Greg Taylor is a Sydney-based entrepreneur who founded Step One Underwear, made from organically grown Bamboo viscose, starting from his bedroom to a publicly listed company.
Let’s start with your background! Can you share with us your career journey and what you’re currently up to?
I have always been competitive and entrepreneurial. In my 20s, I represented Australia three times in national rowing. I then went on to build a couple businesses and learned a lot along the way.
My most recent venture is Step One, an ethically made, fully end-to-end FSC certified bamboo underwear brand. The idea came about due to a particularly uncomfortable hiking incident in NZ which left me severely chafed. As my wife and I enjoy our active holidays, I knew that I had to come up with a solution to this problem, as at the time, there was nothing suitable in the market.
I started my journey of coming up with a concept to reduce the risk of chafing. I came up with a whole bunch of concepts, including our innovative “UltraGlyde” panels which sit between your thighs to reduce friction. We went with bamboo viscose fabric, because it is breathable and antibacterial. We also sourced organically grown, FSC certified fabrics and materials, as being environmentally friendly was a non-negotiable for me.
Turns out, many people could relate to my problem. We now sell a pair of Step Ones approximately every 8 seconds in Australia, UK and the US
We’d love to know what a typical day is like for you. Could you describe a recent workday?
No day is the same really, but I have a few non- negotiable factors in my day.
I walk to and from work every day with my dog. Getting some time in the fresh air lets me unwind and/or take my private calls to friends and family on the way to work.
I then get to the office, and I check my emails first, as we are operating in multiple countries, so my inbox can be flooded overnight.
Throughout the day I will work with my designers, content creators, factories and advisers on various elements of the business. As we are now publicly listed, there is always a lot happening. We are also constantly creating new prints, and shooting new products, as we are an e-commerce brand, so content is king.
My wife owns a very successful e-commerce brand called The Fable, so there is a lot of e-commerce talk in our house, which is banned after 7pm!
When I come home, my wife Soph and I always spend 30 minutes catching up with no distractions. Phones off, TV off, we take the time to just chat through our days. It’s a great way to both stay connected, and to sense check any issues either of you are having.
Can you define work-life balance for yourself and share with us your approach in maintaining it?
With my wife and I both having businesses, and a young son, balance can be a little hard to come by. We make sure we have regular date nights. We also try to book a holiday or weekend away every couple of months for the family, so we can get out in nature, hike, explore and spend some time together.
We try to be active and outdoors on weekends, and once our son goes to sleep, if work permits, we may even have time to watch a movie together as we wind down.
Change is constant, and it’s essential for growth. Have you made any lifestyle changes in the past year to improve your work-life balance?
For me, a few things have improved my work life balance. One would be hiring well. Having people who you trust working for you can bring a lot of freedom. The other thing is making sure we schedule some time to be together and away from our desks. We also really enjoy spending time as a family. It is fun watching our son grow and learn things everyday. He is at that age where everything is interesting to him. We also have our 30 minutes of dedicated time together every day, and no work talk after 7pm.
We’re always on the lookout for new resources! Can you recommend any books, podcasts, or newsletters that have helped you in your journey towards balance?
The book that changed my life was Allan Pease – Body Language. If you haven’t read it, stop what you are doing right now, even if that is mowing the lawns and get your hands on it. It’s a bright yellow coloured book.
I am also intrigued in criminal law and trials. I recently found an amazing YouTube channel called Bruce Rivers who breaks cases into everyday language with a humour tone. He’s very very good.
Before we wrap up, do you have any final words of wisdom or insights on work, life, or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
- Surround yourself with people who are smarter than you
- Be the dumbest person at the table
- Ask lots of questions
- Don’t assume anything
- Admit when you’re wrong… always
- Apologise if you mess up
- Explain how you’ll fix it and learn from it.
- Treat others how you want to be treated
- And don’t talk about people if they are not in the room.
That’s what makes the magic work.
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