Founders / Interviews

Balancing the Grind with Nathaniel Yim, Co-Founder of Janio Asia

Nathaniel Yim is the Co-Founder of Janio Asia, a supply chain management startup headquartered in Singapore and operating in Southeast Asia.

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

Hi! My name is Nathaniel, and I’m currently a co-founder at Janio Asia, a supply chain management startup headquartered in Singapore and operating in Southeast Asia. As a cofounder, I have worn multiple hats over the past 5 years since we founded the company, including head of marketing, general manager, head of operations, etc.

I currently lead global operations projects for the company. Before Janio, I was a full time undergraduate at the National University of Singapore studying marketing at the NUS Business School.

Janio is my first full time job straight out of college. I did a few internships at startups, agencies and at a global bank while in school, so those experiences set me up well for my current job at Janio.

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

There is no such thing as a typical day in a startup, but if I were to find the common elements from across the years, a day would have a mix of 2-3 meetings and some time for individual work.

I try to get my individual work, which consists mostly of making sense of data, reports, drafting or updating SOPs, finding ways to optimise our services or costs, done in the morning before holding or attending meetings in the afternoon.

Meetings are usually with internal stakeholders, such as with department heads, or the teams I am running, mostly to align on work and review progress. External meetings might be with logistics partners to review operational matters, or with clients to discuss ways to work together further. 

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

I find that balance to me is when I can look forward to whatever it is I’m doing, whether it’s work or anything outside work. For this, I would need both mental and physical capacity, so I try to maintain a fitness regime, stick to a sleep schedule, and I journal and practice meditation to maintain a clear headspace.

Beyond these, I also need to “know where I’m heading”, in work and life. So I regularly do reviews about the progress I’m making in my career, with the growth of the company, and also with the things that matter to me outside work. When things are on track, or at least if I’m learning and growing in these areas, I find that I’m quite “balanced” and not out of whack.

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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?

Something that is essential for growth to me is having adequate rest. Without it, everything else will fall into place. I’ve tried different morning routines and fitness regimes and I find that waking up at the same time everyday, regardless of how the previous nights sleep was, and doing some amount of physical activity everyday, whether its a full session in the gym or even just a 10min walk around the neighbourhood, helps with falling asleep more easily and getting more restful sleep too. With good rest, I can approach life with more intent and energy.

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?

I listen to podcasts on Spotify on the commute to and from work, and the podcasters I find to be helpful are Modern Wisdom by Chris Williamson and The Knowledge Project by Shane Parrish. They cover various topics that span both work and life outside work.

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?

There’s always something to learn wherever you go, just look for it and you will find it.

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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.