Roei Samuel is the founder & CEO of Connectd, a community network that connects entrepreneurs and startups with investors and NEDs to secure growth opportunities.
1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
My name is Roei Samuel, and I am the CEO and Founder of Connectd. My interest is in creating communities, which resulted in me founding a company called RealSport back in 2014, that I successfully exited to a gaming company in 2018. At this stage, I turned to angel investing, which is something I continue to do and have a great interest in.
I have experienced both sides of the coin. I had been a startup founder who was seeking investment and an investor who was looking for the right opportunity to seek a return and add value.
I noticed that there wasn’t an effective route for either party to reach the other, which is when I created Connectd. We utilise smart matching technology to connect startup founders with investors and advisors so that all parties receive relevant, credible and interesting propositions.
2) What does a day in your life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
My typical day starts at 6 am, where I kickstart the day with a workout before jumping into emails while having breakfast. I tend to have back-to-back calls from 8 am into the early evening.
These tend to be a blend of external calls with investors, new prospects and current customers. I pride myself on spending a significant portion of my day with our own team to understand what they are currently working on and make sure they are supported.
While I do tend to work late into the evening, I always make sure I have some downtime to meditate before going to bed, which really helps clear my mind and get me mentally prepared for the next day.
3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
I launched Connectd at the beginning of the first lockdown, so remote working became our normal scenario. Now, we operate a hybrid policy, and I have found that when I am in the office, I try to have fewer calls, and more in-person sessions to collaborate to a greater degree than you can remotely.
4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
As a founder, I believe it is very important to take time out for yourself to build and recover your mental resilience. However, when you’re leading a startup business that can be very hard to do because it becomes all-encompassing.
For me, it is vital that you have a support network of close friends and family to lean on because during times of difficulty, they are the people that will help you pull through. I found that at times I sacrificed my personal life too much, and my mental resilience would suffer.
Instead of suffering alone, over-working and trying to solve all the problems within your business, it is far better to communicate with those around you. You need to vent, relax, and reflect on problems to create effective solutions.
It’s about keeping yourself in check, and one of the best ways to do this is simply booking time in your diary for yourself – and sticking to it!
5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?
I started drinking three litres of water a day, and the impact has been incredible. I feel fresher, brighter, more alert, and happier.
It is crazy how difficult it can be to keep on top of; topping up a water bottle between back-to-back calls and meetings is a strange struggle to deal with, but the benefits I have seen are very noticeable.
6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?
I like to read Scott Galloway’s marketing newsletter, and I would recommend people read Caroline Dweck’s Mindset book. The latter teaches you self-growth, and it helped me to unlock the power of a positive mindset to solve problems right in front of you. It all goes back to building resilience and prioritising yourself to be the best version of yourself you can be.
7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?
I can’t live without my Bose noise-cancelling headphones, and the Headspace app. Having noise-cancelling capability means no distractions for me, and my productivity has risen significantly since I bought them, and I wouldn’t look back. Whereas Headspace is my meditation tool and my route to taking more time for myself to mentally refocus my mind and get out of my own head.
8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?
I would love to speak to Andy Jassy, the new Amazon CEO who helped create Amazon Web Services, about how he juggled work-life balance while growing a global juggernaut. The advice that you can gain from these ultra-successful people is invaluable because even small things that they do might help you to become more successful yourself.
9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
Make time for yourself and those closest to you because they will be there through the good and the bad. And however busy you might be, make sure you have some downtime to mentally recharge.
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