Balancing the Grind with Jake Yap, Co-Founder of Lifely

In this edition of Balancing the Grind, we sit down with Jake Yap, Co-Founder of Lifely, who takes us through his evolution from selling electronic gadgets online with his brother to establishing a successful e-commerce furniture brand.

Jake discusses the importance of mental well-being in achieving work-life balance, emphasising meditation, strategic team discussions, and self-awareness as key components of his daily routine. He opens up about making lifestyle changes to clearly separate work from his personal life, including exploring Melbourne and enjoying nature.

Jake also offers insights into resources that have influenced his journey towards balance, including innovative apps and health trackers, and shares his philosophy on knowing oneself for overall fulfilment.

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

Believe it or not – Lifely is my first startup at the same time my first ever full time job. I was basically doing odd jobs here and there (was an early adopter for Uber driver). Other than that, I started my entrepreneurial journey when I was 18 years old. I teamed up with my brother Chris and sold electronic gadgets online, got our first bucket of gold from there.

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

  • 6am – 6.30am meditate 
  • 6.30am – 7am clear emails
  • 7am – 9am strategy discussion with team in US
  • 9am – 10am shower, breakfast, head to office
  • 10am – 12pm collaborate with team in office on new product launch plan
  • 12pm – 1pm lunch and meditate
  • 1pm – 5pm deep focus work
  • 5pm – 9pm go home, cook, eat, walk, read, sleep

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

I think it’s important to take care of my mental well-being. I see work-life balance not as a goal, but as a means to elevate my being, so that I can produce greater work that benefits the world.

Self-awareness is key. Knowing what I want is the foundation. Knowing my own emotions, stress, chokepoint, weakness, strength. Knowing when to stop and relax, when to go hardcore, when to focus is extremely important. 

My view is that we don’t burn out because we have too many things to do. We burnout because we do too many things that we don’t enjoy doing.

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?

Yes I have. I have made a special effort to ensure I get out and explore different parts of Melbourne every weekend. That is my recharge and has helped us separate work and  my personal life clearly. My fiance and I love going on hikes and having weekends away – providing my Tesla is recharged and I don’t have to spend hours charging it.

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?

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?

Know yourself.

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.