CEOs / Founders / Interviews

Balancing the Grind with Joel Hauer, Founder & CEO of Whisky Loot

Joel Hauer is the founder and CEO of Whisky Loot, a subscription service delivering three different premium and hand-selected whisky tasters from around the world each month.

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

I started my career in advertising as a digital producer and quickly became interested in digital marketing and branding. I left the advertising world after a couple of years as I wanted to start my own business, and saw an opportunity to create a co-working space.

To help maintain my income while I built up the co-working space, I began consulting in digital marketing for a range of businesses and quickly grew that into an agency of itself.

My background in digital marketing was a perfect match for building Whisky Loot. As a sole-founder and CEO of the business, my current role involves managing the growth of the business and developing a strong team around me to help achieve our goals.

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

We’re in the midst of launching a new website and raising a new round of funding from our investors. My day-to-day at the moment involves managing the new website implementation with our agency partners and discussing the business with potential investors.

We’re also working on some very unique technology for the distillery industry and preparing for the launch of our new brand Gin Loot.

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

As we run a warehouse based in Rosebery, NSW, I often have to work with our logistics and warehouse staff, so being based in our warehouse office is ideal for my type of work. We have flexible work from home policy, allowing staff to work remotely as they choose.

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

I cherish my weekends with my wife and taking time to see my family and friends. My work schedule is demanding, and I often work from home after-hours, but I consider the time I devote to the business now as an investment in itself, and integral to the pace of growth I want to achieve.

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

About three months ago, I realized that I was getting a hit of endorphins from every sale that went through, as I had push notification for our online store switch on, on my phone.

Unfortunately, this led to me constantly checking my phone for updates at all hours of the day, and I had to detach myself from the noise to concentrate on what was important to me.

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

At the moment, most of my books and content I consume is Whisky or Gin related. I previously soaked up business books and absorbed any related podcast, but more recently I’ve decided to focus on implementing what I now know, instead of getting distracted by the next big thing.

Other than spirits, I’m currently reading a book on sleep. It’s something we spend so much of our lives doing, but we don’t think about it that much. The book has helped me understand the value of getting a good night’s sleep which is something I have always strived to do.

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

Slack. I am absolutely obsessed with it and have a lot of other apps connected to it. This really reduces the amount of time I’m sending emails internally and speeds up our communication with staff and external partners.

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

I enjoy the stories of Australian entrepreneurs, which I find is quite different from American success stories we often hear much praise from.

I’d love to hear about how Australian have navigated both successes and failures and still manage to spend time with their families, and go on holidays now and then.

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

I would recommend splitting your day-to-day calendar scheduling into three colours, each with a distinct focus areas:

  • Blue is working on activities that keep the business moving forward for today and ensures you’re bringing in the money to pay the bills.
  • Black is working on future goals and strategies, to ensure you continue to grow and achieve your long term plans.
  • Red is admin time, these are things that don’t bring in the money, and often drain your time.

I recommend trying to outsource the red as often as possible, and making sure you have a 70/30 split on the blue/black time. You’ll find this mental exercise can help you visualize how you are spending your time each week, and give you a pathway to optimize it.

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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.