CEOs / Founders / Interviews

Balancing the Grind with Jenny Holmström, CEO & Co-Founder of Coupleness

Jenny Holmström is the CEO & Co-Founder of Coupleness, an app for couples with a mission to make it easy and mainstream to invest in your relationship.

Learn about the daily routines of some of the most successful people in the world. Sign up to our newsletter today & receive a free gift that will help you achieve your goals!

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

I’m the CEO and co-founder of Coupleness, an app for couples with a mission to make it easy and mainstream to invest in your relationship. I have worked for the UN and big corporations, and co-founded a child rights organization. I’m also an award-winning communicator, always striving to make a positive social impact.

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

If I’m not dropping off the kids at school I usually start the morning with boiling a cup of tea, scanning the news and deliberately withholding from social media for the first 20 minutes. That can be tough, but it’s good for my creativity.

I learned this from one of my favorite brain scientists Sissela Nutley. Then I dive into Coupleness’ numbers and go through my to-do list for the day. I usually get into a good flow working from home, so I need to schedule a workout and lunch in advance. Otherwise, I just find myself in front of the computer without stopping.

Being big into gardening, my garden really supports me with mini-breaks when it’s April – September. I watch my plants grow and do some weeding as well. When my kids come home from school, I unplug to be with them for a few hours, and then I usually do some social media in the evenings.

3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?

Living in the suburbs with two kids that are 5 and 8 years old, working remotely is great on a personal level. It gives me the opportunity to not rush to the train every morning, and it doesn’t matter if I wake up ten minutes late, as long as my daughter is in time for school.

On the days I’m not dropping off the kids, I usually start work around 6:30am with a cup of tea, enjoying 2.5 hours in silence before our daily standup with the team at 9:00am. It also gives me the space during the day to drop off my daughter at her tennis practice, and for me to meet with my colleagues whenever it works for them.

All of us on the team really like remote working. We mix it up with weekly or bi-weekly in-person gatherings. I gain energy when I’m with people in-person, so I appreciate those working days together and I make sure to meet up with other people in my network regularly as well. I really need that energy boost of meeting with people in person..

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

Basically it boils down to 5 things: 

  1. It means that I can nurture my relationships with my partner, family and friends in my everyday life. It can be everything from a text to a friend whom I haven’t talked to for a while, to a phone call or a walk in the woods. A tip here to get into the swing of things when it comes to nurturing your romantic relationship is to ask yourself before going to bed, “What have I done for my relationship today?” 
  2. It means I make sure to workout or go for a walk/run every day with no excuses (except illness). This really boosts my mental and physical well-being.
  3. I try to take vacation and time off where I zoom out, even though there is always tons of stuff to do. Startup life is a marathon, not a sprint, so I know there will always be things to do. The list will never end, but if I’m not in good shape, I won’t make it to the finish line (if there really is one!?). That’s the reality.
  4. I used to think planning was boring. When I had kids, I totally changed my mind about that. I love planning! My trick is to have everything in my agenda, and my partner and I are really good at this.
  5. Work with great people! Building a team of people who have skills that you don’t is the key. Surrounding yourself with people you can trust and who share the same values has been my strategy for Coupleness since day one.

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

Yes – I am a relationship nerd, after all. I added monthly date nights. We take turns planning, and it doesn’t need to be fancy dinners. We try a new sport together like paddle tennis, we go see an art exhibition, or just go for a long walk in the woods exploring a new area of the town.

Working from home I realized I didn’t get outside much compared to before, so I added a walk or run of at least 30 minutes to my daily routine. 

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

One book that I recommend that I assume most people aren’t aware of is Permission to Feel by Dr. Marc Bracket. It’s all about unlocking the power of your emotions to help you thrive. 

As for podcasts: The Man Enough Podcast with Justin Baldoni, Liz Plank and Jamey Heath; This week in Startups with Jason Calacanis; and since I’m a news geek, The Globalist by Monocle is often on in the mornings.

7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?

Of course Coupleness, which gives me an opportunity to check in with myself and find out more about how my partner is doing. It’s a win-win for my individual health, and our relationship’s health.

Melissa Woods online pilates & yoga classes are my go-to daily workout – I absolutely crave them. She doesn’t have an app, but it still counts because her online classes are really something I can’t live without. Another thing is black tea. I drink tons of black tea – I know it’s not super good for my health, but I’m trying to cut down on it…

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

It would be the founder of Bumble, Whitney Wolfe Herd. I’m truly impressed with her company building and I’m interested to know more about how she manages work-life balance in her life. 

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

As a startup founder coming back from summer vacation, my mantra for the last couple of weeks has been: “Sometimes you need to slow down to go fast.”

Before you go…

If you’d like to sponsor or advertise with Balance the Grind, let’s talk here

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.