Interviews / Marketing & Advertising

Balancing the Grind with Andrew Lamb, Marketing & Media Communications Consultant

Andrew Lamb is a Marketing & Media Communications Consultant, working with marketers and agencies on communications strategy, business development, partner management & reviews.

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

For the first 20-odd years of my career I held leadership roles in creative & media agencies in Australia, New Zealand & the UK.

I had the privilege of working with over 75 blue chip advertisers across a variety of industries, as well as wonderfully talented people in the agency and media publishing world.

That was a great experience, however I came to a stage in my life where I wanted (and needed) a change.

So, about 5 years ago I set up Andrew Lamb Consulting (I know, how’d I come up with that name!?), with a view of getting closer to decision makers in shaping strategies for business outcomes. I like having less layers to get results – ‘cause & affect’.

Working directly with marketers, founders, and agencies in a consulting/contractual capacity allows me to do this. Completely separate to this I am also managing partner in a hardware distribution business, which gives me no end of joy.

Media and hardware (retail) are two very different worlds, but I love the contrast.

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

Before I start work, I meditate, exercise, caffeinate and have a healthy breakfast. I find that this routine works well for me and sets me up to be my best.

A typical workday will start out planned but will inevitably change direction many times. It will vary from media, client or supplier meetings (zoom, phone or face-to-face, where practical), presentation preparations, negotiations, finances and the usual business hygiene.

It’s also not unusual to put down the phone from guiding an advertiser who is spending millions in media, to then ringing the buyer at Bunnings Warehouse to make sure they have our ladders in stock!

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

Sure does, and fortunately I was (partly) remote working for many years pre-COVID so it wasn’t a big change to me – I was very lucky.

I will work from home, the agency office, our warehouse, or the car – whatever works.

Flexibility in work is one of the most important things to me. It’s important that I have time for my family and my own downtime. The rigid ‘traditional’ in-office model doesn’t work anymore.

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

Setting boundaries and preserving them.

Being self-employed and juggling different projects, roles, as well as being a parent – I find it really important to set clear boundaries and to preserve them as best as possible.

I’m fairly regimented around when my day starts and when it finishes. When working from home I also try to have lunch or other breaks while not simultaneously working – I find that is important and keeps me fresh.

If I am dedicating time for one project, I won’t let that be jeopardised by another demand. From time to time, particularly when there is something very urgent on, these lines will blur – but I think it is important to not simply go where the wind blows 100% of the time. I won’t be effective to anyone, let alone myself.

You do have to work with people who understand and respect this otherwise it’s never going to fit.

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

Spending less time in traffic – priceless.

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

Anything that makes me laugh and learn about myself at the same time. I love these 3 podcasts:

  • WTF with Marc Maron
  • Conan O’Brien Needs A Friend
  • Better Than Yesterday with Osher Günsberg

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

My coffee machine.

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

Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand Prime Minister. She’s an inspiration – not in just what she does, but in the way she does it. That would be a great read.

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

Just to share the best advice that has been given to me over the years:

  • Think about the way that you want to feel at work, then look for the role.
  • Create a work-values hierarchy listing the most important to the least important, and check-in with yourself to see if those values are being honoured
  • Work with people who you like and have similar values to yours
  • Create the best working environment you can – even if WFH, surround yourself with plants, positive imagery, and a calm but fun environment
  • Be honest to others and yourself. Your reputation and trust are everything.

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This conversation is brought to you by Think Bespoke, providing LinkedIn training for individuals and organisations in Melbourne and Sydney.

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.