CEOs / Founders / Interviews

Balancing the Grind with Phil Hayes-St Clair, Co-Founder & CEO at Drop Bio Health

Phil Hayes-St Clair is the co-founder and CEO at Drop Bio Health, a company pioneering longitudinal digital healthcare based in Sydney, Australia. 

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

I started my career as an infantry soldier in the Australian Army, my dream was to fly military helicopters. Unfortunately, the Army discovered a previously undiagnosed eye condition which saw me leave the military. I then spent time in financial services before starting my first company in 2006.

Since then I have started and grown multiple companies and today I am Co-Founder and CEO at Drop Bio Health. I have a BSc (immunology, QUT) and an MBA (UNSW) and I love building organisations that move humanity and equality forward.   

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

My day starts at 0430 with exercise before my wife and I get our daughters to school. From 8am to 1pm I am in meetings with my team and our partners and ‘Deep Work’ time starts for all of us at Drop Bio Health after that. From 4pm I often have meetings until 6:00pm and then I’m with my family until 8pm. There are often meetings with European colleagues and I aim to be in bed by 9:15pm.   

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

Yes, we are typically in the office three days per week and we operate on an interesting 9 day fortnight, where every second Friday is called a ME Day. This is a day where team members can work all or part of their day or take the day to rest. The key agreement and expectation of each ME Day is that people are not contactable on that day. It’s been game changing for our culture. 

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

Integrating work and life is more effective than achieving balance because the pursuit of balance in a high growth environment is nearly impossible to achieve. Achieving the right level of integration starts with knowing why you’re investing the time you have on this planet.

For me, I am working to positively impact the lives of 100M people through personalised, preventative health and entrepreneurship and that starts with supporting my wife and daughters. This ambition helps me make decisions about what I do and don’t do, and I find that really helpful.

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

I’ve placed more emphasis on sleep, specifically being in bed at the same time every night (or as close as possible!) and getting 7 hours of high quality sleep each night. I have also reduced my alcohol intake to nearly zero. 

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

So many books! I ordered all the books from Bill Gates’ book list, and one of my recent favourites was Brene Brown’s Atlas of the Heart. I’m also an audiophile, love podcasts and audiobooks.

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

The focus feature on my iPhone.

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

Adam Grant.

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

Own your story, over capitalise on your talents not perceived deficiencies and always be motivated by a genuine fear of missing important perspectives.

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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.