Farzana Rahman is the Co-Founder & CEO of Hexarad, an end-to-end radiology platform built to achieve fast and accurate diagnosis for everyone, everywhere.
To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
I’m a co-founder and CEO of Hexarad.
I’m a doctor by background and was a Consultant Radiologist (Attending in the USA) at UCLH in London, a large teaching hospital in the UK. I also have a degree in Health Economics from the LSE and have held national policy roles focusing on digital health and sharing of health data before my role in Hexarad.
I founded Hexarad with other radiologists after we grew tired of seeing that no matter how hard we worked, patients weren’t getting diagnosed fast enough. We’ve built the Hexarad platform to solve these problems.
What does a day in your life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
I start my day early, waking up between 5.30 and 5.45. It’s the only time in the day I get to myself and I try to start it with a meditation/prayer rather than instantly jumping on my phone. This is hard so I’ve now taken to leaving my phone in another room!
I find that exercise also helps keep stress levels at bay, so I aim to do some kind of workout 4-5 times a week in the morning. This is usually yoga, weights or cardio depending on how I’m feeling.
I aim to start working before 8am. Each workday is variable, I split my week between working in our offices in London Bridge and working remotely.
On Mondays, our director team has an early morning breakfast meeting where we catch-up over food and have a freeform discussion related to the business. We created this after finding that the more structured meetings in the week with agendas stifled creativity. Having more time to talk about issues in more depth as well as brainstorm ideas has been great. It’s also something to look forward to on a grey Monday morning!
What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
In all honesty I find this hard and it’s something I’m trying to get better at. I’ve realised that I need to create boundaries and non-negotiables when it comes to my personal life e.g. picking my son up from nursery. I’m getting better at holding myself accountable for this but also balancing this with not beating myself up when things don’t go as plan
I’ve also realised it’s less about the amount of time and more about ensuring that when I’m with my family I’m present and not distracted by work. This is hard when you’re a founder as it’s when you’re relaxed that ideas pop into your head!
In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?
I’ve reintroduced a meditation practice in the mornings which helps to give me more clarity. I’ve also started to do more online meetings where I walk with my camera off rather than sit in front of my laptop for the whole day. I got the idea from Amy, a friend and co-founder who bought a treadmill with this purpose.
Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?
The Masters of Scale podcast is a brilliant podcast for founders. I also love the podcast ‘This American Life.’
I’ve reread The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer, The Space Within by Michael Neill and Playing Big by Tara Mohr multiple times.
In tears of newsletters, I would recommend’ The Audacity’ by my Patrice Ford Lynn which is about fulfilling your career potential.
If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?
I would love to know more about how Sergey Brin balanced life in the early days of Google. Sheryl Sandberg references him doing headstands in the office in Lean In and I’ve been curious since then.
Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
I’m trying to let go of guilt. Guilt is very important when you act in an unconscionable way. But I’ve realised that I often feel guilty about not doing enough across various areas of my life. It’s neither helpful nor productive and it’s something I’m working on!
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