CEOs / Founders / Interviews

Balancing the Grind with Jan Pacas, Founder & CEO All G Foods

Jan Pacas is the founder & CEO All G Foods, a company on a mission to feed future generations with sustainable food solutions that are limitlessly available, and limitlessly good.

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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?

My career journey has been one of adventure. As a self-confessed serial entrepreneur, I’ve had the pleasure of leading two consumer technology companies through to successful IPOs and private equity exits.

My heart has always been set on building high-performance organisations. But my true passion lies in combining high performance with benefits to society. My latest venture, All G Foods, is a testament to this. In 2020, I founded this food tech company with a laser-focus to provide future generations sustainable food solutions and alternative protein options across the Asia-Pacific region through precision fermentation.  

With laser focus to offer a diverse range of animal-free dairy and protein products that are not only good for personal health, but also for the planet. With All G Foods, we’re making a positive impact on society, one plate at a time.

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

  • My day starts bright and early at 5:30 am with meditation, followed by a morning run or exercise. Then, it’s time to take my beloved dog Zoe (AKA my first child) for a walk before heading into the office at 8:00 am.
  • Once I’m in the office, I kick things off with an alignment meeting and check-in with my internal team. Then, it’s onto back-to-back meetings with external stakeholders until hunger sets in. After lunch, I block off a couple of hours for deep work and internal meetings. 
  • When the workday is done, I cherish time with my family and daughter, or attend events and work dinners.
  • As a startup entrepreneur my day doesn’t end there. From 7:30 pm onwards, I hop on global calls with investors and partners across Singapore, the EU, and the US.

That’s a typical day in my life.

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

It is unrealistic for anyone to believe that they can build a billion-dollar company without making sacrifices. It takes an incredible amount of time, dedication, focus and hard work. For me, the key is being honest with myself. There will always be other areas of your life that will take a back seat.  I don’t believe anyone, anywhere can build a high performing organisation without putting in the grind.   

My down time is limited and that’s why, what little time I do have to myself I ensure I focus on a few cherished things that help keep me balanced. My family, my dog, and my morning runs. Engineering harmony and balance looks different for everyone, and I can only speak from personal experience as a serial entrepreneur!

For me, balance comes in the form of being realistic with myself. If you set an expectation that you are superman or superwomen and can have it all, and do it all, that will cause you more angst in the end.  What I am, is authentic and honest with myself and those around me – and that is my balance.

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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?

This past year has been a lot of heavy lifting and working on our company. Right now, we are in a growth period both in Australia with our plant-based meat options and leading in APAC with research and development of precision proteins.

My focus is strongly rooted in building one of APACs leading food technology companies. Therefore, at this point in the company’s growth my personal balance just isn’t realistic. In saying that, when you are truly passionate about your work and what you are doing, it brings with it a huge amount of personal satisfaction.

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?

I love to read books (when I can find the time). They help me disconnect from the hustle and bustle while growing my knowledge about the world and myself. Right now, I am engrossed in The Genesis Machine: Our Quest to Rewrite Life in the Age of Synthetic Biology.

Here are some other books that have helped me in my journey towards balance: 

  • High Performance Habits by Brendon Burchard 
  • The 5 AM Club by Robin Sharma 
  • The ONE Thing by Garry Keller 
  • Shoe Dog by Phil Knight

And some podcasts I listen to include: 

  • The Tim Ferriss Show 
  • Science podcasts 

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?

If I could share any piece of advice, it would be:

  • Be authentic: Stay true to who you are.  It’s something I live by. People may not always get you, but the right people for your journey will. 
  • Be resilient and adaptable: You need to be resilient in the face of challenges and setbacks and be adaptable to changing circumstances and market conditions. It’s not always an easy ride but understanding ways of pivoting will be important. 
  • Stay focused on your vision: It always comes back to why I started what I did. To make change for the next generation, to make a lasting impact on things that truly matter.

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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.