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Interviews / Founders

Balancing the Grind with Julian Fayad, Founder & CEO at LoanOptions.ai

Julian Fayad is the founder & CEO at LoanOptions.ai, an intelligent marketplace with AI assisted loan matching to help users find the best offers.

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

I have been working in finance and business for almost a decade. After spending time building and scaling other businesses in the financial industry, I decided that it was time for me to create and build my own business.

I want to fully execute my vision by blending my knowledge of both finance and technology and I am grateful to be able to implement my skills in these areas in the business each and every day. 

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

I wake up early and train at Gracie Jiu-Jitsu in Artarmon. I then grab a coffee or protein shake and something light to eat and head to the office.

I spend the first 30 minutes at my desk planning the day, setting reminders to assist me with time management. I spend my time in meetings managing various innovative projects or working on building new partnerships.

I also have quick team catch ups to work on solutions to tricky applications or catch up with business partners to divide and conquer the tasks at hand. At the end of the day I look back and review the day’s meetings to make sure that I act on anything that needs urgent attention.

I also look ahead to the next day or two to formulate a plan. Once I am done, I like to spend 30 minutes on the racing simulator to unwind before heading home for the day. 

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

Even before the pandemic, I always believed in offering people flexible working situations that are earned through trust. Our software allows us to operate from anywhere in the world, securely and without any issues.

Our business is highly collaborative and fully integrated. Most employees choose NOT to work from home because what we have created is an office environment that breeds enthusiasm, fun, high performance and a great work life balance.

The option to work from home or the beach is always there and every now and again we spend the day outside of the four walls (we have worked from a boat all day a couple of times).

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

I have two young kids (3.5 and 1.5) and having a good work life balance is very important to me. In this regard, it is a little bit of “do as I say and not as I do”, because I am usually the last one left in the office but I make sure that I kick people out and remind them that there is life outside of work. This is something that I am constantly reflecting on and improving over time, but I still have some work to do here.  

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

I stopped carrying my laptop with me everywhere I went (after hours). This helped me to just be present and not worry about responding to emails at ungodly hours.

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

I enjoy a few different podcasts, I am usually listening to:

  • Jocko Willink – i’ve learnt a lot about leadership listening to Jocko
  • Joe Rogan Experience – Diverse range of topics with experts from different fields (science, medicine, ai, technology, politics, as well as comedians just talking smack.
  • Five8 Take – If I want to hear alternative takes on current events in Australia
  • CUB – Daniel has a great show and it is one of the reasons I joined CUB. It’s a great way to develop professionally and hearing success stories from members is very inspiring.

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

There are many, but Spark email on iPhone has to be up there. I love being able to send delayed or timed emails or even snooze less urgent emails so I can action them later.

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

Elon Musk. I remember him talking about working 100 hours per week when everyone else works 40. His point was that you would be moving through your goals 2.5x faster than the rest.

Let’s not forget everything that he is currently working on or already achieving:

  • Tesla
  • SpaceX
  • Boring Tunnels
  • Neuralink
  • Star Link Internet
  • Artemis
  • Mars colonisation

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

Spending a little bit of time at the start and end of every day planning, summarising and actioning has helped me become immensely more efficient. This means I can truly unplug at the end of the day. Try to find something that helps wind you down before you leave the office so you get ready to get out of work mode.

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About Author

Balance the Grind is a work-life balance publication on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.