Ep. 40 2018 - Natalie Hong - Co-founder of UFOODI
How do you define yourself and what you do in your business and your family life?
I’m a mum to an incredible 8 year old named Madden, a life partner to a loving and supportive man named Tashi and the CEO and Co-founder of a company called UFOODI. There is no order, I’m all of these things all the time and I love that - it is all encompassing!
Describe for us, a day in the life of you. Do you have any tips or life hacks?
My ideal day would involve getting up early to train, followed by heading home for coffee/breakfast and reading/getting through emails before getting my son up, ready and off to school. I don’t have to drop off and pick him up every day, but on the days, I do - I have to be super focussed and switched on because I have a window between 9:30am and 2:30pm of pure uninterrupted get stuff done time! The days I don’t, I tend to be more forgiving with the schedule and plan for meetings and tasks that require travel, people and less structured timelines. The afternoon brings after school activities (swimming, soccer etc.) or homework and quality time at home. Dinner/Family time is super important with my son and partner early evenings and then once everything is settled its back to a few tasks/emails, debriefing on the day and planning for tomorrow. Me time/down time is essential before bed which could be any combination of Reading/Super Farm Heroes Saga (shh, don’t’ judge me!)/Music or an episode of something I’m currently binging on Netflix. Bedtime is bliss – I love my sleep and learnt a big lesson during my first start-up experience that 2-3 hours a night for 4 years is NOT ENOUGH SLEEP!
I can’t say every day runs as smoothly as this, but it’s about doing my best to get in the things that sustain and support me to be a good founder/CEO and a great mum/partner.
Every day is different! So, routine will only get you so far…! Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t get something done.
Communication – If everyone is on the same page it’s much easier to get the necessary things done and then have quality time for family activities/yourself
Incorporate some of the necessary tasks with quality time – e.g. cooking dinner, cleaning the car – we have competitions and make them as fun/inclusive as possible.
What is your ‘go to’ dinner!
My son and partner LOVE Mexican – so if we need to decide on something last minute and/or need a quick to make dinner option its always some version of quesadillas, nachos, tacos. We have a few nutrition requirements in our house too – so Mexican is a very versatile cuisine to adapt with!
What was the best advice you have received?
My grandmother was very involved in my up-bringing, she always had great little bits of advice for me, but being a very conservative woman with an impeccable sense of style and never needing to rely on any sort of profanities to get her point across she was told me:
“Never half-ass anything, always use your full-ass!”
- I am proud to say that I always use my full-ass, heart and mind in everything I do – it means I give the best of me and get the best experiences, learnings and memories in return!
What one area of your life would you like to improve?
It would be fantastic to have a little more stability and security in our lives, both my partner and I run our own companies and CEO’s so it can get a little hectic, we move around a lot, so our goal over the next few months is to settle and slow things to have a more “normal” family life/home base!
What books are you currently reading, or do you have a fave Netflix or Stan show?
Books: Creative Confidence, Brain Food and Linchpin are on the go at the moment
Netflix: The haunting of Hill House, The Sinner and Ozark have been recent serious binges!
What’s your greatest fear and how do you deal with it?
Failure. Cliché’? Probably. It’s the expectation I put on myself but I never do anything without wanting to see it through.
I’ve been learning that failure isn’t a final outcome, but part of a process of learning and the outcome of accomplishment/success.
I manage/deal with it by making sure I practice gratitude for all the wins and great things and make time to review and understand why something didn’t work and what I can/could do better in the future!
What website have you signed up to that you actually find value in receiving their emails
Ooh! Good question! – I can’t put my finger on one right now, but I do like to subscribe to business and lifestyle based newsletters/emails into the one inbox, so I can balance the work/life piece! Sometimes its nice to get a DECJUBA sale email in the middle of a day of coding an APP etc…!
What’s one piece of advice you would give your pre baby self
You’ve never done this before, it’s ok to not have the answers/know what to do. Your baby has never done this either – so you’re both learning, and you’ll keep learning everyday! I’ve never had an 8 year old before either, so I’m still figuring it all out!
What’s the most useful / useless baby item you have?
It’s been a while so I really can’t remember what we didn’t need – I’m the oldest of 6 so, it was all about the essentials!
Something I didn’t expect to use as often as I did was my carrier – Madden was a SUPER clingy baby so if I wanted to get ANYTHING done, I’d have to pop him in and buzz about the place – even to workout sometimes!
And also thank goodness for The Duck Song – it made every car trip bareable and by bearable I mean it was slightly less stressful listening to The Duck Song than a baby screaming…!