Rey Kamal is the Co-Founder & CEO at Ledgerowl, a SaaS startup helping startups and small business owners handle their finance and accounting.
Let’s start with your background! Can you share with us your career journey and what you’re currently up to?
I started my career as a tax accountant straight after graduating from I moved to Sydney from Jakarta straight from high school to attend a university at Macquarie. Upon graduating, I started my career as a tax accountant full time while continuing my study at The University of Sydney and completing my Chartered Accountant certification at the same time. After almost ten years in Sydney, I moved back to Jakarta to start a business. Overall, I failed two ventures before I decided to take a role as a CFO for a startup company.
While working full-time, I realised my entrepreneur friends were behind in doing their books and tax reporting. I decided to take the job and work on my side hustle at night. Hence, Ledgerowl was born.
In 2020, my co-founder joined to work on the idea full-time. He believes accounting work is repetitive and should take only some entrepreneurs’ time. Upon hearing my proposition, he moved his family from Sydney and quit his cushy job.
The early days of the company were tough. Still, we persevered and eventually gained traction, attracting a large and loyal user base. We secured funding from investors and expanded our team, allowing us to continue developing and improving our platform.
Now, we’re focusing on scaling our business and expanding our reach, becoming the go-to platform to do accounting and tax. It’s been a challenging but rewarding journey so far, and I’m excited to see where we’ll go from here.
We’d love to know what a typical day is like for you. Could you describe a recent workday?
As a startup founder, my typical workday involves a mix of activities related to building and growing my business. I wake up every day at 5 am to do a quick 15 minutes of meditation before getting my eldest son ready for school. I got to the office around 7:30 am and started the day by checking my email and responding to urgent messages. I also review my to-do list for the day and prioritise tasks.
My role typically is on the call with many stakeholders, such as customers, staff, and investors. I am also responsible for hiring, so I always look to fill positions available within the company.
Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is essential. I disconnect from work and spend time with friends or family, pursue hobbies, or run around my home area. I typically stop working around 6 pm and head home if there’s no dinner meeting. Of course, the specifics of each day can vary depending on the business’s needs. But overall, my day is filled with product development, marketing, fundraising, and team management tasks.
Can you define work-life balance for yourself and share with us your approach in maintaining it?
Work-life balance refers to balancing the demands of work and personal life to allow individuals to achieve both personal fulfilment and professional success without sacrificing one for the other.
It involves finding a healthy and sustainable balance between work-related responsibilities, such as meetings, deadlines, and projects, and personal life activities, such as family time, hobbies, and self-care. The goal of work-life balance is to achieve harmony between these two aspects of life, which can lead to greater well-being, improved productivity, and overall happiness.
Here’s my approach to maintaining it:
- Prioritise self-care: I prioritise my physical and mental health by incorporating activities like exercise, meditation, and spending time with loved ones into my daily routine. I also take breaks throughout the day to avoid burnout and maintain my energy levels.
- Set boundaries: I establish clear boundaries between work and personal time by setting specific work hours and designating certain days, either Saturdays or Sundays, to have a rest.
- Outsource and delegate tasks: I identify tasks that can be outsourced or delegated to others, whether within my team or external contractors.
- Use technology to optimise productivity: I leverage technology to maximise my productivity and efficiency. For example, I use project management software to organise tasks and collaborate with my team.
- Communicate with my team: I communicate openly and regularly to ensure everyone is on the same page and working toward the same goals. This helps us avoid miscommunication and misunderstandings that can lead to unnecessary stress and workload.
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?
Over the past year, I have made several lifestyle changes to improve my work-life balance:
- Time to exercise: I’ve made a conscious effort to prioritise self-care by setting aside time for exercise, meditation, and other activities that promote physical and mental health.
- Taking breaks: I’ve made it a point to take regular breaks throughout the day and to take time off from work when needed. This has helped me recharge and return to work with renewed energy and focus.
- Prioritise tasks: Only work on high-impact tasks for the business
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?
Book: The Joy of Missing Out by Tanya Dalton – This book provides practical strategies for prioritising what matters most and letting go of distractions and unnecessary tasks.
Podcast: Endgame with Gita Wirjawan – Entrepreneur, educator, and Indonesian ex-state minister. Gita Wirjawan explores the ways forward for society through stories and experiences.
Newsletter: Backscoop – This daily newsletter provides news on Southeast Asian tech straight to email.
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?
Work-life balance is a journey, not a destination. It’s important to be patient, compassionate, and kind to yourself as you strive to find a healthy balance between your work and personal life.
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