Balancing the Grind with Justin Seskin, Co-Founder & CEO of The DOM

Justin Seskin is the Co-Founder and CEO of The DOM, the first Australian-owned dedicated online fashion outlet.

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Let’s start with your background! Can you share with us your career journey and what you’re currently up to?

I grew up in retail, it’s been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. While my friends were watching Saturday cartoons I was being taken around shopping centres with my father, a retail veteran, for ‘store visits’. By the time I finished school I practically had a masters in retail! 

Even while I was at university studying finance and accounting I had a casual sales job at Glue Store and could never (and never wanted to) shake retail since! For the decade following graduation, I progressed through retail in all sorts of roles including operations, merchandising, commercial, and licensing for an international brand.

This deep and ingrained first hand experience in retail helped me identify the gap in the market for a better discount solution for brands and customers. This is where The DOM comes into play – it’s my solution to improve Australia’s ecommerce and retail industry. 

We’d love to know what a typical day is like for you. Could you describe a recent workday?

I typically like to start my days reasonably early and get to my desk by 7/7:30 to give myself time to settle in and get ready for the day.Being a new and growing business with a relatively small team, each day is exciting and dynamic and can see me wearing any number of hats. We’re a small team that works in a very open, involved, and collaborative way. Lunch is important – we try to take an hour as a team each day to sit outside, eat some lunch and talk about everything not work related.

Preparing and unwinding from the workday is also important to me, so I try to exercise, cook dinner and sit back with a book to go to sleep with a clear mind, ready for the next day’s challenges.

Can you define work-life balance for yourself and share with us your approach in maintaining it?

Being a new business, long hours are part of the game. Finding ‘balance’ is always a delicate dance and I make a concerted effort to constantly find that balance. For me, the most important pieces are keeping fit, eating well, and getting enough sleep.

These are the main ingredients for me to maintain a balanced mind & life. Beyond that, I enjoy hobbies that keep me away from the screen and technology like surfing (despite being terrible), cooking (loving everything fish and seafood atm) and reading.  

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Change is constant, and it’s essential for growth. Have you made any lifestyle changes in the past year to improve your work-life balance?

Definitely. I’m always looking for ways to improve my general health – Huberman Lab is a great podcast that has given me a lot of good tips! In the last year, the main change I have made is trying to be healthier in my down time to improve that balance, including cutting back on alcohol massively which has really let me focus on my health and clear thinking.

The other thing I’ve done is made a bigger effort to be more disciplined in giving myself time for the things that are crucial for me to maintain that balance (surfing, cooking, reading) and not waste my downtime staring at another screen!

We’re always on the lookout for new resources! Can you recommend any books, podcasts, or newsletters that have helped you in your journey towards balance?  

I spend the daytime hours deep in the retail / ecommerce industry so when it comes to my downtime, I like to steer clear from anything work or business related. A Gentleman in Moscow, Barbarian Days and City of Lies are a few books I’ve read recently and enjoyed. Podcasts – Huberman Lab and The Economist podcast are some I enjoy listening to.

Before we wrap up, do you have any final words of wisdom or insights on work, life, or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?

Don’t be insular, have an open mind and always view challenges as a learning. Putting yourself out there and sifting through the advice of everyone with a vocal opinion can be difficult but it’s worth it. Take the time to listen to and engage with your peers and leaders, you’ll find yourselves in conversations that you never would’ve thought fruitful or possible.

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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.