Founders / Interviews

Balancing the Grind with Joshua Mammoliti, Co-Founder & Director of The Blue Space

Joshua Mammoliti is the co-founder & Director of The Blue Space, Australia’s largest dedicated online bathroom supplies retailer, delivering nationally.

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

After spending more than a decade in the corporate world I couldn’t hold back the burning desire to do my own thing. I have always wanted to do something unique that could be equally rewarding as it was punishing.

Before venturing out on my own I ran the websites, apps and applications of GWA Group, Australia’s largest bathroom products business. I also kept busy by dabbling in a couple of side gigs, including a premium wine rack eCommerce store.

Taking what I had learnt from my career, today, it has been seven years running the business I co-founded called The Blue Space. A pure-play online retailer selling renovation fixtures and fittings, such as baths, vanities, door handles, smart home devices, window furnishings & more. Loving every minute of it, having built an amazing team and getting into the grow-up stage of the business.

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

As most entrepreneurs, I love an early start. My work day starts at 7.30am but my morning starts a couple hours before, with my main morning goal being getting my wife and two primary school girls ready and off to school plus making sure my two beagles are fed and happy to see me off. In between this, personally I aim to stretch for around fifteen minutes, not because I am an overly fit person, but because I am mid repair on a back injury & it is a must do morning routine!!

Living close to work has always been important to me, being within ten minutes to my family’s school and my work makes my day a lot easier to manage and ensures I can be around at home as much as possible. The biggest bonus of the new work from home culture I am sure!

Getting into the office early means I am able to get a head start on the day, usually catching up on sales and data from the previous day and planning out the day ahead. Monday – Wednesday are meeting days, although not packed (nothing is worse). With Thursday and Friday being days I like (and so do most of our staff) to be GSD (Get Sh*t Done) days of the week, avoiding meetings.

I usually hang around the office till just after 4pm then either pick the kids up from after school care or head home to get dinner ready. I love cooking, so this is my wind down time. The creativity of cooking has always been something that brings warmth to my (and my families) life.

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

Definitely, even pre-COVID The Blue Space was always as flexible as possible with staff. Post-COVID and the new reality of working, this has really enforced some good habits in staff, like the 3 / 2 work week, where the two days at home are really used to GSD. Not only is it more efficient but staff absolutely love the flexibility.

Personally, I still enjoy being in the office and around staff while still maintaining the flexibility where I need it. Our warehouse and logistics team are based out of the same building and I love getting amongst the action and supporting them when needed.

I also find having distinct work from the office hours helps me to focus and smash out work before taking the much needed family and personal time when I head home. I did find it much harder to switch off when working from home during COVID which is definitely a common theme I hear from staff.

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

To be honest, I was very late to jump on the work-life balance bandwagon. While I have actively encouraged it in my staff since the beginning of The Blue Space, I never truly got on board until a recent health issue woke me right up to the lack of balance in my life.

A victim of the start-up mentality, the first five years of running The Blue Space did put me into a mindset of doing everything myself and running as fast as I could. Only recently with a strong and capable team around me have I been able to let go of certain aspects of the business and trust in the result without being all over it.

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

Definitely, I make more conscious efforts to be around more with my daughters, especially with both parents working full time, I think this is so important. Little things like picking my kids up from school, attending school events and assemblies regularly and being home and attentive every evening and on weekends. 

Exercise has also become a more important part of my routine. Coming out of a back injury really shocked me into realising how important this needs to be in everyday life, not just one of things on the to-do list that never gets done. Still lots of work to be done for me, but definitely a journey worth embarking on for any entrepreneur.

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

Podcasts for me, Eric Siu & Mark Bouris are two of my favourite business leaders to listen to, while Lex Fridman and the Hamish & Andy podcast mix it up for me to balance my mood and not always think about work.

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

Does anyone remember a time when taking a phone call on your phone was “the future”?? As simple as it sounds these days, my smart watch is something I can’t live without. Just being able to turn my phone on silent and only letting urgent messages reach me with my watch helps me to focus on the task or issue at hand.

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

Elon Musk for sure. His focus is split across so many ventures and appears to have such a capacity for more, there is no way he could do this without having a way to balance his life and work.

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

Work, life balance means something different for everyone, and I encourage you to think about what it means for you. Since we have encouraged work/life balance at The Blue Space, we see so much positivity and happiness in the office. I love that my staff feel supported to find a balance that works for them, and I can see the dedication and improved work productivity that I believe comes from a happy workplace.

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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.