Founders / Interviews

Balancing the Grind with Nathan Taylor, Co-Founder & COO at Partly

Nathan Taylor is the Co-Founder & COO at Partly, which is building the first global platform for replacement parts, starting with auto parts.

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

My role as Chief Operating Officer at Partly is to oversee the daily operations of a company and ensure that it is running smoothly and efficiently. I manage  a number of departments within the organisation and ensure that they are aligned with the company’s overall direction and strategy.

In addition, I am involved in long-term planning and decision-making. This includes identifying new business opportunities, developing relationships with key stakeholders, and ensuring that the company is in compliance with relevant laws and regulations. In short, I am responsible for ensuring that the company is well-managed and positioned for growth and success.

Prior to Partly, I founded a company that specialised in digitising inventory for small and medium-sized businesses and connecting them through an online marketplace. This was my introduction to the world of startups and entrepreneurship, and it was through this experience that I learnt business fundamentals. 

I am known for being scrappy and operationally focused, with a strong drive to get things done.

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

To start my day, I take a few minutes to review my calendar and make sure I’m prepared for any meetings or tasks. After that, I spend some time ‘cleaning’ my inbox and Slack messages. During this process, I clear out any messages that are no longer relevant and prioritise the ones that need my attention. If a task can be completed in under 2 minutes, it is actioned immediately. Otherwise, I schedule a time to work on it or delegate it to someone else if appropriate.

Throughout my day, I try to help the team focus on what’s important and remove any obstacles that might be blocking their progress. I’m very active on Slack and always try to be available to help out, provide access to resources, or answer any questions that come up. My goal is to make things easier for the team so they can get their work done more efficiently.

A good portion of my time is usually spent in meetings, both with my internal team and with external parties. These meetings can range from one-on-one and stand-ups with team members to sales and support calls with customers, or meetings with legal counsel, investors, and third-party service providers.

In general, I prefer bullet-pointed Slack messages over meetings in person, however I also like to stay connected with the team, our customers, and the market, as well as collaborate with key stakeholders.

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

As a founder, I recognize that work is a significant part of my life and that it is generally unreasonable to limit my work hours to a “normal amount” per week. Because of this, I prioritise finding a healthy and sustainable way to integrate my work and personal life in a way that allows me to be successful in my role and meet my needs and priorities.

To do this, I am mindful of my mental capacity and try to optimise my schedule for both efficient work and meaningful downtime with loved ones or myself. Rather than adhering to traditional work hours, I prioritise work-life integration by finding ways to blend my work and non-work activities in a way that works for me.

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

I’ve started religiously note taking. I used to do this occasionally, but now I do this for every meeting and even when I am thinking by myself. The act of writing down key points and ideas helps me to organise my thoughts, retain information, and forces me to improve my understanding of a subject.

I use special software that automatically links similar ideas, syncs with my calendar, and groups my meetings. This saves me time and stress by uploading the information out of my brain.

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

I listen to every episode of My First Million and The Twenty Minute VC. 

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

The Collison Brothers.

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

For me, the ultimate goal is to align both my work and personal life with the overarching mission of my life. This brings fulfilment and satisfaction in all areas of life. 

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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.