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Balancing the Grind with Brent Claremont, Manager of Customer Onboarding Team at HubSpot

Brent Claremont is the Manager of Customer Onboarding Team (North America) at HubSpot, based in Cambridge, Boston.

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

After graduating for Macquarie University I worked in sales for a medical print publication called Australian Doctor, was a great 4 year stint as a first job. Currently I’m working in the SaaS industry for a company called HubSpot, that’s been my life for the past 5 years.

I started as an Agency Account Manager in my hometown of Sydney, Australia. At that time we were establishing the Customer Success side for APAC with crazy growth. However for the past 2 years I’ve been a Onboarding Team Manager in Boston, USA and loving it..

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

Prior to the COVID-19 lockdown my day would start with a 7am wakeup and a short workout routine to get the blood pumping.

My wife and I will throw on our Australian Home Spotify playlist and get ready for work. The 25 minute walk to the HubSpot office in Boston is beautiful (regardless of sun or snow) so I make the most of that each day.

In the office my team is my priority, so connecting with my 10 members the first order of business, checking in how their weekends were, grabbing coffee, understanding how the customer calls are shaping up for the week. The rest of my day is split between program work with my fellow managers and 1:1s with my team.

Since quarantine many aspects have stay the same in regards to meetings but of course we’re now 100% remote. I was never a big WFH person so this has been an adjustment for me.

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

There’s a reason why I’ve been at HubSpot for 5 years, regardless of my role or where I’m living work life balance is a priority for HubSpot. We can work remotely whenever we please and we don’t subscribe to the usual 9-5 workday.

If I want to have a run at 11am or take a late lunch, I can. That freedom takes time to get used to especially if you come from a corporate environment, as HubSpot supports flexible work environment for all employees.

HubSpot allows me to manage a team of 10, work in fitness and attend Harvard Extension classes after work. I’m very thankful for that (especially in these current times).

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

If you ask my family and friends about me they’ll tell you my routine is paramount to my happiness and productivity. I can’t produce my best work if I’m not physically and mentally at my best.

Therefore my entire week is typically planned and booked out with internal program management, several fitness sessions per week to keep me energised and 1:1s with colleagues and team members.

Preparation is key, my positivity comes from looking at a meticulously structured calendar and sticking to it. Of course being too rigid can backfire as you can’t predict the lives and calendars of team of 10 so that is something I’ve focused on over the past 2 years (and hopefully have improved).

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 think planning and repetition are the key for me personally. I may not have been the most naturally gifted student or employee but my work rate and consistency is what drives me forward and sets me apart.

I had my eye on a team manager role for 2+ years at HubSpot and had to work consistently to be considered for the role, I had plenty of failures and learning along the way that I look back on now as great lessons.

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

An eye opening book I’ve recently been reading is Sapiens (and not just for the detail on Australian earlier chapters), my wife was Lauren originally reading it but I’ve managed to work it into my rotation.

When I got into management I read Simon Sinek’s Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action. This book really helped with changing my perspective on business and impact.

In regards to podcasts I’ve always listened to HubShots, a podcast that recently hit it’s 200th episode in ANZ run by Ian Jacob and Craig Bailey who are two HubSpot and inbound aficionados.

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

It may seem cliché but being thankful for the situation and role that I’m in. The fact that my wife and I moved halfway around the world from Sydney to Boston and get to experience a different market and culture each day is a privilege, and I thank HubSpot for that.

It’s easy to get caught up u by everyday stresses but the fact that I get to manage a talented group of individuals (much more talented than me) and work at the best workplace in the US (voted #1 by Glassdoor) is pretty special.

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

Jacinda Ardern. As the New Zealand Prime Minister she’s already achieved so much in regards to swift changes with gun laws, COVID-19 strategies and doing all of this while raising a toddler. I would love to see the strenuous and detailed work-life balance she would have.

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

Since working in the US I’ve really seen different types of professionals and cultures at play. I often feel people fall into the category of “work to live” or “live to work”. I’m still trying to find the right combination myself, whether pushing for excellence in my current role or taking time to switch off completely outside of work.

It’s always great to take a break and appreciate what you have in the moment, such as early Saturday morning coffees with my wife while in Boston. Taking that time makes me really grateful for what I have now instead of focusing on what I want in the future.

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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.