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Interviews / CEOs / Founders

Balancing the Grind with Shane Brunette, Founder & CEO of CryptoTaxCalculator

Shane Brunette is founder & CEO of CryptoTaxCalculator, a tool to help users sort out their crypto taxes in a matter of minutes.

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

I originally started off in sales with a background in behavioural economics and psychology. After discovering the startup scene it became apparent that there were lots of people with interesting ideas who had no ability to execute on them. I realized I fell into this bucket.

To change the situation, I deep-dove into coding, doing ~80-120 hours each week, 7 days a week, for about 3 years while completing a Masters in AI. Immersion was important here. I strongly recommend any entrepreneur learn how to code – it is more valuable than ever. 

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

I am currently closing a substantial funding round. I wake up, take calls, eat breakfast, take more calls, eat, calls, eat, calls, and then spend a few hours on emails before going to sleep. Everyone talks about how raising money is draining, but it really is. And we were massively oversubscribed. I would hate to think what it would be like to chase down cash when you didn’t have strong interest from investors.

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

We are fully distributed with 100% flexible hours. Our company is very strong on team work-life balance, so although my personal day is crazy, the employees themselves have a very sustainable workflow. 

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

As a founder, the reality is your work and life become one and the same. However, the way I think about work-life balance for employees is entirely different.

We actively discourage employees from working overtime. Being able to rest and re-energize is extremely important. Personally, I surf – this gets the blood going and keeps me connected with real life.

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

I moved my home office out of my bedroom and into its own room. Having a different space for work is extremely important.

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

I am currently reading the Principles of Product Development Flow. It has revealed some fundamental truths around scaling a product team that has been very helpful during my current stage.

Paul Graham’s essays were highly influential. If you can’t access first-hard advice from tier 1 operators, I would suggest reading tier 1 books. Be wary of second-hand advice from pseudo-experts. There is a startup economy focused on distilling poorly articulated advice through a game of Chinese whispers. This can cause a lot of confusion.

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

The Apple Watch is pretty cool. I think there is a big future for body -> app interfaces.

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

If there was an evidence-based review from a psychologist, this would be pretty interesting. There is so much anecdotal evidence out there that ends up being very situational-dependent. You need to work out what works well for your specific circumstances.

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

Make sure what you are working on aligns with your long-term goals and understand why you have those goals in the first place. There are a lot of ways to be happy. 

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About Author

Balance the Grind is a work-life balance publication on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.