Andy Bowie is the Founder of My Auto Shop, a New Zealand-based company, solving two key problems in the vehicle maintenance industry: trust & convenience.
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1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
I had a pretty non-traditional entry into business. I was a competitive freestyle skier, but not good enough to go pro.
I really wanted to keep skiing so I needed to find a way to make money, so I started a coaching business that ran training camps both in NZ and USA. In the USA I would hire a huge mansion then fill it with athletes and friends. It was my first business and was a lot of fun.
After I wrapped up skiing I did a few other jobs, but spent the majority of it at Uber where I held roles across both NZ and South East Asia in Marketing and Operations, before recently being the Country Manager for Uber Eats in NZ.
I have since branched out to start my own technology marketplace business, My Auto Shop. We are reimagining how car maintenance is done in NZ by partnering with fully vetted, MTA approved garages and an awesome team of partner drivers, to solve for both trust and convenience when dealing with vehicle servicing or repairs.
It’s only day 5 of the business, but signs are promising.
2) What does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
Pretty varied at the moment. I wear all the hats in the business, from managing e-scooters and driver dispatch to navigating vehicle repair recommendations from garages to customers, through to finance, marketing, comms etc. It’s a lot of fun but we are having to learn incredibly fast.
3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
Being a tech business, almost everything can be run from my computer/cell phone, however, in this current launch phase, I try to be in the office as much as possible to be across everything that is going on.
This currently looks like 6:30am to about 7-9pm each day as we have vehicle pickups starting from 7 am and not ending until 6pm. It’s been a change to my routine, where previously I was a big champion of remote working and flexibility, which I think Uber did very well. We will get this when (or if) this new business finds a start of calm.
4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
I think its incredibly important. My sense of fulfillment or satisfaction in life is derived from a variety of different experiences and learnings, with a career only playing a minor role in that equation, therefore if I get all consumed in work, I won’t be happier, even if my career gets ‘better’.
However, I think there are peaks and troughs. Times when you need to lean into work, and others when you lean out of it. So it’s ok to sometimes focus on a career goal, work huge hours and sacrifice other things, but that can’t be sustained in a healthy way for long periods of time.
5) What do you think are some of the best habits or routines that you’ve developed over the years to help you achieve success in your life?
I keep a pretty tight calendar and drop everything in (both business and personal into one) to make sure I never forget anything. I’m also a huge list guy. Everything goes in Asana, and I work through it pretty methodically.
6) Are there any books that have helped you improve over the years?
I am a big fan of Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand (about Loui Zamperini). I think about it a bit when having to push through/grind out something hard. It’s an amazing story.
7) What is the number one thing you do to make sure you get the most out of your day?
I’m a morning person and I know that I’m most productive between 7-10am, so I make sure to have a list of what I need to do and knock out either the hardest thing or most important thing then, when I can focus best. Everyone is different though, so knowing when your most productive time is and allocating tasks accordingly can work wonders.
8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?
Jake Burton (RIP) would have been great. He started an amazing company, but also facilitated a great culture of championing snowboarding with all his employees.
9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
Everyone’s idea of balance is different. Ignore societal expectations and figure out what your true motivations are, then run some trial and error to see what works best for you to achieve that, then finally build a way of managing your days, weeks, months that brings out the best you.
If you’d like to have a conversation with us about how you balance the grind, get in touch with us!