CEOs / Founders / Interviews

Balancing the Grind with Riccardo Tessaro, Founder & CEO at Gravity Co-Living

Riccardo Tessaro is the Founder & CEO at Gravity Co-Living, an aspirational asset-light co-living brand which aims to create a global community of young professionals by offering beautifully designed living spaces with a strong focus on delivering the best possible lifestyle experience for members.

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

After graduating in financial management in London, I spent the early years of my professional career living and working in Asia. For the first 2 years I was working in private equity focusing on early-stage investments in emerging and frontier markets out of Tel Aviv and Bangkok respectively.

The 2 experiences eventually led me to crave a more operationally hands-on role and I therefore decided to join a tech company in Hong Kong as one of the first employees. Despite being a relatively brief experience, it was extremely satisfactory from a learning curve perspective.

Lastly, before setting up Gravity, I had the opportunity of working between Hong Kong and London for about 4 years for a real estate investment company which enhanced my interest in the sector and eventually led me to launch my own venture.

Today I’m the co-founder and CEO of Gravity Co. We design, operate and own residential and purpose built co-living assets with a clear mission of improving the lives of today’s global rental generatio, via a flexible, tech-enabled, and community-centred living experience.

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

I typically wake up at 7am, exercise for about 20 minutes before showering and get breakfast while reading the news. I either cycle or take the underground to the office which takes me approximately 20 minutes and I kick off the day around 8.30/9.

I typically go through my inbox and try to reply to everyone in the first hour then I move to my to do checklist which I always prepare in the evening before going to bed. I typically grab something to eat around the office around 1.30pm and head back to complete my list within 20/30 minutes.

I often have in person meetings but I try to concentrate all or most of them in the same day to avoid wasting time while when it comes to calls I tend to avoid them unless necessary. I think the world has gone a bit too far and many hours on zoom/teams could be shaved off with a few emails.

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

I always try to have a cut off time in the evening after which I stop replying to emails/calls and I take this quite seriously unless strictly necessary. The most important way for me to balance my lifestyle is to be active both socially and physically.

I really enjoy running and cycling and try to do that at least 3 times a week in the morning, evening or over the weekend. I also value friendships and I enjoy spending time with my friends on weekends over some food and drinks.

I also believe it is important to spend some alone time to think/meditate and I do that by going for long walks – I often replace my underground /bicycle commute back home with a 50/60 minutes walk.

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

Yes, I have started playing chess as a way to disconnect, have started practising yoga and I’m currently learning the basics of mediation.

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

One of my favourite books is Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl – it’s a powerful book on the holocaust about resilience and the importance of having objectives and hope in life. My favourite podcast is Business Movers with Lindsay Graham diving on the stories behind some of the most brilliant business people in the world.

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

Jack Ma!

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

Quoting Jim Rohn here: ‘Either you run the day or the day runs you’! In other words, to feel fulfilled in life, it is crucial for anyone to have both short and long term goals.

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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.