Founders, Interviews

Balancing the Grind With Fred Schebesta, Co-Founder of HiveEx.com & Finder.com

August 9, 2019

Fred Schebesta is the Co-Founder of cryptocurrency broker HiveEx.com and one of the world’s leading personal finance comparison sites Finder.com.

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

I turn ‘Nos’ into ‘Yes’s’.

I’m a digital marketer and obsessed with building startups. My passion stems from helping people. I’m on a mission to help the world make better decisions.

I started out my career helping family and friends build their websites for their businesses while I was studying finance at university.

Then I started a digital marketing agency, Freestyle Media with my business partner Frank Restuccia. I was still at uni when it launched and it was a steep learning curve of how to launch a business and stay afloat.

We didn’t pay ourselves for two years and did everything we could to survive and grow. We sold it to a publicly listed company and then launched Credit Card Finder, from a student credit card blog. It expanded to become Finder.com and we’re now operating in over 80 countries, five offices and have about 300 crew around the world.

I always wanted to go back to building startups and experimenting so we launched a venture capital arm, Finder Ventures, at the start of 2018. The first business we launched in Ventures was a cryptocurrency brokerage, HiveEx.com, which helped customers trade over $100 million in its first year.

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

On Friday I woke up at 6.30am and went to the gym for a session with my personal trainer. Looking after your body and mind by staying fit and healthy is the key to reaching your full potential.

I then went straight to a meeting in Surry Hills at 8.30am to go through our new creative advertising concepts and advertorials.

I then headed over to interview Cameron Adams, Co-founder of Canva, for an episode on my new YouTube show, The Disruptors’ Club.

The show is part of our new initiative to support the startup community with a social group on LinkedIn to bring together the most successful founders and aspiring entrepreneurs, and we’ll also be launching a podcast, events and more.

I went back to the office to interview a potential candidate for a digital marketing role, who I head-hunted through LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a terrific resource to find the most talented people. I then met with a company that is offering a white label chat service, then headed over to our refuel station to eat pizza with my crew.

After lunch, we celebrated the past financial year with a party at The Standard Bowl in Darlinghurst.

I left the event at about 3.15pm to pick up my kids from school. We went out for dinner with my ex-wife to celebrate her birthday. After I put the kids to bed I got back online to review advertising copy and the new jingle.

I usually spend a few hours before bed reading our internal business reports on how Finder’s going across the 83 countries we operate in, and write a list of actions to share with the team.

I went to bed at 9.30pm and will be up at 3am to review actions and current projects I’m working on.

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3) Do you have any tips, tricks or shortcuts to help you manage your workload and schedule?

I wake up early, go to bed early, exercise, and work really hard. There are no secrets or shortcuts.

To be successful, you need to dedicate your life to what you want to achieve, commit as much time and energy as you possibly can and work hard at it relentlessly. This separates the winners from the losers.

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

I believe if you’re not burning out a few times a year you’re not trying hard enough. I think burning out is a result of pushing yourself, taking responsibility for choosing to push yourself.

If you burn out and didn’t choose to, that’s when you have a bad work life balance. To balance work with life, set aside non-negotiable time for friends and family, and be present in the special moments.

5) What do you think are some of the best habits you’ve developed over the years to help you strive for success and balance?

The best habit I’ve developed more recently is to take time out and pause. I never used to do that. It’s so important to invest time into reflecting on situations, on work, on relationships, and looking deep inside yourself and working on yourself.

Identifying your strengths and valuing yourself can make a huge difference to the success you have in your business and in relationships in life.

6) What is the number one thing you do to make sure you get the most out of your day?

The number one things I do every day are prioritize the most important tasks and set these as goals to achieve each day, as well as saying ‘no’ to lots of meeting requests.

I always set aside time each day where I have no meetings and I’m at my desk and available to my crew if they want to talk to me about anything.

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