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Balancing the Grind with Blake Hutchison, CEO at Flippa

Blake Hutchison is the CEO at Flippa, an online marketplace to buy and sell sites, stores and digital properties, with offices in Melbourne and Austin.

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

I am the CEO at Flippa. We are a marketplace to buy and sell digital real estate. More than ever before websites, blogs, ecommerce stores, apps and online businesses are being traded like traditional real estate.

We own this space and we are passionate about helping this modern small business economy find value creation, be that selling and realising value in an established asset or buying as an investment. 

I’ve had a varied career. I’ve worked at Xero (small business accounting software), Lonely Planet (travel publishing) and I’ve owned and operated my own business (food marketplace).

Prior to Flippa, I was Chief Revenue Officer at Luxury Escapes. I led the team and business working very closely with the Founder & CEO. We had very fast growth (much like Xero) so it was hectic and fulfilling. 

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

I will tend to reply to Slack and email at 6am before spending some time with my daughter. I have calls beginning from about 7.30am daily with US based staff or customers.

At 8.30am I write down the two or three things I must accomplish before the day is out and then it’s on. It’s a barrage of decisions and short sprints to help the company to go fast, build the right things, improve our customer offering and connect buyers with sellers.

I will typically respond to messages and emails until late into the night. It’s not that healthy unfortunately, though more recently I have tried to add two gym workouts weekly. 

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

I operate as the CEO from Melbourne but our customers and the resulting revenue is global (less than 10% of our business is here in Australia) so in some sense that’s the definition of flexibility.

With COVID, we’ve had a fully flexible model, since March. My general view is that so long as there are clear expectations set and met, staff (and that includes me) can work from wherever they like. 

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

For me, this means enjoying the things that matter. The things that matter are work, family, friends and self and I get enjoyment out of each of those things. All of those things require you to make time, that’s the hardest thing but it’s all about the intent. In short, I try hard to make the time.

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

Not really. I love my morning walks with my daughter and dog. This is quite new and it’s a joy.

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

I am a subscriber to Blinkist so I listen to books in short 15 minute summaries. I loved The Road to Reinvention by Josh Linkner.

And, my favourite podcast is The Exit. That’s the new Flippa podcast where we showcase people who have successfully bought and sold businesses. Their stories are inspirational! 

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

It’s an old one but I can’t live without Evernote. Every meeting, every time. 

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

I’d be interested in reading interviews from those in a similar position as I am. Someone trying to realise a monster and exciting vision in a bootstrapped and lean environment.

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

Go fast. It leaves you time to move onto the next great thing that day, be it work, family, friends or self. 

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About Author

Balance The Grind gives me a platform to talk to these people about how they're achieving their ideal lifestyle. I'm inspired by the passion, the work ethic, the hustle; and these conversations motivate me to live life the way I want to live it.