Toe-to-Toe with Peter Hutton

video transcript

[Antonia]

Today, I'm joined by Peter Hutton, CEO and Co-Founder of Hutton and Hutton Real Estate. Peter, welcome. 

[Peter]

Thank you, Antonia. Glad to be here. 

[Antonia]

Great to have you with us. Now we're talking all things well-being and health related today. So a good starting point is the fact that you work with your partners in business and partners in life, your wife and your daughters. So let's talk about how you maintain that division between work and personal life when you are living with the person you work with? 

[Peter]

That's a very good question. Well, as it turns out, it's not that difficult because you have certain boundaries. Like when we're at work - we're working. Our work environment is regimented, we all have our jobs to do. And I think that's where you start with it's like I'm the CEO, so I have my job description there and what I do. So I'm the ‘chief environment officer’, I call it, so I don't call it the ‘chief executive’. My job is to create a great environment and then various people in our business, their jobs, to create the results. And my wife's ahead of the marketing. So that's her. Yeah, that's her kingdom. 

[Antonia]

So a division of responsibilities?

[Peter]

Yeah. And it wouldn't matter if it was Karen or if it was somebody we employed - that would be what they're employed to do. And they've got KPIs and job descriptions and, and so, I don't meddle with that - it's not my job to do that. And then Paris, our youngest daughter, she's Operations Manager. Paris and I work really closely together and we’re very similar.

[Antonia]

Is that a good thing? 

[Peter]

I think it's a really good thing because we both think alike. So it makes it easy to work. We can read our minds, but at the same time we can clash very occasionally. But the trick with life in any relationship, work or home life and my wife and I've been married 33 years is to actually have either one or both people have somebody or both go: “We need to stop this argument now and move forward. The past is a past and now how can we resolve this and what's the next step?” And my wife's really good at that. And so, for me, growing up with her getting older has been learning how to also be like that. And now with my daughters, in business, if we ever have a clash, as I said, which is very rare, but if it does happen - the first thing to realize is: OK, this can be resolved and just to let the dust settle quickly and then to remind us we always remind each other we're family. Family first, business second. Family is more important. Yeah, relationships are more important than anything else. So let's move forward. 

[Antonia]

Well, you're clearly getting both, right? Hutton Hutton is a very successful brand. And you all say, certainly when I've seen you with all your family, you all seem to have a really lovely dynamic.

[Peter]

Yeah, we do. And I mean, we're working together all day long, right? Then Kara and I go home together. But we know what we do at nighttime in the morning. We have routines, so that excludes work. Yeah so in the morning we go for we get up together, we go for a walk together, we take our doggie for a walk. We have coffee together. 

[Antonia]

So that's how you start your morning. You'll take the dog out for a walk?

[Peter]

Yeah. We do a 3km to 4km walk every morning. We have a coffee either home or out. Then we'll sit down and have breakfast together and then we'll do something like - Karen might do some meditation or I might do some reading.

[Antonia]

And do you do that separately from each other? Do you have some of your alone time away from each other? 

[Peter]

Sometimes. We've got the Mindvalley app and we're doing one of the very esoteric trainings on there at the moment, which we've been a bit slack with because it's probably a bit out there so much that sometimes there's a bit of avoidance happens and we've been busy the last couple of weeks, but yeah we do some things like that together. Karen I've done a lot of different meditation courses together over the years. I think we've probably done maybe 10 different types. 

[Antonia]

And so clearly meditation is something that you both find very beneficial?

[Peter]

I hardly meditate these days. 

[Antonia]

Oh right! Do you weave in and out of it? Do you gravitate back to it?

[Peter]

I think I'm just very good in the sense that once I sit down I've just learnt how to switch off. I'm very active mentally, so I steer that to creative mental thinking and I find that very meditative.

[Antonia]

What does that look like for you Peter?

[Peter]

It could actually be me actually doing something, like I've got one of those remarkable iPads and I'll just do doodles. I'll draw something. I won't just draw something I'm looking at, I'll just use my imagination and just do that. And I might do that for 20 minutes and then that gives me that pause. Some mornings I just sit there very quietly on my own and I might just look at interior design pictures, because I'm the son of an interior decorator. I see the beauty in that. And so I can just look at beautiful pictures like that for 15 minutes and that's my little break time. 

[Antonia]

That's lovely. 

[Peter]

Then we shower, change and get to work - but working together, we find with the family when we get together outside of work, if we talk about work, it's usually about things we did wrong. We laugh at each other or something I might have done or said. So I have a bit of a joke about it, and laugh about it. And then we don't talk about work, we just talk about everything else.

[Antonia]

It sounds like you can still successfully have time away from work where you're not talking about work. 

[Peter]

Karen and I, we have a right of veto in a conversation. So that's just an agreement we’ve got. If we're out walking in one of the starts talking about work and the other doesn't want to talk about work, that other person, me or Karen, will say: “I don't want to talk about work.” and we say OK.

[Antonia]

I think that's a great rule. 

[Peter]

Yeah, we’ll say “let's park it and we'll talk about it when we get home” or often what we'll do is just quickly get our phone out, send a message or send an email as a reminder so we don't lose that train of thought - so we can deal with it at a more appropriate time.

[Antonia]

That's fantastic. I love that.

[Peter]

I love working with the family. And it wasn't something we set out to do purposely. Karen I sort of set out purposely to build H&H, but even then Karen was like, “you run with it” sort of thing. It just built momentum up, and she said “How big do you want to be? We're just going to stay as a two man business aren’t we?”
[Antonia]

Famous last words.

[Peter]

Yeah, it's more fun with more people.

[Antonia]

Thank you so much for sharing so much about your lovely family and your professional journey. 

[Peter]

Thank you Antonia. See you.

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