Balancing the Grind with Run Samarakoon, Director at Cosmetic Avenue Melbourne

Run Samarakoon is the Director at Cosmetic Avenue Melbourne, a plastic surgery clinic based in Malvern.

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

My career started 20 years ago as a Cardiac Physiologist. I then moved into private industry working in the field of Cardiac Medical Devices, specialising in the sales and marketing of Pacemakers, Implantable Defibrillators, and Artificial Heart Valves, where I led teams in Australia, New Zealand and the UK.

In 2016 my corporate career was leading me to senior multinational roles. However, at the time my wife and I were expecting our second and third child. Yes, we were having twins!  

After becoming a father, being away from my family for the large part of the year to meet my corporate career commitments soon became less attractive. It was that year when I made the decision to start my own company with one of my best friends.

We saw a growing market in the cosmetic space, and an opportunity to make premium cosmetic treatments and surgical procedures affordable and accessible. And both of our skill sets and experience gave us the confidence we could do it well. This is where Cosmetic Avenue was born. 

Five years on, Cosmetic Avenue is a multi-award winning business, and has been awarded Australasia’s best Plastic/Cosmetic Surgery Practice two years in a row in 2019 & 2020. The practice is now one of Melbourne’s busiest practices, and we’re proud to have helped thousands of clients achieve the confidence they deserve. 

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

I start my day at 6am every day while my family and dog are fast asleep. My morning kicks off with an espresso, and then I workout for an hour.

Starting my day pushing the boundaries of my body and mental strength, while also listening to my favourite music (hands in the air house mixes!) gives me an extra boost of energy to take on what the day brings.

After a shower with some cold water therapy at the end, I listen to business and entrepreneurial podcasts while getting ready. This has been a game changer for me, and really gets by brain sparking off new ideas and opportunities. 

After breakfast with the kids and school drop-off (when we’re not in lockdown), I’m in the office just after 9am. I avoid emails for the first half of the day and ensure I tackle my most creative and challenging tasks and projects first. 

Throughout our week my business partner and I have set times for certain activities, including a weekly formal financial review every Monday morning and also set times throughout the week to focus on revenue generating activities.

As our team has grown and we’ve created more roles, it has allowed us to reduce our involvement in the day to day tasks every entrepreneur has to do when starting and growing a business. We now can spend more time on growth and scaling strategies, which I absolutely love!

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

As we now have a team that can run the day to day business, it does allow me to work remotely and flexibly when I need to. But I like to work closely with my team and love being at the business, so I find it far more productive and more engaging for my team for me to be in the business as often as I can.

However, if there are times where I need to be away for my family or other commitments, I have full trust in our amazing team to ensure the business runs successfully and to the standard we instil. 

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

I absolutely love what I do, and it’s a very different feeling when I compare it to when I was ‘going to work’ for a corporation. When it’s your own business it can at times be all consuming, where your passion and energy makes you want to give it absolutely everything. And that’s such a great feeling. 

But that can have an impact on people around you, especially when you have a family or are in a relationship. Balancing both is critical, and putting energy into the people in your life who will be there until the end, long after your business is gone is hugely important.

Putting your phone away, not answering a call, and being ‘all in’ when people need you results in emotional rewards that help you be a better leader and person. 

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

Getting enough sleep is hugely important for me, especially when I’m up early to exercise. I’ve made a conscious effort to go to bed early to maximise my sleep time.

I also believe that visualisation of goals results in conscious and subconscious changes to behaviour that will lead to achievement of those goals. So every morning I routinely visualise and verbalise my goals. It helps me refocus my thoughts and reminds me of what I need to achieve.

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

My routine podcasts I listen to are:

  • The Make It Happen Show
  • Foundr Podcast
  • Glow Journal
  • Catching Up with CUB

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

My Apple AirPods Pro. Its noise cancellation feature is brilliant when I need to concentrate and need silence.

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

There’s no one specific that comes to mind that exemplifies this. However, I love learning about successful entrepreneurs who are also rich in the relationships with their family and friends. It’s unfortunate to see many hugely successful business people in the public eye who appear to have challenges with this.

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

Put absolutely everything into what you do. To be successful you need to work harder and be better than your competitors. But that also applies to your life outside of your business or job. Be mindful, present, and put energy into people and your passions that make you happy and fulfill you. 

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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.