Stephen Mc Gowan is the Co-Founder at Realta Logic, an end to end compliance tooling for modern organisations.
1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
So I’ve almost always worked with start-ups or scale-ups, which have a habit of taking over your life, as we all know. Currently, I’m a Co-Founder of a RegTech company called Realta Logic, and we’re looking forward to a busy back half of 2022.
2) What does a day in your life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
I’m still hands-on with coding but as a founder, I also have to be involved with business development, so no two days are alike. I could just as easily be on a potential client site, pitch to them or working in low-level graph data modelling.
3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
Yes, I’ve worked the majority of my career.
4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
For years now, I’ve set a few simple rules. The main one is I try to leave the office on Wednesdays at 4 pm, during the summer I use this to go sailing on Sydney harbour, for a regular Wednesday race. I’ve always found this a great way to clear my head mid-week.
My wife and I had a baby last year, so part of my work life balance is making sure she takes a break as well, so I have some nights of the week where she is free to go to some classes she wants to do, while I get some quality time with my son. Having plans that are reasonably set in stone, week to week, make it much easier to make sure they actually happen.
5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?
Putting on do-not-disturb, on my phone, before I go to sleep. Up until recently, I had another job alongside my start-up and it was a true 24/7 business, dealing with emergency medicine. I found that the buzzing overnight was really cutting into my sleep pattern and it got much better once I started using do not disturb.
6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?
I always love How I Built This on NPR. I also enjoy listening to The Startup Playbook Podcast for something more Australia focused.
7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?
I got a Remarkable 2 tablet last year and I’ve really found it to be so useful for me. I’ve replaced paper notebooks completely in my life now. I always hated the “writing on glass” feel with tablets and pens but Remarkable just feels so natural.
8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?
Ben & Jerry – check out their episode on How I Built This, for a laugh.
9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
Everyone’s balance and priorities are different. For me they have changed dramatically over the last few years and will continue to. Having the right routine, at the right time, seems to be the best aim. The last few years of lockdowns have really made me appreciate that.
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