CEOs / Interviews

Balancing the Grind with Steve Joslyn, CEO of Vedi

Steve Joslyn is the CEO of Vedi, a technology company that supports the veterinary industry by providing a patient-centric health platform that connects animals to their veterinary data.

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

I’m a Canadian originally but grew up in HK and always wanted to be a vet. So came down to Murdoch (Perth) for Vet school.

After vet school I was a horse vet in QLD for a few years and then my wife (also a vet) moved to the UK. During my internship I started a teleradiology company for UK and Australian vets. I then went on

to specialise in Radiology at the University of Glasgow. After 3 years we moved to the US where I taught radiology at the University of Illinois.

After 10 years away from Perth, my wife dragged me back and we’ve been here ever since.

I briefly worked for another Teleradiology company where I was faced with a systemic issue of patient data, that I left in 2017 on a path to fix it. I founded Vedi (formerly VetDB) in 2018 along with a long time close friend (Ross Wyness, COO, we met at Murdoch Uni) and Anton Tjea (CTO) who I met at Perth’s startup weekend at the end of 2017.

I am CEO of Vedi (but effectively I have a Visionary role). Ross has the Integrator Role in that combo and with Anton we have a really amazing balance together.

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

At 6:30am the weather is nice. I take the kids (Lola 6yo girl, and Flynn 4yo boy) to the beach, or park and a quick baby chino/coffee on the way back. Drop them off with mum by 8:30am and head to work. Sometimes they sleep in, sometimes I have meetings with the east coast or the US. But it’s a nice time in the morning to give mum a sleep in and hang with the kids.

I either work from our main office in Perth’s CBD or an office in a Friends warehouse near to where I live.

My day is usually full of internal or external partner meetings, helping with customer success tasks, or planning for our quarter and big milestones on the horizon. Lots to do, not enough time.

I try to get home for dinner with the family, but sometimes we have late meetings with the US or UK. If I can fit in a beer with my friends in Fremantle I’ll sneak one in before I get home.

After the kids are in bed, I either tackle some tasks for the next day or read cases from around the world (teleradiology – old boss’s company). Try to get to bed by 11.

On alternate Fridays I work as a Radiologist at Murdoch University’s Animal Hospital. It’s a great arrangement where I can take meetings with Vedi, but being present at Murdoch allows me to escape back to my radiology routes.

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

Family-Work balance is the most important thing. Spending time with the kids in the morning and wife and kids in the evening. I tend to prioritise that over exercise. I also am quite extroverted so social catch up with friends is a big part of my balance.

If I am exercising (indoor soccer, swimming) I am usually worried about all the work stuff that needs to be done. Also, getting a bit older so I’m currently out with a groin injury. Otherwise an indoor soccer game each week.

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

Yes. I stopped eating carbs about 6 months ago and have lost a fair bit of weight. I did this for health reasons after a scare with myocarditis after covid (minor, but enough) and high cholesterol.

I feel like a million bucks and it works because I don’t crave carbs anymore. I also never ate breakfast so it’s mixed with some intermittent fasting. I put social beers in a different carb category,  but it’s the most effective diet I’ve ever done.

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

I really like anything by Gino Wickman (e.g. Traction, where the Visionary-Integrator roles are explained) and a few other amazing business books from the last 5 years (No Rules Rules – I do audiobooks mainly.

I will get lost in anything by Malcolm Gladwell and Yuval Noah Harari – amazing authors.

I really like the All-In Podcast for some perspective and contrasting views. They fight, discuss and challenge the others and I think that’s needed. I don’t agree with many of their views but hearing different perspectives is healthy.

Vet podcasts too: The Vet Vault and The Future View Podcasts are great general vet ones that are super interesting and probably of interest to the general public. The Vet Innovation Podcast is a great vet technology podcast.

I’ll always listen to DarkNet Diaries (infosec podcast) and PIMA (Freakonomics) for general interest.

I also need a break throughout the day so I will jump into YT – PBS space time and Anton Petrov (@whatdamath) has great videos on complex science stuff. It will either entrap me, or help me fall asleep if I’m tired.

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

David Friedberg. And any founders of unicorn companies when they reached profitability. Can you have W-L balance and achieve growth and scaling success, or does that come after?

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

I never want to close a door. If there is an opportunity to explore, learn and challenge I like that daunting feeling. I’ve learned a lot of abstract technologies that I’ve applied to the work we do at Vedi.

I like challenging my assumptions. After I’m sold on an idea, I like to figure out how it won’t work or where it can go wrong. I think I learned this as a horse vet. Before I’d leave the property after treating a horse I’d ask myself “how can this f* up?” It would make me think if I’ve covered everything for that patient and owner.

I am definitely not an expert on WL balance. I want to have it nailed but I also procrastinate a lot. I want to manage my time super effectively but my mind wanders and that affects my time.

One thing kids are excellent at is keeping you grounded. I could have closed an epic partnership with a large corporation, or lost an important client, but all my kids care about is pushing them higher on the swing. It’s nice and brings you back up/down.

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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.