made me skeptical when bitcoin came to market. I thought it was going to be short-lived but it has been resilient to challenges I had expected would shorten its lifespan.

I learned key lessons there that have so far informed how I approach failure, success and the role of time, chance and strategy in business. My work experience has mostly been in the orbit of financial services and technology across three continents. I’m currently the founder and CEO at Chippit.

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

I wake up at 5am most days to organize my plan for the day, check my email, slack for any messages from the team, have breakfast with the family and do drop offs when I can. Breakfast is my most important meal to power me through the day as I’m not as consistent with lunch.

By 8:30am I am on our daily standup call with our CPO & CTO tracking our progress, attending to new updates, and a little gossip on the market and competitors. By midday I am either sending out proposals, having meetings with corporate partners, or in a meeting with VC’s. 

I randomly email or call new sign ups on our waitlist to schedule customer interviews, listen to their stories, feedback and how they plan to use our product. Recently, I brought in a new customer I met at the pool table in a bar on a Friday night to our interview – that conversation gave us a lot of insight into a customer segment that will make  up a predominant portion of our early adopters.

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

I’m not precious about work-life balance. I just do what needs to be done as I go. I personally think a rigid approach to work life balance creates more anxiety as you keep rolling work into life and life to work.

I’m lucky to have a partner with the same mindset, and working with a team with a fluid orientation to work and life. At Chippit, we respect each other’s way of working so if you want to send an email or work at 3am, go for it.

I sometimes get bursts of energy or ideas at odd hours and could work very late and still be sharp in the morning but no one is obligated to match that or respond or to my message at such times.

I almost got fired in a previous employment for sending a work related message at 3am. Glad to be able to work with more flexibility and embrace all working styles as long as it’s consistent with your body clock and productive to the business. We focus on what is important –  be present in important collaboration meetings, and get things done as quickly as possible. How you plan your day is up to you.

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

Pre-covid, I was at the gym almost 3-4 times a week and cycled on the weekend. Now, I play tennis on weekends and focus more on body movement exercises that can be done anywhere without the need of sophisticated equipment. I enjoy reading before going to bed, it’s more of a habit so I can’t sell you on its benefits.

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

I read a lot of books on human behavior and psychology growing up and till date but noted to myself not to take any formal education on psychology as it will take away the fun.

I listen to Reid Hoffman’s Masters of Scale podcast and enjoy reading books, articles and newsletters from Andrew Chen at a16z – he stands out to me because he takes on real life messiness in his strategies not hiding behind the formulaic approach you see with most writers that isolates life’s randomness and the forces behind the outcome of a success story.

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

Elon Musk –  subtracting all his personal opinions,  I’m just curious how he runs mega companies and has the time for all the shenanigans haha. Is he on a 24 hour clock like everyone else?

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

I think there are too many  labels for everything nowadays and the work-life balance label  frames the issue in a black and white context. I believe if employers can intentionally redesign work, workplaces and spaces to help employees integrate life in their work while respecting their personal privacy, there will be higher rates of  employee engagement, satisfaction and retention. Companies do this for customers through the product ecosystem they create to keep them longer, why not an ecosystem for employees?

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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.