Biz Dev & Sales / Interviews

Balancing the Grind with Zach Williams, Head Of Sales & Partnerships at Adatree

Zach Williams is the Head Of Sales & Partnerships at of Adatree, an Australian regtech startup providing Open Banking technology solutions.

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

I was a chef for two years before finding my passion for all things business. I kicked off my professional career at Expedia, where I learnt sales, customer support, and content. I tipped my toe into Fintech and joined a fast-growing startup but found my way into joining MYOB. 

MYOB was one of those roles that changed my career trajectory and me as a person. I grew exponentially during my time there, and it led me to one of the best companies I had ever had the pleasure of working with, Employment Hero.

Employment Hero was this crazy fast-paced, hyper-speed rocket ship heading to Mars. I honestly don’t recall when we weren’t growing and expanding or doing some crazy OKR that sounded impossible. However, we always got there!

Ben Thompson is one of those leaders that they will write books about for years to come. He can see five years into the future and build an incredible business around that idea. It truly was one of the best places I have worked.

Now, I am the Head of Partnerships and Sales at Adatree, and I run all things commercial! From B2B Sales, Partnerships, Creating Epic Presentations, Project Management and whatever else our exec team needs support with! I LOVE it.

We are constantly moving at an incredible pace and achieving every goal we’ve set out. I am fortunate to be a part of the Adatree journey and look forward to seeing what we achieve in the next 12 – 24 months as we bring Open Banking and CDR to life for consumers. 

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

Well, I feel fortunate! My partner and I crawl out of bed, walk our dog Lady, drink a coffee then kick start the workday by 8am. Typically I will skim the AFR, Linkedin and then straight into emails. I am pedantic and like to have my inbox at 0 before my first meeting. 

Then I jump into our morning coffee chat and talk rubbish for 10 min before starting our daily standup! One of the best things about Adatree is our communication and daily standups. I love them.

Then I am typically in meetings with clients, leads, partners, and internal stakeholders. For instance, Mon-Wed last week, I had 20 client meetings over three days, and then Thursday-Friday I was focused on Salesforce Implementation & Reporting.

Break for lunch and eat something I had meal-prepped and then back to it! Then log off around 430/5 and walk Lady again. 

Not to mention the constant interruption from my partner who wants a cuddle or a kiss every 2 hours and Lady just strolling in to burp and throw a toy at me.

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

Yes! We have been remote-first since the inception of Adatree. I love the flexibility, one of our team members moved up to the Gold Coast. I am in the office typically 1 or 2 days a week.

Remote work gives you that flexibility to get shit done. How good is it to put a load of washing on during the week and not be stuck spending every Saturday doing it. 

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

For me, work-life balance is all about flexibility and loving what I do when I do it. I feel fortunate to log off some days at 4pm and walk the dog and enjoy some good weather.

Then there are other days where I work till 7-8pm because I am preparing for a big meeting in the coming days.

I feel like work-life balance is about push and pull you’ve just got to set the boundaries. It is rare that I work long, crazy hours or spend my weekends behind my laptop, but when those times come, and they do come, I can get it done without feeling overwhelmed. 

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

Post lockdown, I have just focused on enjoying the social activities with friends and family again. I love hosting, so every Wednesday, our best friend comes over for dinner and then most weekends, we spend time with our close friends, typically eating and having a few drinks. 

I, unfortunately, stopped hitting the gym this year. I noticed that the little things got in the way and snowballed. So I have called May-October the WeddingShred and plan on getting back to my active self. I feel that I was my best self when being active and had that gym routine. 

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

I am currently reading The Lean Startup as I was annoying Jill, our CEO, too much about product management. My thirst for diversifying my skill set is endless – did someone say Jack of all trades, master of none?

Other than that, I “read” the AFR, lots of LinkedIn and just random posts/blogs that get shared. 

I recently came across the Real AF podcast with Andy Frisella, who talks about mental toughness. It is a bit jarring, but I like ruthless honesty.

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

Love, love, love Grammarly. This add-on for emails, google docs, and everyday messaging has saved me from ridicule and embarrassment.

I have ADHD, so I operate a million miles a minute and type quicker than my brain can fire neurons at my fingers, which helps me fix some bad grammar mistakes. 15 and counting just in this. 

Other than that, I use Mixmax for templates for my emails, Sales Navigator, Lusha, and Confluence.

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

I’d love to read more about early-stage founders/co-founders and their gruelling push to go from 0-1. 

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

Something I have drilled into myself has always been to get shit done. Something I have realised over the years is that you also need to take time to rest and recover. When the batteries are empty, you aren’t going anywhere, so take a minute or ten and

hit the reset button. If your manager tells you no, hand in your notice and speak to a recruiter because the opportunities out there are endless. 

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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.