Joshua Ross is the founder & CEO of Humanitix, a charitable ticketing platform which supports causes in health, environment, education and indigenous affairs.
1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
I started my career working at a local hedge fund in Sydney as part of the investment team. I’d studied finance and law, but dropped the law as soon as I got my foot in the door of funds management.
However I always had a burning feeling that my career would end up in the for-purpose industry and funds management was just a stepping stone to equip me – so now I’m a co-founder and co-CEO of Humanitix.
Humanitix helps event organisers run events with impact, then gives 100% of the profits from booking fees to world-changing education programs. Backed by Google.org and Atlassian, we’re a charity for the tech-generation, where every ticket counts.
2) What does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
Right now is as good a day as it gets – I’m sitting in Byron with our team.
We are here because we are lucky enough to have met Samuel Hamrosi (Kingdom Developments), an awesome supporter and advisor who also owns an epic property in the Byron Hinterlands which he is kind enough to let us use for an annual retreat – feeling very spoilt!
When not enjoying the rare Byron moments, the reality is my days are generally tied up working on relationships with stakeholders, mostly funders, clients and our team.
There’s also a fair amount of admin and planning – we are now in Australia and New Zealand, with ambitious plans to expand into the US, which eats up most of my ‘spare’ time. I still find time every day to talk to our clients and help the account management team – at this scale I believe it’s super important to stay close to the front-line.
3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
Yes, COVID’s barely disrupted us from a working perspective – everything is in the cloud, we are all in the same time-zone, so other than for social reasons we don’t have to work from an office or the same office.
Our core-team has been with us for over 12 months, so there’s a lot of trust in the team – I think remote working we’d struggle with training / onboarding people but fortunately (or unfortunately) haven’t had to try.
My routines are actually better – I save 1-2 hours of commute time so have found myself living a healthier and more balanced lifestyle without losing productivity.
4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
Work life balance to me means exercising 3-5x per week, getting into nature at least weekly (surfing or bush-walking), seeing family for at least one quality experience (usually Friday night dinner), and seeing a few close friends.
For me my main passion is my work – its intellectually stimulating, provides purpose and my colleagues are often also my genuine friends.
The only way I can achieve this goal is if our team is working well together – fortunately we’ve got to a stage the past year or so where my life’s felt in equilibrium. Certainly the first 2-3 years of the Humanitix journey I was dropping the ball on balance (as is often required when your backs against the wall).
5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?
I read The CEO within, about 18 months ago, and adopted a lot of habits from the book that have helped me significantly – highly recommend giving it a read!
My favourite work podcast is This Week In Start-ups, and my favourite book is Shantaram which has nothing to do with work but is an epic story! I recently finished Jumping Ship which is a must read for anyone interested in Social Enterprise.
6) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?
G-Suite rules my life. Hinge is a distraction I’m going to delete soon. The only thing I can’t live without is nature (I hate shopping centres and concrete jungles).
7) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?
Moses from the bible, the man spent 40 years wandering around the desert and still achieved so much – all without a smartphone.
8) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
It sounds a bit lame but honestly if you can find purpose in your work it’s a killer combination as you’re killing two birds with one stone.
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