Balancing the Grind with Rensyn Hooi, General Manager at Acme Technology

Rensyn Hooi is the General Manager at Acme Technology, which provides streamlined bank APIs to automate money movement and real-time reconciliation.

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

Born and raised in Singapore, I headed to UC Berkeley to study Economics for my undergraduate degree. I started my career in management consulting back in Singapore, first in Deloitte Consulting and then in McKinsey & Co. where I worked on a mix of strategic and operational projects globally.

After 4 years in consulting, I decided I wanted to be a part of the SF/Bay Area tech scene. I ended up joining Stripe as part of the BizOps team, and quickly started a rotation with the then COO Claire Hughes Jonhson, where we worked on everything from GTM transformation to talent retention.

It was exhilarating being part of a fast growth company in that role. I joined Stripe in 2019 when there were around 1000 employees, and left almost 4 years later at 8000 employees. After Stripe, I started at a VC fund but quite quickly realised I missed being part of the Startup world. 

I am now the General Manager of an early fintech startup called Acme Technology, and we focus on building bank integrations SaaS products. With our software, we enable businesses to automate money movement and real-time reconciliation, while retaining their bank of choice.

This is a really exciting stage of the company where we’re growing our customer base and constantly iterating on the next version of the product, as well as exploring new channels to go-to-market. A lot of businesses here don’t realise that they can do much more with their existing bank accounts, and we make this process a lot simpler and faster.

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

I start off the day with a nice cup of coffee, and try to have an hour of quiet working time for planning the day and preparing for meetings. I’m a checklists type of person, so creating a daily list of things to do helps me to stay focused. I have an internal meeting with the team to discuss the latest client requirements.

In the afternoon, I head out for a bunch of external meetings. This includes meetings with current and potential clients, as well as the banks we partner with. I wrap up in the evening, head off for a workout (spinning is my go-to sport), and grab dinner. I leave some time at night to read through emails and think about longer term company priorities.

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

My idea of work life balance is to have flexibility in how I go about running my days. Everyday looks a little different to me, and I like it that way. Within a week, I try to make sure I have enough time to workout regularly, and have uninterrupted dinner blocks with my partner and family. I try to have Sundays completely free from thinking about work. Being disciplined about prioritising is something easier said than done, but I try to hold myself to this. 

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?

I am an overthinker, which means I can think in spirals if I’m not careful about it. Being aware of when that happens, and setting aside ‘thinking time’ in the evenings before bed has helped me to control this. What this means is that I write down every worry in a journal – big or small – and set aside 30 minutes to revisit them and get it out of my head. 

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?

10% Happier by Dan Harris was a practical and realistic take on mindfulness. Self-Compassion by Kristin Neff was a book that accompanied a course I took on mindfulness-based self compassion.

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?

Taking a few months off in a big block every couple of years has helped give me space to reset and think about life priorities. All too often we worry about falling behind in the rat race, but I believe that taking a few months off is a short-term trade off for a longer term gain.

I used to think I only needed a few short breaks to keep me going, but nothing compares to the amount of self-discovery you can attain when you give yourself a much longer time off to just do anything else but work.

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.