CEOs / Interviews

Balancing the Grind with Toby Skilton, CEO of Mutu

Toby Skilton is the CEO of Mutu, an app that allows you to lend and rent everyday items that would otherwise be collecting dust or be discarded as solid landfill.

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

I have quite a unique career background. I have had 3 of my own start-ups, I have worked as a park ranger in South Africa on and off for 7 years and I have run the NZ sales for a large youth travel business.

My current role is the CEO of a start-up called Mutu which is a platform that enables the world’s best organisations to unlock the value of their assets. As CEO, I lead a small but mighty team and mostly spend my days on calls with customers and using that info to shape the future direction of our product. 

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

5:15am wake up a grab the wee pooch for a snuggle

5:45am leave home for the gym

7:30am breaky + coffee and checking emails/Slack

8:30am – 5:30pm daily meetings: Normally a healthy combo of customer/team. Lots of problem-solving and strategy with the team and then listening/learning/selling with customers.

6pm: Head home and either get started on dins or play squash, basketball or volleyball. 

10pm: Either read my book or watch Netflix – currently reading a book about Netflix which is kinda funny. 

3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?

Sure does. We encourage people to fit work around their life instead of life around their work. The 9-5pm mindset was designed for people who worked in factories and needed to punch in and out. We don’t measure hours, we measure impact and this is how we attract and retain the best talent. 

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

Having the freedom to work in a way that allows me to be my best. I keep a close eye on my sleep, my nutrition, my exercise and my time spent with friends/family. If any of these areas start to suffer due to work I look to take action right away. 

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

Reading before bed: I spend all day on screens and I like having some non-screen downtime. I also try to do a lap around the office every hour. It’s great to get fresh air and to stretch the legs frequently. 

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

Books: Measure What Matters, No Rules Rules, Shoe Dog

Podcast: Masters of Scale – Reid Hoffman. 

7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?

Not really a product but I absolutely love sushi. I reckon I’d struggle without it. 

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

Jacinda Ardern – she is a PM, mum, partner, daughter, friend etc and she is absolutely crushing it. 

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

Humans although seem complex we are still pretty primitive. If we can get the right amount of sleep, we put in the right fuel, we get joy from the work we do and we have a loving family/friend network you can get most of the way through life with a pretty full cup. 

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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.