Balancing the Grind with Mandi Gunsberger, Non-Executive Director for Bicycles for Humanity

Mandi Gunsberger is the founder of Babyology, and is currently a Non-Executive Director for Bicycles for Humanity and the Global Business Development Director for Women in Tech.

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

I founded Babyology, Australia’s largest digital publisher for parents. With a social media following of 1.2 million Facebook fans, Babyology reaches 40% of all Mums in Australia. 

I have always loved business and launched a cookie company at 23, a relocation business at 25 and then Babyology at 29, which was successfully acquired in 2017.

I am an entrepreneur who just happens to be a mum-of-three, and I launched Babyology in my living room in 2007 and built it into a publisher with a team of almost 25, mostly women who work remotely from their own homes and also in the Surry Hills, Sydney Headquarters.

Babyology was acquired late 2017 and at the time reached an audience of over 1M unique visitors a month, with a Facebook reach of up to 5 million people per week.

Since the sale of Babyology, I have been working with many start-ups, scale-ups, and corporates in the Australian and European ecosystem, helping them to grow their businesses to become more efficient, with a focus on digital, social media, growth, and marketing strategy.

I graduated from the AICD Company Directors Course in 2018 and am currently a Non-Executive Director for Bicycles for Humanity and the Global Business Development Director for Women in Tech global organization.

I love to help founders & CEOs grow their businesses. With over 20 years of my own business experience and my vast network across Australia, USA, and Europe this is my passion. 

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

Since my founder days and having three small children, life thankfully moves at a slightly slower pace now.  I get up most mornings 6ish and head to the gym for a spin, strength or yoga class. Then back in time to get kids breakfast and lunches organised and everyone off to school. 

I start work most days around 9am which consists of advising start ups and scale ups, so no two days are the same. I could be at fundraising meetings with investors, meetings in their offices, calls, strategy sessions and more. I also fit in my board work one or two days a week.

I try to log off and finish meetings by 5pm so I can spend time with the kids, take them to activities and come home to prepare dinner. We have family time until the kids go to bed and then I get back online to catch up on the afternoon and plan the next day (double screening with Netflix)

I also make sure I now plan time to have a coffee or lunch with my husband or friends occasionally, do some cooking and have some ‘me time’.

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

Absolutely and that’s how I’ve designed it! I work from home a few days a week and do meetings/coffees on certain days in back to back time slots in the CBD. 

There was so much lost time with commuting 5 days a week pre-Covid 19, now there is a lot more flexibility among some employers allowing staff to work from home at least one or two  days a week.

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

For me, work-life balance means being able to focus on what matters most when it suits me, free from guilt or anxiety. 

I work long hours but work life balance means I can also take a break and truly enjoy being with the family, pulling the kids out of school for an adventure day or taking myself off for a massage during the week. 

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

I have implemented a healthier diet of protein and low GI. I also start each morning with a large glass of warm lemon water and drink a lot of water throughout the day.

I listen to a mediation app before going to sleep and find it really relaxes me, since I never hear the end! I try and have a puzzle on the go at all times so the family and I can stop by the table and do a few pieces every now and then. 

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

Some of the best books I’ve read this year are:

  • A Repurposed Life by Ronni Kahn
  • That Will Never Work by Marc Randolph, which is the story of Netflix
  • Winging It by Emma Isaacs

I am also obsessed with Medium and spend at least an hour a day reading articles on the topics I follow. Worth checking out if you don’t already. 

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

I am a techie so I don;t leave home without my mobile, laptop and apple watch most of the time. I feel lost without these three items by my side. One of my favourite new gadgets is my smart lock I have had installed, which means no more keys!

I still feel like James Bond unlocking a secret cave when I key in my code and my front door announces I can enter. I can pop out for a walk with the dog with nothing but my apple watch these days so I can pay if I want to grab a coffee. It’s liberating! 

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

Hands down Jacinda Ardern! How does she manage a toddler and being Prime Minister while constantly smiling and seeming upbeat, happy and calm. 

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

It’s a struggle to get work life balance right and this pivots throughout our entire working life. Whether we have children or do not, whether we have toddlers or teenagers, whether we are single or have a partner. This all affects work life balance and how to achieve a comfortable 

A final piece of advice as a working mother is all about Cheezels! When my kids were small and I had a very important call to make, I could guarantee they would wake up from a daytime nap  at that exact moment.

So I used to throw a box of Cheezels down our stairs and it would take my two toddlers approximately 30 minutes to eat them along the way while I took the call. Hope this helps many working parents out there! 

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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.