Simon Holloway is the Head of Community at Vegepod, an Australian invention that has become one of the world’s leading contained and self-watering garden beds
1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
My degree was in international relations so I headed over to Japan immediately after graduating and worked as a translator for several years. I was then a scuba dive guide in Micronesia for a few years before returning to Australia. I worked in a few different corporate/agency roles within healthcare for 12 years before escaping to Vegepod.
2) What does a day in your life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
I am constantly exploring new opportunities, meeting people to develop our business or working internally with colleagues. I typically meet / e-meet 5 people a day. Just looking at my diary for yesterday, for example, it included discussions with a tv program, an events manager, a community gardening group, our internal PR team, my biz partner and one of our loyalty program clients.
3) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
As an SME business owner in a growth phase, one has to accept it’s a period of imbalance in life whereby work will often get an upper hand.. It’s the nature of that beast. If one is not willing to accept that, then simply don’t mess with the “own your own business” beast in my view.
There are periods in life where the imbalance is more towards play (such as being a child, a uni student or a travelling worker) all of which I was blessed to have experienced, and will come back again when heading into more senior years if you’re lucky enough to stay alive. That’s life.
So, looking at the entire ledger, there is indeed a very good work-life balance from cradle to grave that we are blessed to be offered in a modern western society. In the meantime, I ensure my work is in a good industry, with a good team and in a good situation – which for me Vegepod is – and when I do get play time, I ensure its quality.
4) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?
I now leave my phone charging in the kitchen instead of at my bedside so the machine is not the first thing I look at when I wake up.
5) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?
For edible gardening I find the most approachable and great simple advice is by Canada’s Nikki Jabbour on Savvy Gardening. For more in-depth studies on a variety of horticulture topics, it’s England’s Sarah Wilson on Roots and All.
6) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?
7) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
‘Work’ is good for humans. Keep busy!’ The cynics sometimes call it distraction whilst some mental health experts call it diversional therapy. Be mindful of a really unhealthy imbalance but note that just focussing on finding more play time doesn’t always equal happiness.
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