Paz Pisarski is the co-founder of The Community Collective, which brings together ambitious community builders in the Australian & NZ startup space to support one another.
1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
Of course! I’ve always found myself to be at the intersection of startups and community building. I love helping people build strong startup communities. A few teams I’ve been involved in are:
- SisterWorks – a not-for-profit where I supported a migrant women community to build their own businesses and become financially independent.
- RMIT Activator – the heart of entrepreneurship at RMIT where I helped grow their startup community from 500 to 5000 over 3+ years.
- Startup Victoria – Australia’s largest startup community with over 60,000 people in the network where I managed their founder community, Office Hours program, Community Officer team and ran over 100+ events online and in person.
Along the way I fell in love with building businesses and funnily enough started two of my own:
- Paz Sounds – a music business where I compose relaxation music for meditation and play live concerts. This is really a creative outlet for me as I’ve learned classical Suzuki guitar since I was 4. Oh yeah, this is my favourite track to listen to whilst working from home.
The most recent business is The Community Collective, where we help people build strong and highly engaged communities.
What started as a meetup group with 17 community builders in between Melbourne lockdowns in 2021, has grown into a community of 290+ community builders in the Australian and New Zealand startup space. It’s really the sum of everything I am passionate about and what I love most.
Today I run both businesses whilst living along the Surf Coast in Torquay, Victoria.
2) What does a day in your life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
Generally my weeks are split between 2-3 days in Torquay working from home or at the local co-working space (Happy Spaces) and 1-2 days in Melbourne working from The Commons.
A day in Torquay generally looks like:
- 6am – Rise and put the kettle on
- 6:05am – Meditate for 20 minutes (I practise vedic meditation)
- 6:30am – Work on big thinking tasks e.g. design The CC Cohort
- 8:30am – Exercise (I like to swim or body surf)
- 9:30am – Brekkie (eggs on toast is my go-to)
- 10:00am – Scan emails for anything urgent
- 10:15am – Plan my day with Todist
- 10:30am – Work on The Community Collective with tea and calming music
- 1:00pm – Eat lunch and listen to a podcast (I’m listening to Masters of Community)
- 1:30pm – Walk to Happy Spaces coworking with my mala (I always have a Japa practise going)
- 1:40pm – Reply to as many emails as possible with Superhuman
- 2:20pm – Check LinkedIn messages and post on The CC socials
- 3:00pm – Meetings with members, partners or potential speakers
- 4:00pm – Continue working on The Community Collective, with chai and lofi beats
- 5:30pm – Exercise (I like to run or walk with a friend)
- 6:30pm – Hang out at home and cook dinner using veggies from the garden (I LOVE gardening and growing veggies)
- 8:00pm – Watch a movie with my partner or play guitar
- 9:00pm – Shower, listen to sleep music and read my book
- 9:30pm – Ideally fall asleep
3) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
I try not to subscribe to the idea of always being perfectly in balance with life and work. Because in reality sometimes life and work can be crazy. And other times it can be very calm.
True balance for me is when I’m doing work that energises me and has a positive impact on others. True success is being of service.
I also like to work in seasons. I work hard for 4-5 months and then plan a week off in nature to recharge. Then I come back inspired and work hard for another season. It helps me stay focused knowing that I will have my time resting and adventuring.
4) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?
Things I’ve started:
- Swimming laps to clear my mind
- Reading before bed to fall asleep easily
- Playing a gig once a month for fun
Things I’ve stopped:
- Drinking coffee as it makes me jittery
- Drinking alcohol to wake up fresh (although I love a good pale ale)
5) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?
- Cult Status is a great read about building community-led businesses and Get Together to build strong communities from scratch.
- Offline with Alison Rice is a lovely listen for true self success and The Inspired Unemployed for a good laugh.
- Overnight Successes is a great newsletter to keep up to date with the Australian startup space.
6) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?
The Inspired Unemployed duo Jack and Matt – they are hilarious.
7) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
Moving to a small coastal town has been one of the best things. I love being close to the beach, going for swims and knowing everyone in town.
I live a more peaceful life as this place gives me endless amounts of inspiration, new ideas and clarity in both my businesses and life. Plus I can still head into Melbourne on the train when I feel like a city hit (or a Banh Mi from Trang).
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