Balancing Act: Chris Edwards on Building Businesses and Living Life

In this interview, we have the pleasure of speaking with Chris Edwards, the founder and CEO of Honeycombers and Launchpad. Chris’s journey from marketing director at Krispy Kreme to creating the digital lifestyle guide Honeycombers is nothing short of inspiring. 

Based in Byron Bay, she now manages successful ventures across multiple countries while prioritising work-life balance. Chris shares her daily routines, insights on balancing a thriving career with family life, and her passion for supporting ethical entrepreneurs through Launchpad. 

Let’s start with your background! Can you share with us your career journey and what you’re currently up to?

I started out in marketing and worked my way up to be the Marketing Director for Krispy Kreme when they launched into Australia. My job involved a lot of PR stunts, media events and doughnut sampling. I then left Sydney to move to Singapore, where I got a job in publishing at a local street press magazine.

I learnt the ropes about publishing in the print media very quickly, but struggled with finding common ground with my boss – so I left to join a startup as a co-founder who were creating digital media platforms. This was very early on in the digital media stage – it was a new concept, so I spent a whole lot of time explaining what digital media was (and answering questions like “so there is no print version?”… 

At this company we came up with the idea of Honeycombers – a digital lifestyle city-guide for Singapore, which I now run in 3 countries (Singapore, Hong Kong and Bali) and I am now the sole owner (besides my husband) and CEO. Honeycombers just celebrated 15 years in business last year, we have slowly but surely built up a very solid business. We have over 2-3 million pages read each month by our loyal readers who love our content. 

Right now I split my time between Honeycombers, HoneyKids (a spin off parenting website business) and Launchpad – a business community designed to help ethical, conscious entrepreneurs. Launchpad is my COVID baby. 

I also host a podcast called Good Business, where I interview impact-led entrepreneurs. My goal is to inspire entrepreneurs not just to create businesses, but create businesses that do good in the world (we have a lot of critical problems that need solving). 

We’d love to know what a typical day is like for you. Could you describe a recent workday?

Because my team of 35 are all based in Asia and I live in Byron Bay, Northern NSW, Australia, my day usually starts with something fun.

Today it was the lighthouse walk with a fellow entrepreneur and then a pottery class. I sit down to work about 1pm and have calls with my team members and community members from 1-6pm, and then it’s dinner with the family (I have 3 kids, aged 14, 12 and 9). 

I usually check emails again around 8pm just to see if there is anything that I can quickly revert on, check my diary for the next day so I can mentally prepare and then I am done for the day.

Can you define work-life balance for yourself and share with us your approach in maintaining it?

Working in a different time zone to my team is very helpful for work life balance, and prioritizing fun at the beginning of the day really works for me. Once I get started at work, I get on a bit of a roll and find it hard to stop. 

When I was in the same time zone, I used to just use mantras and reminders to remind myself that my goal in life is to enjoy it. I am not here to make the most money, but to have the best life. 

Change is constant, and it’s essential for growth. Have you made any lifestyle changes in the past year to improve your work-life balance?

Yes lots! I am constantly making lifestyle changes, based on my needs, my family’s needs and my business needs.

This year I have tweaked my schedule to *try* to have meeting free Mondays, no work on Fridays and doing one creative class each week. I also attempt to limit my working hours to about 30 hours a week. I find that if I get the balance right and the right amount of white space, I can think better, come up with better ideas and overall just enjoy life more. 

My businesses are profitable and growing, and I know that I don’t have to do all the work – in fact, I am not the best person to do a lot of the tasks – my role is to set the vision and the direction, do a lot of the creative ideation around new concepts – but then to hand over to my team who are seriously good operators. 

We’re always on the lookout for new resources! Can you recommend any books, podcasts, or newsletters that have helped you in your journey towards balance?

I love business books and podcasts – I am constantly consuming them. My favourite author is Tim Duggan, who wrote Cult Status and Killer Thinking, and has a new book coming out this month called Work Backwards. He is a very clever guy who can break ideas down into simple nuggets of gold. I also love Good to Great by Jim Collins, Let My People Go Surfing by Yvon Chouinard, and Predictably Irrational by Dan Arielky. 

Favourite podcasts: Diary of a CEO with Steven Bartlett, Hack Your Own PR, by Odette Barry, and Good Business with Chris Edwards (shameless plug there!) 

Before we wrap up, do you have any final words of wisdom or insights on work, life, or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?

No one gets to the end of their life wishing they worked harder, they wish they took the holiday, had more time with friends and family, and sucked the marrow out of life. 

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