Ryan Elliott is the Co-founder of Partnar.io, a SaaS platform that helps brands reach new customers by partnering and collaborating with other brands who share the same customers.
Let’s start with your background! Can you share with us your career journey and what you’re currently up to?
I dropped out of high school half way through year 11. Started my career in the Fitness Industry as a Personal Trainer, moved into sales because I wanted to own a gym. From there I saw a gap in the market for a lead generation solution for gyms so I founded a company called Moovit that eventually evolved in MiGym.com.au – which was a marketplace for people to find and join a gym in their area.
After winding up that business, I co-founded my latest project, Partnar.io with a very good friend of mine! We launched the product on the 6th of July and signed a term sheet to raise funding from a Melbourne VC on the 7th September. It’s been a very fast paced 12 months!
We’d love to know what a typical day is like for you. Could you describe a recent workday?
Usually up at 5.30-6am, coffee and read whatever book I’m reading for 45 mins. Then either walk or head to the gym depending on how I’m feeling, and in the office by 8.30am. Most of my day is taken up with presenting to and on-boarding new clients, managing the business and playing ping-pong. We usually leave the office around 4pm, I head home, go for a walk or swim in the ocean, eat dinner and then work for a few more hours at night with a movie on Netflix in the background. It’s currently 8.30pm on a Monday night and I’m writing this.
Can you define work-life balance for yourself and share with us your approach in maintaining it?
Starting and building an early stage software company requires a lot of focus, energy and commitment. As we know, balance is never 50/50 I’d say more 80/20-ish. For me, work feels a lot like play. I get to tinker with software, speak to really smart people, and hang out with one of my best mates every day building a company we’re both super passionate about.
That being said, I make sure I exercise each day, play golf once a week, and go to the driving range after work some days. Read my books, and head out for dinner or share a bottle of wine with friends every couple of weeks.
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 took up golf again. I played this a bit when I was younger, but fell back in love with the game . This has had a big impact on my focus and energy. I don’t check my phone when I’m playing or at the range. I’d encourage everyone to have something outside of work to take a break or detach.
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?
I read a lot. It’s always hard to copy books. For business, I’d recommend The Incerto Series by Nassim Taleb completely changed how I see and understand things. It provides a lens to view the world that I haven’t been able to find anywhere else.
For understanding humans and understanding yourself, I’d recommend all of Robert Greene’s books. Especially The Laws of Human Nature. The first law of that book will help you understand yourself more than most other books combined. And for providing a framework for dealing with yourself and your emotions, I’d recommend philosophy books. Stoicism and Epicureanism will help you understand what really matters in your life.
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?
I think balance is important, but you need to understand what balance is for you at this phase in your life or career. At times you’ll be required to work long hours, focus and be gritty. Other times you won’t need to be so tenacious. Put in complete effort while you are working; and when you’re resting, rest, and you’ll enjoy it even more.
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