Jill Berry is the co-founder and CEO of Adatree, an Australian regtech startup providing Open Banking technology solutions.
1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
My background has always been in product development and financial services. I’ve helped build two new fully licensed banks, Tyro & Volt.
I love exploring new problems and developing solutions for them – being very hands on and involved in whatever needs to be done. I’ve never drawn the lines of ‘thats not my job’, so I love learning new activities, topics, subjects and ways of working.
My current role is CEO of Adatree, a regtech providing Open Banking technology solutions. I never envisioned myself being a CEO, but it was really happened by chance.
My co-founder and I found this huge market opportunity given legislative changes for data sharing, really challenging regulations that is aligned to bank building standards, no available solution in market, and it was aligned to very consumer outcomes. We were the perfect team to solve for this, so we jumped in and did.
2) What does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
My day is consistently inconsistent. There’s always a lot of phone calls and video meetings with our customers, prospective customers, tech partners and team members.
Activities are always focused on moving forward, whether it is building technology, regulator submissions, marketing, giving platform demonstrations, reading new regulated guidelines and creating user stories, or writing new modern policies for our workplace.
Every day is different, but it is always full, on the move, and productive.
3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
We now are all 100% remote, and we’re working now how to build a culture with our future team members (planned or joining soon) about our ways of working, technology to enable our culture and communication.
Without commuting and with flexible hours, I can fit in social activities here and there with a social lunch or a bodysurf at the beach. It definitely keeps me refreshed away from the laptop or phone.
4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
I have a huge to-do list and that isn’t going away as a startup founder and CEO. I think work-life balance is being ruthless with your calendar and saying no to things. When things are overly full and overwhelming, definitely reschedule some meetings. Making a balance of hours.
5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?
I’m making more time to play piano, which is one of the only times that work cannot be in my mind at all. Very much in the zone with lots of flow. I like playing Italian modern classical music.
I also start using the Do Not Disturb function on my phone so there’s no email, Slack or LinkedIn notifications when I want to turn off.
6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?
Since I don’t commute anymore, my podcast listening has dropped dramatically. I still love WorkLife by Adam Grant. Especially his episode on Ray Dalio and radical candor.
7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?
Slack, of course. Reddit. Canva. Controlling my lights with my Google Assistant.
8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?
9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
I personally find that compartmentalising personal and work time works best for me. Being fully submerged in work time, and drawing a line in the sand of when I’m shutting my laptop. With WFH, the office is also home, so boundaries are important.
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