Sheree Rubinstein is the founder & CEO of One Roof, which started out as an Australian co-working space and has since pivoted to a digital membership for entrepreneurial women.
1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
I am a corporate lawyer turned entrepreneur. I am the founder of One Roof. For the last 4 years we were well known as the leading co-working space in Australia dedicated to women-led businesses. I raised capital to expand and I was gearing up to open our next space which was going to be our flagship hub for women in Melbourne.
When COVID hit we pivoted the business flipping the model on its head. Rather than growing the co-working operation we are now growing One Roof as a digital membership for entrepreneurial women.
In 6 months we have onboarded over 250 members across Australia (and even globally), hosted over 100 virtual workshops, co-hosted the largest female founder virtual pitch night in 2020 and have seen great success amongst our members. And I am starting another online business this year which I am really excited about. It focused on supporting emerging female corporate leaders.
I am also on the board of the Victorian Women’s Trust. I am a regular public speaker on topics related to women in business and entrepreneurship and I mentor and advise lots of women in their businesses and careers.
2) What does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
I wake up between 6 – 6:45am depending on when my 9 month old daughter wakes. I start every morning going for a walk with my daughter and sitting at a café to have a coffee.
I then feed my daughter and put her to sleep for her first nap. I am currently living temporarily in New Brighton which is in the Byron Shire. I usually go for a swim in the ocean or join a virtual pilates class before I start my work day.
If I have time I will journal in the morning and set my intention for the day. For the last 9 months I have been working while my daughter is sleeping and tag team with my partner.
I take most of my calls and meetings in the morning. This includes attending group member on-boarding calls, attending or hosting member networking events, team meetings, partnership calls and business support calls (I regularly talk to members of our community and offer business advice).
I take a short lunch break and usually make food at home. If I am looking after my daughter I will typically take her for a walk, swim or to the playground.
If I am working in the afternoons I am usually focused on content creation, speaking engagements, podcast interviews, product development, sales tasks, more partnership opportunities and research and customer interviews for the new business idea. At least twice a week I will do meditation in the afternoon.
Between 5-7pm my partner and I are between us taking Goldie for a walk, organising dinner and putting our daughter to bed.
Sometimes after dinner I will jump back on the laptop to get on top of emails or work on tasks like updating our website, reviewing sales, projections and finances and working on content (if I am not too tired).
I read a book every night before I go to bed to switch off. I am currently reading The Biggest Bluff: How I learned to Pay Attention, Master Myself and Win by Maria Konnikova
3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
I have ultimate flexibility. I run my own business. Pre-COVID, when I was growing One Roof as a coworking business, I was required to be at the same place every day.
Now that I run One Roof fully online I can run it from anywhere. I left Melbourne in August 2020 in the midst of the pandemic and lockdown. My mum owns an apartment in the Gold Coast and so my partner and I saw an opportunity to relocate temporarily. I have since been living in the Byron Shire and spending a lot of time on the Gold Coast too.
The pandemic was the catalyst that changed my entire life and lifestyle. I am no longer glued to a physical space, I run my business online, I take all my meetings over the phone or on Zoom, I am able to swim and be in nature most days, I have the opportunity to spend more time with my daughter than I ever thought possible and my family is thriving.
I have completely changed my day to day life and embraced true flexibility.
My current lifestyle is temporary until we decide where we want to base ourselves which will likely be back in Melbourne. But while I want to regain some face to face connections, events and meetings, I do not intend to go back to the same level of busyness and intensity I had in my life pre-COVID.
4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
To me it’s a very fluid and ever-changing equation. It’s a mindset as opposed to a destination or outcome. I am a workaholic by nature. My parents and grandparents have a very strong work ethic.
My parents ran their own business and decided to run the office from home so that they could both continue working full time while raising three children. I joke (but am partly serious) that we grew up in a business. My parents worked all the time and I adopted the same attitude to working.
My partner has taught me a different way of life and it has taken me a lot of time to truly understand what some kind of balanced life can look like. He also runs his own businesses but has an incredible ability to switch off with ease.
I still work a lot (probably too much but I love what I do!) but I have learnt to break up my days with rejuvenating activities like walking, meditating, cooking, journaling, exercise, putting on music and having a dance, reading, playing cards and board games and spending quality time with family and friends.
Work-life balance doesn’t come naturally or easily to me. I have to make a conscious and intentional effort. And now being a mum I know it’s even more important to put my phone down and be present with my daughter.
When I lose my way it’s often my partner who will remind me to take a break and bring some ease, joy and balance back into my life.
5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?
- Journaling in the mornings while having a coffee when I can and setting my intention for the day
- Swimming in the ocean
- Meditation practice at least twice per week
- Virtual exercise classes two times per week
- Phone on do not disturb from 10pm
- I read my kindle every night when I get into bed on a low brightness
- Napping during the day for 20min when I need to
- Working from home
- Playing tennis
6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?
- Lady Brains – Anna and Caitlin
- Seize The Yay – Sarah Holloway
- How I Built This with Guy Raz
- The Tim Ferriss Show
- Peak Performance – Elevate Your Game, Avoid Burnout and Thrive with the New Science of Success – Brad Stulberg and Steve Magness
- Unfuck Your Brain – Kara Loewentheil
- First, We Make the Beast Beautiful, A New Story about Anxiety – Sarah Wilson
- Hacking Happiness with Penny Locaso
7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?
- Meditation apps – I use a few such as Headspace, One Giant Mind, Calm, Tali Brash and Waking Up with Sam Harris.
- Virtual exercise classes
- Virtual Settlers of Catan website – my favourite board game!
- Kindle – I read every night.
- Facebook Groups for feedback and advice.
8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?
- Melanie Perkins, founder of Canva.
- Jacinda Arden.
- Michelle Obama.
- Emma Isaacs, Business Chicks
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