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Balancing the Grind with Nathan Sinnott, Founder & CEO at Newpath Web

Nathan Sinnott is the founder & CEO at Newpath Web, a digital performance marketing agency that he founded in 2008.

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

My early career began in IT/tech, including a lot of travel around Australia and NZ, designing and installing large scale local area networks. It was in this role where I built my foundational technical skills, being exposed to PCs, network & mail servers, and all things Microsoft.

As my skills expanded I got the opportunity to cut across networking devices such as routers, and security devices to protect networks and data.

As my career continued I moved across to telecommunications, on the consulting side of the table, working with large scale sales teams in a technical capacity, designing domestic and international networks for big business, which took me overseas for a few years to expand my skill set and enjoy working in London.

I started my first company (an IT managed services provider) when I was 23 and after a few years in that business, I sold it after seeing an opportunity in digital. I started Newpath Web in 2008, building it up from just myself, to the global team we have today of more than 250 talented people, where I am CEO.  

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

My internal clock has me up quite early, typically around 5am. Most of my typical workday time is scheduled in advance, made up of a mix of people & relationships, functional & business reviews, strategy, emergency escalations, new opportunity review and operational planning; meaning those couple of hours in the early morning is where I can do deep/slow thinking, and also set aside time to catch up on email.

Much of my working day is made up of meetings, which I attend face to face where possible.

I still enjoy technical solution design and consultancy, so I’m sometimes involved in early stage discussions with clients for new projects and complex solutions where I play a role alongside our team. I make time in my week on set days to do school drop off or pick up, to be a part of my children’s sporting activities and to focus on my own health, with time in the gym, away from my phone.

Over recent years I’ve become an investor and board member in a number of start-ups, working alongside the founders to help them navigate getting to market, overcoming obstacles and scaling which has been incredibly rewarding and thoroughly enjoyable. 

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

Yes, it does, and I do WFH on certain days, however I must admit that I have a personal preference for face to face meetings where possible for full connection and authenticity. This also means I travel quite a bit, to both our Australian and international offices, spending time with our teams and working alongside them.

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

When you choose to become a founder, CEO or business owner, you also knowingly choose to give up a part of your personal self to your business, which has an impact on those closest to you. Evenings, weekends and holidays are atypical. We are always “on”, especially available for emergency meetings, escalations or large opportunities and last minute requests.

Managing this time is important, for your own mental & physical health, and for your partner and children.

Being an early riser helps me on this front, as I can typically schedule review time and responses to requests before anyone else in the house is awake on a weekday, weekend or when on holiday, meaning I can minimise impact on those around me. 

I prioritise time away from work, with family, friends, and working on my own health and wellbeing. I have set days for school drop off and pick up and prioritise and am firm with my devotion to the sport my children participate in, being a part of that and supporting their passions and interests. 

I could not live without my diary. Without it I’d be hopeless. It tells me where I need to be, when and with who.

I don’t think there’s a magic mix for work-life-balance for every CEO, instead it takes time to find the right routine that works for you & your family. 

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

Pandemic related lockdowns impacted routines, health and recreation. With everything opening back up, I’ve gotten back into the gym, and rediscovered my love (from back when I was a teen) of surfing and bodyboarding. It’s great to share those passions with my kids and give them glimpses into my hobbies, especially if they are ones from my childhood that we can now enjoy as a family.

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

My favourite books are The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, Tribal Leadership by Dave Logan, John King and Halee Fischer-Wright and Always Looking Up by Michael J. Fox. I just finished reading Stealing Fire by Steven Kotler and Jamie Wheal, and am currently reading One Man’s Everest by Kenton Cool.

I can’t really get myself into fiction books, preferring non-fiction. Through the pandemic I read Billion Dollar Loser, The Spy & The Traitor, Super Pumped, Bad Blood, The Price of Fortune, Extreme Ownership, Finding Gobi and Unbroken. All were great page turners. 

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

My diary/calendar! Audible, Spotify, and a surf report app I use. I’m a bit of a car tragic, so I tend to find myself on review sites and sites dedicated to older custom cars and project builds. 

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

Any executive that makes a point of downtime, away from work, either doing what they love, or spending quality time with their family. 

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

Expect to make mistakes and get it wrong sometimes. Don’t focus on beating yourself up, instead learn from it and move on. We can’t be perfect, but we can constantly improve. Find what works best for you & your family, and go after it.

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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.