Balancing the Grind with Shawn Seet, Chief Operating Officer at Eezee

Shawn Seet is the Chief Operating Officer at Eezee, an eCommerce platform that connects users with a network for accredited suppliers in Southeast Asia.

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

I’m COO at Eezee, creating an unparalleled procurement experience for Southeast Asian businesses through our marketplace. I started out in marketing, where my passion for customer experience brought me to different roles in operations, sales, and strategy development.

Having done my tour across various disciplines has prepared me for my current role. I am currently based in our headquarters in Singapore, leading Eezee’s commercial and operations teams across our different markets.

I’m energised by how we’re changing the market, establishing the ecosystem for businesses to discover and buy what they need seamlessly. The unpaved road is thrilling, interspersed with near death experiences and sensational sights. Folks in a start-up can surely relate!

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

A day in my life starts with a 15 minute stretch to warm up my body. As I loosen my body, I start creating a mental checklist of my deliverables for the day. On my commute to work, I plug-into Reid Hoffman’s Masters of Scale podcast to gain new perspectives from other success stories.

When I get to the office, I typically run through urgent emails, then schedule the rest to be cleared at a later part of the day. A significant part of my day is spent with the leaders of my team, providing context and alignment to our strategy.

I treasure every minute with the team. While it’s taxing from an introvert’s perspective, there’s nothing I enjoy more seeing those around me grow their own style of leadership, wielding awesome influence and know-how.

Alternatively, I’m onsite at customer’s locations to better understand if we’re serving their requirements and needs. They’re our most important stakeholders. Customers keep up sharp, grounded, and innovative.

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

Work life balance isn’t a formula, it’s prioritising a series of activities that enriches one’s life. These activities should be kept as simple as possible. Complex schedules are burdensome and tough to follow.

Examples of what I prioritise daily outside of work include family bonding time over dinner, a short workout, education through reading. I prioritise these activities because they enrich my life.

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

What’s life changing isn’t the action itself, rather the consistency of the action. Anything is possible breaking down activities into manageable habits. “Manageable” can be really subjective, and should be defined by your individual priorities.

What’s manageable to me? I believe I should be able to do it in 15 minutes or less. New habits I’ve gained include a morning stretch, podcasts on my way to work, an evening kettlebell workout, and 1 chapter of reading before sleeping. It’s the little things that count!

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

I’m currently reading Working Backwards: Insights, Stories, and Secrets from Inside Amazon. Books that push me to think creatively, innovate, and learn are what I orientate towards.

They are always little gems I pick up while reading, and I immediately pen them down for discussion with my team. I believe it’s pertinent to be on the path of learning, I definitely don’t know the answers to everything.

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

I would love to watch an interview on the work-life balance of the former Prime Minister Mr. Lee Kuan Yew. As one of Singapore’s founders, he was a colossal figure in turning Singapore into a world class country, serving the country for an incredible 60 years! His legacy is amazing and untouchable. What fascinates me is how he managed his time. Was there even “work-life balance” back in his dictionary, and how would he define it?

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

What if there’s no such thing as balance? Is there really a formula? The variables change too frequently there to be a perfect ratio. I believe the real quest is in enjoying the ride – learn, grow, fail, succeed. While living life to the fullest, remember that everyone is on their own journey. Be kind to them, and in turn, it’ll be a lot more fun and rewarding.

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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.