Balancing the Grind with Tom Lawrence, Founder & Director of Swanky Socks

Tom Lawrence is an entrepreneur and the founder & director of retail brand, manufacturer and custom sock company Swanky Socks.

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

Sure, I’ve always been fairly entrepreneurial in terms of wanting to have a go at my own business, since I moved to Australia as a 21 year old.

I’ve been the managing director of Swanky Socks since 2014, which is a retail brand, manufacturer and custom sock company.

This is been an exciting journey far, from cold calling and door knocking selling socks to retailers, as well as collaborating with some of the biggest brands around the world including Coca Cola, Pandora, KFC, Microsoft, Samsung and Uber to name a few.

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

Honestly, my daily routine varies each day. However, usually I’m up early with my daughter before daycare, exercising in the morning or evening.

I’m in the office at 8:30-9am and usually out around 6-7pm most days. I’ve managed to achieve a routine meditation session before bed around 11pm-12am.

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

Although I can work almost anywhere, I’m focused on coming in 5-6 days a week. I think it’s important to set an example for staff and keep a strong routine around coming in and getting work done during office hours.

However, working after of business hours is common – checking/responding to emails first thing in the morning, in the evening. Almost anytime I’m outside of office I’m on call. That’s the positive/negative of running a business, there is always work to do.

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

It has become more and more important and a focus as I get older. Taking care of health by exercising, meditating to ensure I am at my best all day, along with making the effort to spend time with my family.

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

I’ve put a lot more emphasis on meditating. I feel by taking 30-60 minutes each day to reset, relax the mind and body and simply switch, i can achieve more, sleep better and ultimately increase all areas of my life.

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

Favourite books, cliche – The Alchemist, I have read a fair few times. The Daily Stoic is a great little life perspective read you can pick up on any page and take something from, Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins, Warren Buffet’s books are quality.

I’m currently reading a book on Elon Musk from an outside perspective which is a really great read and gives a strong understanding of him from someone close to him. The man is ruthless!

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

WhatsApp, Gmail, Wechat (overseas contact), Hubspot (CRM management), Uber.

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

Find your balance early and ensure you find time to switch off – whether it’s 30 minutes or a day. You can only do your best work if your body is truly rested. Find your passion in work too, as the more you love what you do, the more your body will be willing to work and at high productivity.

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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.