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Balancing the Grind with Xavier Collins, Vice President, UK at Turo

Xavier Collins is the Vice President, UK at Turo, the world’s largest car sharing marketplace where you can book any car you want.

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

 I’m currently a Vice President at Turo where I lead the UK business and also support our international expansion. After I left law school in Sydney I founded my first company (Nexus Notes) which still runs today. I was lucky enough to intern at Uber when they were launching Australia which gave me the taste for high growth startups. I made my career at Deliveroo where I was a general manager in the UK and joined as an early employee. 

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

At Turo, my day involves making a lot of decisions. Luckily, I have an amazing team around me that I’ve helped to build over the last 4 years. When we launched the UK, I would be handling everything from insurance negotiations to customer escalations but these days my day really revolves around making sure the right people are tasked against the right problems, that they are set up for success and that we are pursuing the right long term strategy. I recently just launched my music career so my late nights consist of writing and producing music. My first song is now live on Spotify.

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

At Turo we are returning to the office, although Omicron has slightly altered the timings of this. That said, I am very lucky to work in a flexible environment where I’m supported to work remotely for a short time if needed I.e. whilst the UK was locked down I was able to spend some time working from Mexico. 

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

Work life balance means the ability to prioritize the things that matter to you. For me, I have to work on something I’m passionate about and to feel like I’m creating – if I’m doing these two things, it doesn’t feel like work. For this reason I am probably a bad example as it is rare for me to ever switch off. That said, I make a real effort to prioritize good sleep and exercise and I’ll make sure I’m arranging my week and blocking out time with regard to the latter to make sure I can bring my full self to everything else I do. 

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

 In the last 12 months I’ve spent a lot more time writing music which I feel is a great way for me to switch off the mind / enter a flow state. 

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

Yoval Harriri’s Sapiens and everything else he’s written. Once you understand things in their context and human beings through a historical lens, I think it unlocks a unique perspective on the future. Thinking, Fast and Slow – to develop awareness of the cognitive biases we all labor under and The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon to understand what it takes to build a successful business. Anna Karenina remains my favorite novel. 

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

The Notes app on my phone where I organize my entire life via a to-do list. Gmail app which is relentlessly structured and organized into three categories. Spotify. 

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

Jeff Bezos or Elon Musk

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

Ultimately, the approach to work-life balance will always be personal as everyone is different but I have two broad thoughts or principles:

  • Sleep is key, if you are not feeling healthy or are never feeling fresh / energized – then what’s the point?
  • Do what you’re passionate about and it won’t feel like work.
  • Finally, and something I’m working on – try to prioritize or give attention to things that matter to you (in the long run) even when what you’re passionate about consumes you in the short term. 

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About Author

Balance the Grind is a work-life balance publication on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.