Sabrina Bethunin is the co-founder and co-CEO of MadeComfy, a property management solution for short term rental that combines property management with hospitality.
1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
I am the Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Australia’s accommodation and property innovator MadeComfy.
We offer travellers curated alternative accommodation that is safe, private and professionally serviced. We manage properties on behalf of the property owners and we improve their financial returns by doing Short term rentals.
I am a CPA and Brand Manager, and before founding MadeComfy in 2015 I worked on the FMCG industry with Colgate-Palmolive and Kellogg’s, I focused mainly in Finance, partnering with senior executives developing business strategies.
2) What does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
After having my coffee and my breakfast, I review my calendar to make sure I am ready for the day ahead.
Before arriving at the office, I review our daily reports where we monitor the key business metrics, sometimes no action is necessary after this, but some days this will trigger some new meetings and conversations when I arrive at the office.
My workdays are never the same as I am across different areas of the business. But generally, a big part of my time is invested in meeting with my direct reports as well as with other teams working in projects, strategies, or updates.
Some days I go on-site and visit some of our properties to make sure we are consistently delivering in our promises to customers and to bring feedback to the team.
3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
Yes, I pretty much can work anywhere, and I take advantage of having that flexibility when I need it.
However, my favourite place to work is in the office with our team. I feel that is the place where we grow strong bonds, build trust, and nurture our company culture.
4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
To me, work-life balance is allowing for time to have diversity in my life.
I love arriving before dark at home to walk my golden retrievers, have dinner with my husband and search for a new series that we can both enjoy together. Catching up with my friends that are like my family here in Australia, and having time to exercise, eat properly and very important having a good night sleep!
I am a founder, and my job is a big part of my life. I think MadeComfy is fully integrated into my life, there is no separation. However, I still prioritise having a work-life balance and that helps me keep the passion for what I do for work.
With the experience of building MadeComfy, I have learnt to manage my time to allow for some balance, that has helped me to be creative and to keep coming back to the business stronger and with fresh ideas.
In the early days, things were very different and I was working nonstop, but there is a point when I realised that building a business is a marathon and not a sprint, and finding some work-life balance has helped me to be stronger, and in a better shape to lead a team and to face the constant business challenges.
5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?
I stopped eating sugar five months ago, and that has helped me increase my energy levels, focus and to lose weight slowly in a natural way.
6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts, or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?
I generally like reading autobiographies and get inspired by the life of remarkable people that have done remarkable things, I also like reading about branding and brand building in general as it is an area I am passionate about.
One of my favourite books that combine both and that I would highly recommend is Shoe Dog by Phil Knight, Founder of Nike. His life and the journey he went into building Nike was exhilarating. Loved this book!
I find a lot of value reading the monthly Newsletter of AirTree Venture Capital, it is always packed with interesting information on the start-up ecosystem in Australia, latest capital rounds, updates on funds and very useful information for founders.
My favourite podcasts are The Tim Ferriss Show and How I Built This with Guy Raz.
7) Are there any products, gadgets, or apps that you can’t live without?
I think I can mention a few apps that I use daily and probably I can’t live without them now, my yoga app Down Dog, meditation app Calm and Audible for audiobooks.
8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?
It would be Barack Obama. I would like to know how did he handle work-life balance while being president, was it possible?
It is quite impressive that while having such a big responsibility of being the president of The US he could be so always so sharp and fit. How could he do it all and have time for family?
9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
I think work-life balance is a personal responsibility and if you want to live a life worth living you need to work on your priorities, work on delegation, sometimes in also learning to say no, no one else will do it for you.
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