Employee Airtime: Heath Barnett, Head of Growth Sales, North America
Get to know Heath Barnett, Head of Growth Sales, North America, based in San Francisco.
Tell us a little about yourself. What’s your background and what motivated you to join Airwallex?
I started my career in consulting doing enterprise sales working with tech titans like Facebook, Microsoft, and Uber. It was at that point, in my mid-20s, when I realized that I wanted something more out of my job. I wanted to disrupt and wanted to be making a difference that makes a big difference. And that’s when I shifted my career track and found a niche to support businesses in their commercial go-to-market strategy. I then joined Uber, where I helped launch and operationalize its sales team out of Texas. Now at Airwallex, I feel the same excitement to really build and grow a business in the US. There are so many smart, talented people at Airwallex who are up for the challenge, tackling hard problems and finding simple solutions.
What’s it like working for a global business like Airwallex? Has anything surprised you?
I’ve always worked for global organizations, so coming to Airwallex makes me feel like I’m at home. Sure, some people may worry about the challenges of working across time zones or barriers that come with different cultural backgrounds, but the truth is that there are so many more benefits to working in such a diverse setting. Being able to interact with colleagues from everywhere around the world really helps generate unique ideas and approaches to problem-solving, and that is what gets me excited.
Tell us something about your job - what does a “day in the life of Heath” usually look like?
I have a pretty set routine that works for me. I’m in the gym by 5.15 am in the morning, and have my family time after that. I do make it a point to block out time for my family in the evening as well, but other than that, I am focused on work. That sometimes (or often) means working late, but that’s a preference. My wife tells me all the time that I can never be happy in a 9 to 5 job, and it’s true! I love what I do and that’s what drives me. It’s about work-life harmony and finding what works for you.
You’ve been with Airwallex for over a year now - what is one of your most memorable moments at the company so far?
Other than the time I started my own business, this is one of the opportunities where I’ve had the opportunity to play a pivotal role in building the culture. I’m a firm believer that productivity becomes a byproduct of the culture we build.
We had our first US team offsite at the end of last year, and yes, we spent a good chunk of our time on business planning and strategy sessions, but the most memorable and most motivating part of the gathering was the ability to bond with the team, in-person. Our offsite ended with our version of “The Amazing Race” around San Francisco, and safe to say - competition was fierce!
Now to end with something not related to work… If you could be somebody else for a day, who would you be?
If I could be anyone it would be Eric Thomas. For those who don’t know him, he’s a top motivational speaker and truly inspirational, speaking from his own experiences being homeless, and also empowering youth. Listening to Eric has helped me during some of my lowest points in life and was a voice of encouragement when I thought all was lost. I would love to be in his shoes for one day and see the impact he has on people’s lives. Eric’s spiritual walk, tenacity, and drive are the perfect example of his quote, “When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you’ll be successful.”
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