Founders / Interviews

Balancing the Grind with Jacob Olsen, Co-Founder & CEO at PicUp

Jacob Olsen is the Co-Founder & CEO at PicUp, a platform digitising analogue industries through their on-demand goods movement and junk removal mobile and web app.

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Let’s start with your background! Can you share with us your career journey and what you’re currently up to?

I’m the Co-founder and CEO at PicUp, the platform that instantly connects customers with subcontractor haulers to deliver 100% carbon-neutral on-demand delivery, small moves and junk removal services. 

We currently operate in Brisbane & the Gold Coast, but have expansion plans to other capital cities scheduled for later this year.

I come from a 15-year career in transport & logistics, working in South Australia, Northern Territory and Queensland. I managed everything from fuel distribution contracts for Caltex & BP through to major retail delivery contracts for IKEA, Amart & Fisher Paykel.

This gave me a deep understanding of the pain points in these retail delivery networks, which PicUp is exploiting to transform the on-demand delivery experience for both retailers & consumers. 

We’d love to know what a typical day is like for you. Could you describe a recent workday?

  • 4:30: Wake up
  • 5:00: Gym
  • 6:30: Breakfast
  • 7:00: Attempt to get to Inbox Zero (LOL)
  • 7:30: Check-in with the team and attend to any urgent issues
  • 8:00: Approve subcontractor pay & commercial invoicing
  • 8:30: Update Pitch Deck (we are raising a Seed Round, opening in March)
  • 9:30: Meeting with Marketing contractor to dive into paid/organic performance
  • 10:30: Strategic research
  • 11:30: Lunch
  • 12: Meet with Retail customers
  • 15:00: Check-in with team to assess daily operations
  • 17:15: Meeting with developer to discuss progress of new mobile/wep app

Can you define work-life balance for yourself and share with us your approach in maintaining it?

I’m cognisant of the fact that it can be difficult for a start-up founder to achieve balance, especially in the typical sense that society would interpret as ‘balance’. There are periods where long days and nights are consistently required, regardless of how hard you try to minimise this. Because the team is small and resources are tight, you often wear 5 hats simultaneously. 

The best way I attempt to maintain mental clarity and balance is to go deep into a few other areas of my life which feed my energy, rather than drain it.

The most effective outlets for me are fitness and the outdoors. It’s a non-negotiable for me to work out at least 6 x per week, sometimes 7. Not only is it great for my physical health, but that 60-90 mins each day gives me time to switch off and acts as a meditation of sorts. So it is as much for my mental health as it is for my physical well-being. 

Then anything outdoors in the sun. I’m lucky that in QLD we get a lot of it, and I find it very hard not to be in a great mood after being outside for a few hours.

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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?

I’ve made a conscious effort to do nothing work related from 5pm Saturday until 5pm Sunday. So typically, I now get a full 24 hours to switch off, which gives me a great mental reset and prepares me well to tackle the week ahead. Although there are still times when I break this rule.

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 Great CEO Within by Matt Mochary 
  • Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankel
  • The Almanack of Naval Ravikant by Eric Jorgenson


  • Business – The Game w/Alex Hormozi (his book ‘$100m offers’ is also epic!)
  • Marketing – Revenue Vitals w/Chris Walker
  • Funding/VC – 20VC w/Harry Stebbings
  • General Interest – Lex Fridman Podcast

I’m not much of a newsletter guy as I typically don’t enjoy reading long-form off of a screen, plus it’s yet another email that fills the inbox.

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?

Maybe not exactly the place for this response, but I firmly believe that if you want to achieve greatness in anything in life, balance typically isn’t something you should be optimising for.

Can you name one person at the top of their craft, whether in business, sport, politics or even being a parent, that doesn’t dedicate most of their time and efforts to that one endeavour?

Michael Jordan, Elon Musk and all the amazing parents out there didn’t optimise for balance; they optimised for the best result.

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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.