Balancing the Grind with Yuri Nakayama, Director at Antler

Yuri Nakayama is a Director at Antler, the investor backing the world’s most driven founders, from day zero to greatness.

Learn about the daily routines from the most successful people in the world by signing up to our newsletter

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

When I was in Waseda university, I started a Japanese IT startup with a few members. After I graduated from university, I joined the startup as a full time job.

When I’ve worked for the startup for 2 years, I was wondering if I should learn basic business skills and decided to join Boston Consulting Group. BCG is a great company and I learned a lot about how to work as a professional business person.

But at the same time I realised how much I love to work in a startup industry, and I started my career as a venture capitalist. The reason why I chose Antler is I feel that global support and support from the day1 is necessary for Japanese startups.

My current role at Antler is to decide which company or people to invest and support them.

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

I have a 5-year-old daughter, so balancing raising a kid and working hard is always my challenge. My husband’s support is crucial. He is also a very busy hard worker, but tries to support me to be a successful career woman. 

I’m in charge of picking my daughter up from kindergarten, so I work from early morning but go back home early evening. On the other hand, my husband is in charge of dropping her off and taking care of morning preparation. 

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

I love both my job and my family. In order to balance work and life, I believe two things have to be done.

1st, dedicated support from others (like husband or my mom or dad or even sitter) is crucial. I cannot do both 100% by myself.

2nd, prioritise what I want to get, and give up perfection. For example, I just make dinner when I feel I want to and clean my house only on weekends. 

Elon Musk, Kobe Bryant, Naomi Osaka, Simone Biles, receive a new daily routine each week about some of the most successful people in the world.

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

The Information which is an American technology industry-focused business publication.

NewsPicks which is one of the biggest media in Japan and is also a community where people share and post comments on news. 

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

Elon Musk. I’m sure he really doesn’t care about the balance, but if he would, I’m really interested in it.

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

I’m sure women raising kids have experience of struggling how to balance work and life. 

Global Gender Gap Report says that not only Japan, but also every global country has a challenge about  “Gender Gap” in Economic Participation and Opportunity. It’s not easy to solve, but it’s important to do what we can do, even little by little.

Before you go…

If you’d like to sponsor or advertise with Balance the Grind, let’s talk here

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.