Todd Graham is the founder of Australian Pet Organics, the first all-Aussie, all-natural, certified organic range of supplements, vitamins and treats for dogs.
1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
I have always worked in a corporate environment in a brand and marketing management environment. COVID and the WFH lifestyle really took a toll on me mentally and made me re-evaluate what was important to me.
At about the same time as covid hit my dog Tank became really ill. With multiple vet and animal specialist visits we found out that Tank was actually born with Spina Bifida and he was losing the strength and use of his back legs at the age of 7.
Tank has always played a huge role in my life and I just love the unconditional love animals provide. During the WFH and covid lockdown he was literally by my side daily and I see pets as being a huge part of mental wellness.
In an attempt to avoid surgery on Tank’s spine I began to use organic and natural supplements in his food and saw immediate success- things such as rosehip powder, turmeric powder, bone broth and green lipped mussel powder.
He began to walk better, developed more muscle mobility and saw a decrease in inflammation. I was able to take him out during the day for walks again to break up the daily grind of working in a small inner city house and we were both mentally and physically better off.
This is what led me to create my own range of natural and certified organic treats and supplements for dogs. It is something close to my heart which has really helped my best buddy live his best life and I want to try and help as many other dogs and their owners out there in the same way
2) What does a day in your life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
I run a small business and given we are in the start up phase I really need to be across every element of the business at this stage. Daily this involves:
- Checking orders and fulfilling any that may have come through.
- Getting back to any customers queries
- Building the social media campaigns and tweaking our advertising
- Working on new marketing initiatives
- Manufacturing all of our supplements and treats
It’s always really busy, but I love every aspect of what I do!
3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
At this point in time it does not – I have to be close by to my warehouse to be able to manufacture our products and also be on hand to send out all of our orders and receipt in stock, but the marketing side of things can really be done anywhere.
I am a purely ecommerce business at this stage so as we grow remote working is definitely something that I would like to fit into my work-life balance.
4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
To me, work-life balance is all about taking time out for yourself but also for those who you love and are important to you.
Personally I am a big believer in health and wellbeing and for me being able to go to the gym in the morning before work is a big part of my mental and physical balance. It acts as a real stress reliever for me and I really notice the difference if I don’t get a chance to train.
I am also a big believer in taking time out. Having an online business can be tough because there is always the temptation to work, when you’re not physically at work!
For me I have to set some boundaries like turning my phone off when I get home at night and not scrolling through emails or orders when I wake up. I also like to make time for my partner and our fur babies – so try and avoid any work on weekends.
5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?
I have actually started daily meditation – I have found it a great way to relax and de-stress after a busy day at work. I have been working on being present particularly outside of work hours where there is always a temptation to think about your to-do list or that next big idea – which are always going to be there.
6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?
I have never really been big on books or podcasts – I like to spend my spare time listening to music which for me is a great way to chill out and relax.
7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?
Anything that makes my time more efficient is a big YES from me – things like Canva have been a huge help for me for social media as has scheduling tools like Later – without things like these I would need to be on the computer or my phone all the time and striking that work life balance would be impossible!
8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?
I am really intrigued and in awe of Jessica Sepel of JS Health. Jessica is a young entrepreneur who has made her mark on what would be one of the most competitive and difficult industries to crack (Health & Wellness) – I would love to hear about how she manages it all and still manages to succeed.
9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
For me personally, following my passion has given me the work life balance I have always been after. I have found that enjoying what you do and really being engaged in your day to day makes the work side of things not really work at all. But that also makes your down time that much sweeter – without the stress and anxiety of being unhappy in a job. I say pursue your passion and the rest will fall into place.
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