CEOs / Founders / Interviews

Balancing the Grind with Jamie Frew, Co-Founder & CEO of Carepatron

Jamie Frew is the co-founder & CEO of Carepatron, a healthcare workspace where you can manage your clients, scheduling, and billing from one secure app.

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1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?

A few fun facts not many people know about me is that I started my first business when I was 8 years old. It was a Lollie retailer where I went door to door selling sweets to people.

I loved it, I got to meet lots of interesting people, and everyone knew my name after a while. While I was never the best salesperson, learning that I could build something from scratch, even from a dodgy NZ suburb, was empowering.

During this time, my parents also ran a local community hospital where we lived. It was a family operation, and everyone was expected to do their part, so I would come home every day to help. Some of the people I had the chance to get to know and learn from during what was often their final days were truly inspiring.

I started my professional career in NZ working as a project manager. I fell in love with projects that combine people and technology to solve highly complex problems. I quickly moved to Australia, where I got a role in consulting, working across the banking and energy sectors.

During the GFC, I moved to Southeast Asia, working on the transformation of distressed financial entities. I found the energy and optimism across the countries and cultures I worked to be inspiring. 

Still working in consulting, I moved back to Australia, where I joined Telstra. During my time at Telstra, I gained exposure to some incredible technology leaders and had the opportunity to work on more deep tech projects. I was also fortunate to gain exposure to the healthcare technology sector. It renewed my curiosity in the healthcare space and seeded my interest in building health software.

Eventually my wife and I decided to bring our kids back to NZ so they would grow up with their grandparents and cousins. I now live in the beautiful Tauranga, 250km southeast of Auckland.

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

My day starts at 5.45 am. I wake up and get straight into some exercise to start my day. This helps prepare me mentally and gets me set for the day. 

I focus my mornings on deep work and planning for the day. Where possible, I try to focus on getting some early wins under my belt before the busyness of the day takes over. In the afternoons I usually refocus on deep work. Often product reviews and testing, reviewing processes, etc. Things typically take more focus and concentration.

I usually finish my core day at 5 pm to spend time with the kids and family. Once they are in bed, I log back on for 1 to 2 hours until 9 pm. Sleep by 10, then rinse and repeat.

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

Leading a balanced and healthy life is a tricky one to get right and requires constant monitoring. I try to maximise my productivity to ensure I am creating space for time with my family and friends.

I also spend time planning and prioritising to ensure I am focused on the most important things, whether work, going to kid’s sports or date night.

I can be a bit obsessive sometimes, so I need to retrospectively review where I am spending my time to see if I have got the balance right and recalibrate.

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

I started exercising in the morning. Previously I did this in the evening, and often urgent things would crop up and get in the way.

I have focused on being more focused and strategic with my time. I now spend 10 mins every morning planning my day and output.

I have stopped spending as much time and energy looking at what competitors are doing.

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

I love reading! Some of my favourite books are:

I also enjoy reading to my kids, with Oh, the Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss being the all-time favourite. I enjoy podcasts like All in One, Lex Friedman, and Lenny.

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

I look for the local stories of those who have achieved incredible things while being a great dad, husband, brother, friend, son, etc. I tend to seek inspiration from people in my life rather than famous people I don’t know.

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

I would try to remind people that achieving abnormal things involves hard work and sacrifices. It’s crucial to be realistic about this and reflect on what costs you are willing to pay to achieve your dreams!

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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.