Interviews / Marketing & Advertising

Balancing the Grind with Alex Hong, Head of Marketing at Flash Coffee

Alex Hong is the Head of Marketing at Flash Coffee, a tech-enabled coffee chain, blending an award-winning coffee menu with affordable prices across Asia.

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

I’m currently working at Flash Coffee Korea as a Head of Marketing. Before joining Flash Coffee, I spent my time working with amazing individuals at leading companies in films, digital mobile services, and music industries. 

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

On a slow day, I have 3 to 4 meetings a day including video calls with the APAC team. I spent most of the time preparing for the new store launching as we have two new opening locations in September.

In addition, I focus on preparing for the winter season to create additional revenue streams for us to elevate the floor for business. In between those major topics, I spent my time with my managers and other teams to drive currently active issues.

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

It does because we are operating multiple stores. Whenever it is possible, I’d like to work at our stores to better understand what we can improve. Every store faces a different environment including our customers.

So I tend to use flexible hours to better understand the customer traffic during different hours. On a personal level, flexible hours allow me to better manage the needs of my family and myself, especially when my wife and I are both working. 

4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal? 

As I experience through my 20th year in my career, I realise that I am more comfortable with keeping work close to my everyday life because I am capable of switching in and out of it quickly. I started my career before the birth of iPhones and Blackberries.

Therefore the technology has made me feel at ease to do so. Additionally, I had great mentors and industry leaders who increased their work efficiency by constantly staying on top of everything no matter where they were.

Every business leader I looked up to was working nonstop, but at the same time, every one of them was constantly having fun here and there. That is what I am looking for when it comes to work-life balance. 

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

Yes, I started exercising twice a day with at least 45 mins or more per session. I usually have a weight training session between lunch break and a cardio workout late at night. Speaking of the late-night cardio session, I’m writing this on a bike machine at 10:44 pm KST.

I also started drinking at least 3.5 litres of water. It has been about 5 months, and I am sleeping better. I also feel like I need to spend less time in the morning to get myself going in the morning. Overall, I feel less fatigued these days. 

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

I recently read The Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel. I think this book can help young professionals. I also read The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson and The Mentor Leader by Tony Dungy. Both books were easy to read and can help one to look into oneself in two very different tones. 

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

YouTube because bike machines and treadmills would be incredibly boring. My experience roots in the content business and I feel YouTube is the easiest way to stay current in terms of what is trending.

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

I am not interested in other people’s ways. I write my strategy and I enjoy going through trial and error. No need to measure against others. 

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

It may sound like a cliche, but as I get older and as I experience ridiculous curveballs in life, there are no right or wrong ways to live. Dance your dance, and rest whenever and wherever you feel like along the way. Keep your focus on the positive side of the coin but never underestimate the other side either

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About Author

Hey there! I'm Hao, the Editor-in-Chief at Balance the Grind. We’re on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.