Balancing the Grind with Karim Hadid, Co-Founder of Treely

Karim Hadid is the Co-Founder of Treely, a 12-day step team-building challenge. They plant a tree for every 10,000 steps taken.

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

I’m Karim, co-founder of Treely – an app that turns your team’s steps into trees.

I started in advertising, working with some creative and passionate people. As time went by, I wanted more say in the products we were advertising, leading me to move into UX design and Product Management at several startups.

Alongside my tech journey, I’ve always connected deeply to nature. Some of my best memories are camping trips with my family and days spent exploring the woods.

So, when the Australian bushfires hit in the summer of 2019, it got to me. That was my turning point; I knew I had to do something.

Enter Treely. Co-created with two of my childhood friends, our goal is simple yet impactful: 10k steps = 1 tree planted.

I feel fortunate and grateful. I get to work with lifelong friends, bring teams together for a good cause, and give back to nature.

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

After I drop the kids at daycare, I always carve out time for a short walk—a routine I picked up building Treely.

I listen to a podcast, lay out my daily tasks, or disconnect and let my thoughts wander.

I then check my overnight Slack messages as my co-founders are based in France.

From that point, no two days are quite the same—welcome to startup life!

Our recent expansion efforts in Australia usually involve lots of LinkedIn, sales pitches, exploring potential partnerships, and some design and marketing.

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

Work can be all-consuming, especially when you’re passionate about what you do.

So, I’m learning to set clear boundaries to have time for what matters to me outside of work: family, friendship and wellbeing.

It is not an exhaustive list, but here’s how I go about it:

Digital detox for family time: my phone stays out of sight until the kids are in bed, so they get my undivided attention.

Nature recharge: we often go bushwalking on weekends. We recharge our batteries and teach the kids the value of connecting with nature.

Candlelit family dinners: we go old-school with a candlelit dinner once a month. Lights off, candles, pizzas, and a side of shadow puppetry for the kids.

Scheduled workouts: I used to be big on sports, but I put that aside after the kids were born. Returning to regular exercise made me realise how critical it is to my wellbeing. I block out time on my calendar for it. Otherwise, it slips.

Balancing work and life is an ongoing process, but rituals like these help me keep my priorities in check.

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?

I’ve found that minor adjustments can make a big difference over time.

For example, halfway through my morning walk, I pause for a 10-minute meditation. It may not seem like much, but the small steps help build a lasting routine. Going from zero to one is always the most challenging part.

I aim to run three times a week. My youngest has started waking up at 6 a.m. for feeding, creating a window for me to get in a run before the rest of the house stirs.

I became addicted to cold showers. They wake me up, give me energy, and make me feel amazing.

I’ve been working on an earlier bedtime, but this one’s still a work in progress.

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?

In a world that often feels inundated with negativity, uplifting resources can be a game changer.

I’d recommend Humankind by Rutger Bregman. It genuinely restored my faith in the innate goodness of people.

And I just picked up What We Owe the Future by William Macaskill. I have high hopes for this one!

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?

Change doesn’t have to happen all at once. Start small. Get some wins on the board. It will help you keep going.

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.