Kevin Nguyen is an Account Executive – ANZ at HubSpot, as part of the sales team helping businesses transform their marketing, sales and service functions.
1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
My background is actually in Accounting and Finance. I did my undergraduate degree at Macquarie University and I started my career at a boutique accounting firm in Sydney. It was a specialised bookkeeping and tax firm with about 5 CPA trained accountants.
I was there for about 2 years until a recruiter from Uber reached out about an opportunity to join their growing Sydney operation. After a couple interviews, I was convinced I wanted to be part of this ‘rocketship’ and this was the beginning of my career in tech doing everything ranging from customer success, marketing and sales.
Fast forward, I have now been at HubSpot for 3 years in the sales team helping businesses transform their marketing, sales and service functions.
2) What does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
Every day in sales is different. It’s mainly revenue generating activities which could include anything from client meetings, pipeline management, forecasting and creating proposals.
In between these meetings, I’ll try and find time to renew my energy so I’ll mix it up with some meditation, a walk around the block, going to the gym and catching up with friends for lunch. It may seem small but I find these ‘in between’ activities help me stay laser focused in the fast pace work environment.
In the evenings, I completely disconnect from work and would usually do some sort of sports like social netball or rugby.
3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
HubSpot has very flexible working options for staff to work partial and/or completely remote. During my time, I’ve seen many colleagues transition into fully remote roles for various reasons such as moving cities or even purchasing homes in other parts of the country.
My personal preference is to be in the office because I like the buzz on the sales floor. When I can, I’ll try and take advantage of flexible working whilst travelling if the time zone difference isn’t too bad. One of the reasons I love working in sales is the autonomy offered if you have a track record of delivering results.
4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
To me, work-life balance means operating at your very best both at work and at home. Whether this means working 30, 40, or 50 hours a week, it’s different for everyone.
For the most part, I’m very lucky to love what I do so it’s never a chore to show up. This means I’ll gladly go the extra mile to learn and do things like read up on blogs about tech, listen to podcasts and attend industry events.
So I guess some would say I’m ‘terrible’ at work-life balance.
5) What do you think are some of the best habits or routines that you’ve developed over the years to help you achieve success in your life?
Find out how your body and mind replenishes energy. Do you get energy by being around other people? Or does it require lots of effort to be in social settings? Does physical activity help you recharge?
One of the most impactful workshops I’ve been part of is called ‘The Energy Project’ run by our executives at HubSpot. It was truly empowering because it forced me to deeply reflect on these questions and experiment with different working schedules to see what brought the best out of me. It encouraged me to take frequent short breaks throughout the day to ensure I am in the right headspace to work productively.
In addition to this, using a daily calendar and diary with action items keeps me accountable to deadlines and prioritise important tasks.
6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?
- The Top Podcast – Nathan Latka (Entrepreneurs)
- Never Split The Difference by Chris Voss (Negotiation)
- Gong Sales Newsletter
7) What is the number one thing you do to make sure you get the most out of your day?
I always plan one day in advance. There are only so many hours in a day, so I try to be as deliberate with my time as possible. This also helps me mentally prepare for the conversations coming up and stay focused on the outcomes I’m working towards.
8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?
Not sure about this one. I am deeply fascinated by people who work with burning passion in their field of expertise whether it is sports, politics or business. Perhaps, Brene Brown or Barack Obama?
9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
I think work-life balance is different for everyone. Even for me, my perspective on work-life balance has evolved as my career progresses.
There is no one size fits all approach. You’ve really got to push yourself to both ends of the spectrum to figure out what it means for you. One of the best pieces of advice I’ve received is to think about the type of values you want to live your life by and use that as your guiding north star.
And, don’t be too rough on yourself. Things aren’t always going to go your way which is what makes the high’s so much higher. So celebrate the small wins along the way.
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