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A Day in the Life: Joe Taylor, Founder and CEO of KiwiSaver tech start-up, BetterSaver

Joe Taylor is the Founder and CEO of KiwiSaver tech start-up, BetterSaverBetterSaver was created because Joe was frustrated with people not making the most of their KiwiSaver funds, and of KiwiSaver providers only showing the data that makes them look good.

BetterSaver is an online advice platform which allows people to see if they are in the right KiwiSaver fund for them and considers factors such as life stage, personal ethics, and fees to determine the best fund match for you.

What time do you wake up?

This can vary a lot, but on a normal day my alarm goes off at 7am. Then I’m out of bed, showered, coffee’d and in the office for my first meeting of the day by 8am.

What kind of work do you do?

I’m founder and CEO of the online KiwiSaver advice startup, BetterSaver. We help KiwiSaver investors maximise their returns while putting money behind businesses that align with their personal values and beliefs.

What’s the ideal way to start your day?

With a cup of coffee and a bacon and egg muffin for breakfast with my wife Michelle.

Do you have any morning rituals?

Nothing special – just coffee and a glass of water.

How soon do you begin doing work-related things each morning, such as checking phone or emails?

I check for any urgent messages from my team first thing in the morning. Other than that, I don’t start work until I hit the office at 8am.

What’s your media consumption or interaction like – which podcasts, radio, videos, books, magazines, and new sites do you read or listen to?

Media is an important source of public opinion on KiwiSaver and personal financing, so I hit the news sites a couple of times each day to stay up to date with the latest news.

What do you think is unique about the way you approach your work?

I like to operate with a high level of trust. I trust the people around me to do what they say they’ll do, and I hope others will trust me to do the same. It’s the same approach for BetterSaver too – we’re focused on delivering personalised advice because people put trust in us to provide them with reliable financial information.

What responsibility do you have in a typical day? What takes up most of your time?

BetterSaver is a startup, and as the founder and CEO my responsibilities vary day in day out. I have my hand on all parts of the business and make sure we have what we need to achieve our goals, be it money, people, or equipment.

Where do your best ideas come from?

My best ideas come to me when I’m by myself staring at the ocean with no other distractions.

What has been the most transformational business practice you’ve implemented at your work?

Startups work best when each member is empowered to be creative and work with autonomy. I like to let people do their job without me getting in their way, providing them with support and resources where and when needed.

What social or environmental issues inform the work you do, as well as what you’re aiming to do with your company’s overall vision?

BetterSaver at its core is about helping people do better with their KiwiSaver. We want to help people achieve their financial goals whether that be buying a house or saving for retirement. We believe that a solid financial foundation will lead to a healthier and happier life.

What’s the most enjoyable part of your day?

Every morning I wake up excited about my day, so I guess waking up is the most enjoyable part of my day.

What about the least enjoyable?

All ups come with an eventual down. I’m an upbeat kind of person so it can be mentally exhausting at times.

Do you have any side hustles you’re juggling alongside being an entrepreneur?

Not right now. My main priorities are BetterSaver, my family, and friends – not necessarily in that order!

What’s your best productivity hack?

Set aside some time each day where you have nothing to distract yourself.

Do you get stressed? If so, how do you manage it? Do you practice any mindfulness or meditation?

I have always dealt with a high level of anxiety and stress. The best trick is to eat well, exercise consistently, spend time with family and friends, and talk with a professional when you hit the wall.

What do you do once you get home? Can you switch off?

I find it very hard to switch off. When I get home I either go straight into cooking dinner for me and my wife, or half pass out on the couch until dinner is ready. On holidays it takes me a good three days before I am switched off.

What do or don’t you eat or drink to maintain your performance throughout the day?

I limit my coffee to two cups a day to avoid getting jittery or anxious. I also keep myself hydrated by drinking a jug of water each day. Throughout the week I try to eat well, but I do enjoy burgers and pizza so don’t always end up eating well – especially on the weekends.

What time do you go to sleep? How many hours sleep do you try to get each night? Any special techniques for a good night’s rest?

These days I try to get to bed around 11pm so I can get eight hours of sleep each night. I tend to sleep late when I work from home, so I try not to bring work to home.

My only tip for a good night’s rest is to figure out a routine that works for you and stick to it. For example, it takes me a while to switch off from my day, so I try not to work before bed. Otherwise, I could stay awake thinking about work all night.

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