Paolo Danese is the founder & CEO at Storya, a company an app powered by AI and blockchain tools that makes it possible for creators from anywhere in the world to easily build, collaborate on, share and engage, and monetize amazing multimedia content.
To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
I have spent most of my career in publishing as a journalist, editor, and consultant. I was a financial markets reporter based out of Hong Kong for nearly a decade.
I focused on China’s cross-border investment regulations and schemes, interacting with many global and Asian financial institutions, regulators and more.
After that, I worked for a global marketing agency for about a year before going freelance. Since October 2021, I have been working full-time as the founder of Storya.app, our AI-powered publishing platform for creative writers.
What does a day in your life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
I get up at 7 to get my two kids (6 & 8 yo) ready for school. I start working on urgent emails and tasks from around 8.30 am. Then I focus on my to-do list for the rest of my morning until early afternoon. As the Storya team operates across 6 timezones, mostly in Europe and Africa, I begin connecting with the team in my late afternoon for the second half of my work day.
What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
My ideal is a place where I can watch movies, read comics and novels and have enough time to write my fiction work (I have already published two novels). Another crucial part of work-life balance is ensuring I have enough time every other day to play with my kids (usually board games), and look after their homework and other school projects.
Finally, I try to make time for my marriage, specifically having time to go out with my wife for dinners or movies as regularly as possible. I would love to have more time for sports, but I have not been able to manage that very effectively!
In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?
I have started and stopped several times my gym-going habit! I used to be a hardcore gym goer but COVID and work from home really disrupted that. But, at least this year, I have started taking it more seriously again. I have also completely cut off caffeine and alcohol from my life, and I am very pleased with the additional mental clarity I gained from that.
Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?
Books: Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, truly a gem.
Newsletters: Refind and Every are both newsletters I enjoy very much on the tech side of things, alongside Bonsai for quick news headlines.
If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?
No one comes to mind specifically, but certainly I would like to hear from as many tech founders as possible!
Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
Sure: balance is not a goal but a process. There will be times of great balance and times when you wish you could run away to the top of the Himalayas to become a hermit, at least that’s been the case for me! Self-compassion and positivity are really the only way to get through those tough times and avoid becoming a burden to those who love us the most.
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