Kelly Godfrey is the Director & General Manager of Australia & New Zealand at StockX, a platform to buy and sell high-demand consumer goods.
1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
I’m originally from the UK and have spent the majority of my career in marketing, mostly in consumer tech. I love the space and it’s what led me to my previous role at Ancestry.com.
It was my job at Ancestry that took me from London to Sydney back in 2013. My current role at StockX is as Director and General Manager for Australia and New Zealand, where I’m overseeing the launch and expansion into the region.
There is immense potential for growth in this market and brands don’t get much more exciting than StockX, so I feel like I’m in a good spot right now!
2) What does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
My workdays start early, I’m generally on calls from 7am with the StockX team on the East Coast of the US. After a couple of hours of calls I will run out to grab an emergency coffee, then come back and work through the Slack messages and emails that came through overnight.
After this, I like to go into the office to see the team and have any local market meetings and conversations. I try to take a bit of time out later in the afternoon and go for a walk to get some fresh air while it’s still light, or go to a yoga class.
My brain is quite switched on later in the day so some evenings, I’ll come back to my desk and do another hour or so of analysis or catch up with the team in the UK as they come online.
3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
When you work closely with international teams you pretty much have to be flexible with your day because of time zones. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the global StockX policy has been to work remotely where possible and that remains in place until 2022.
My contract actually states remote work, but as we’ve had more freedom of movement here in Australia during the pandemic we’re able to spend time in person as a team and I really value that. I moved from Sydney to Melbourne to be near our facility and the team.
I definitely enjoy having the balance and flexibility of time spent both in the office and working from home now though, and the concept of going into an office 9-5 now feels kind of old-school for a knowledge worker.
4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
For me, balance is all about work, play and sleep. I have this expression, ‘a two-legged stool will fall over,’ so those three legs of the stool, that is work, play and sleep, are equally important. I try to be proactive about not doing idle work.
I avoid things like looking at my emails before I go to sleep and where possible avoid logging in on the weekends, I need non-work brain time too! Getting quality sleep is really important.
As Mathew Walker says in his book Why We Sleep, think of it as this incredible, rejuvenating elixir that we would pay thousands of dollars for in a bottle, but it’s free! As a society, we definitely need to better prioritise getting a good night’s sleep.
I recharge my batteries through spending time with friends and loved ones and being in nature, so making sure I take time to socialise and get outside keeps me balanced.
5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?
Like many people, the change to remote working has been huge. I mean, I have never actually met my boss or many other folks that I work with everyday at StockX in person. I still find that crazy.
There’s a few things that help with productivity in remote work that I’ve learned from the StockX way of working, like keep meetings to 30 minutes and block out time for no-meetings, so you can actually get stuff done. My time management has evolved into something quite different these days.
During the lockdowns I rediscovered the value of just going for a walk through a park or along the coast, taking time to appreciate the everyday beauty that surrounds us. A couple of years back I did the Executive Program at Stanford, and I remember a study about how being in nature helps increase our brain’s functionality. Just a 15 minute walk in nature can give the brain a real boost.
As an expat, over the past year, I’ve spent a lot more time on video calls with my family. This has now been the longest time I’ve ever spent without seeing them in person, which is so hard.
Moving to Australia is an amazing thing but not being able to go visit home due to closed borders was not part of the deal! Making the time to regularly connect with my family and friends has been incredibly important, to stay close and for my mental health.
6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?
One of the best newsletters out there if you work in tech is Stratechery by Ben Thompson. I really appreciate his analytical mind, he is constantly bang on with his summaries of the latest goings-on in the big tech landscape.
The other one I love is Future Crunch, which is focused on positive news stories about the latest innovations, the environment and people doing great things. It is so well researched and well written and gives you a good news lift when you need it. As with Stratechery, Future Crunch is a paid-for subscription but, to be honest, I’d pay double for it, it’s fantastic.
7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?
Something that was a bit of a game-changer for me was the Apple Watch. Unexpectedly, I found that you can be more present and reduce your screen time.
Instead of always having my phone out and being drawn into something whenever it lights up and then mindlessly scrolling, I can put it in my bag and leave it there, knowing I won’t miss a call or message. Be strict with limiting your notifications though!
I’m a big fan of the app AutoSleep, which tracks my sleep via the Apple watch and enables me to monitor my sleep patterns. I constantly bore my friends to death with my sleep data!
Another app I’m always on is Instagram, mostly for keeping up to date with friends and family and also a little daily inspiration. Instagram was the original app for everyday creative expression, and I still love it for that reason.
8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?
It would have to be Jacinda Ardern, recently voted the World’s Greatest Leader in 2021 by Fortune. I’d love to know how she juggles the duties of a Prime Minister with being such a strong and empathetic leader to the people while being a mum to a young child.
How does she find time for herself to just chill? It must be hard! She’s such an inspiration and a great role model for modern leadership.
9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
When you’re young, if you’re lucky like me you might find a job you love, where work and play are kind of the same thing. This changes as you get older and responsibilities shift. Time to relax and sleep definitely become more important!
Making sure that you take time out to spend quality time with the people you love, try to eat healthy food and do regular exercise, plus get out in nature, it all leads to longevity. It’s common sense, but if you’re looking after yourself, you will organically excel in the work you’re doing as you’ll be more refreshed and happy.
Not to say there aren’t times when wine and chocolate are what the soul needs! I try to be healthy during the week and then allow myself to indulge a bit at the weekend. It’s all about balance! It’s important to pay equal attention to all three legs of the stool.
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