Balancing the Grind with Scott O’Neill, Director of Rethinking Investing

Scott O’Neill is the director of Rethinking Investing, an Australian property investing company specialising in finding rare positively geared and high growth properties.

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

I studied engineering at Sydney University. My first full-time role was as an engineer building railway lines in Sydney. The hours were long, sometimes including weekend and night shift work. It was gruelling and exhausting and I began to visualise what my life might look like in 40 years if I stayed in this role. I made the decision then to go the path less travelled.

Today, together with my wife Mina, I am the Director of our business Rethink Investing. I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved. We’ve helped our clients purchase more than $1 billion of Australian real estate, (most of it commercial property), and work their way to financial freedom.

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

I get up pretty early. Normally our toddler is the alarm bell in the morning. From there, we have a small amount of family time before work starts.

Normally I’m on back to back calls from 9am-12pm and then I have time for a quick lunch and a gym/surf session depending on the day. Then back to calls and emails all afternoon until about 6pm.

Work has become extremely busy in recent times due to the higher level of customer interest in commercial property. To keep up with workload I’m normally still working until 10:30pm at night!

This is obviously not going to be sustainable so we are in the process of hiring more staff as the company grows. Despite the level of work, it’s still as enjoyable as ever. Helping people invest in commercial property is never a repetitive process as every person and property is unique. I also like seeing the incredible financial results my clients achieve which is immensely satisfying and also helps with long term business partnerships.

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

Yes, very much so. Since COVID we’ve become more remote. Rethink Investing still has an office but it’s more of choice to go in rather than ‘having’ to go. Remote working has been quite successful but it has also required more follow ups between the team.

What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal? Work life balance is very important to me and even more so now that I’m a father. Recently it’s dropped off however, as Rethink Investing is going through some growing pains.

Once we’ve staffed correctly things will be back on track. The next few years will be very good for the property market so we’ll grow with it.

4) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?

Just working more out of the office. It’s been an enjoyable transition that allows more family time despite the larger hours of overall working.

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

I like catching up on world news every day. I find watching Australian news very boring vs knowing a little bit about the entire world. I like ‘Al Jazeera’ and ‘Euro News’ and the global finance news such as ‘CNBC’ is very pertinent to me and my job.

6) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?

I watch the above on Foxtel and YouTube. So I wouldn’t want to live without either of those.

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

I would love to hear from any rapidly growing companies whose processes are still being built. I find that the early stages of company growth are much more challenging than the environments of well established companies.

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

I always have the goal to exercise six days a week. Tennis, gym, surfing and walking and the golf course are my main outlets. Without regular dezone sport periods, I think I would go crazy! So keeping up routine is what really helps me.

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