Interviews / Marketing & Advertising

Balancing the Grind with Antonio Bileci, CMO at MetaMetaverse

Antonio Bileci is the CMO at MetaMetaverse, a metaverse company paving the way for interoperability and high-fidelity experiences where governments, companies, DAOs and individuals can build their own world and experiences for their audiences, how they dream it. 

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

First of all, I’d like to thank Hao for this cool opportunity. Well, I’m Antonio from Malta and I’m a marketer in the web3 and gaming world. Let’s run it back a few years, not to showcase my age, but my career path started during my pre-teen years with my parents always pushing me to become a lawyer, an architect or a doctor in the early 2000s – most families during those times used to think those were the roles for your kid to succeed and have a stable job. During junior college in 2008, I noticed those roles weren’t for me and found a love for marketing. 

Got my first job at the airport as a customer support agent when I was 18 while studying, although I found that I enjoyed spending my time on the intercom shouting people’s names rather than aiding passengers.

From there I worked at a local branding agency as an intern and then found myself working as a marketing officer for an EU agency based on life-long learning – each of these roles lasted around 3 months and gave me a good taste of what I wanted. 

When I graduated from University I landed a job in an affiliate software company and spent almost 2 years there. The funny thing was that although I was young and inexperienced, I was pretty much the only sole marketer for that company, running all aspects of growth and marketing strategy.

When I felt I couldn’t learn anything else, I decided to make a move towards the iGaming world which lasted a few years working with operators and affiliates in their own respect, but I didn’t feel that edge or fulfilment – my dreams started to dissipate. 

It wasn’t for much longer though, I found the opportunity of a lifetime in the most random of places. At a rooftop party in Malta, I found a cool-looking guy with a husky-pomeranian mix on his shoulder and straight away I felt the urge to pet this glorious canine.

The dog’s owner and I then spoke for a while that evening and he liked the ‘cut of my jib’ as he recalls, and decided to offer me an opportunity to work as a PR & Affiliate Manager with his instant cryptocurrency exchange, from there I grew and in the span of 4 months I was promoted to PR Director and formed part of the management team. 

I grew the company’s communities and PR voice globally before the growth of DEXs. I then moved to a large corporation based out of Japan, focused on their Centralised Exchange as their Head of Public Relations. There I aided in the launch of a few of the biggest tokens and coins around at the time, along with working with well-established luxury brands and Fortune 500 companies. I even ended up on the radio locally and in Las Vegas, for a few ads I did for crypto companies in 2020. 

I spent 2 years working with this conglomerate and found a new job opportunity as the CMO for a RegTech blockchain startup working primarily with governments in the midst of the bull market – working alongside big governmental entities and RegTech pioneers. During this time, I also aided in the launch and marketing strategy for several blockchain-based startups in the guild, metaverse, gaming and SaaS industries.

In the meantime, I began writing my Tolkien-inspired book series and found a passion for world-building and that’s what led me to the MetaMetaverse, the brainchild of Joel Dietz, one of the founding members of Ethereum and the Architect behind MetaMask 4 months ago. 

Since I spent around an hour running through the 10+ year overview of my career, I’ll keep it brief about my current role – I lead the marketing and business development efforts as the CMO of MetaMetaverse: The metaverse company paving the way for interoperability and high-fidelity experiences where governments, companies, DAOs and individuals can build their own world and experiences to engage their audiences and community. I am responsible for creating, and executing the overall marketing strategy and being the gatekeeper of our conversion funnel while overseeing the marketing team, in a nutshell. 

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

A marketer is only as good as his team, and the overall mission of the organization. A typical day, as of 2023 sees me waking up at 7 AM with my morning routine – keeping my phone on ‘DnD’ from the night before and going to the local gym, a strong cup of tea or coffee (depending on my mood) and reading any updates within the industry along with market movements which might have occurred over the night.

At around 9 AM I decide to turn my PC on and unmute my phone, this is where the beauty starts. I never have external client or business development meetings before noon to keep the morning clear for internal meetings with either my marketing team, the product team or even with management on discussing where we are at with our OKRs and if we feel we’re veering from the targets set.

That’s until around noon or 12:30 PM – then I usually leave the house, since I work from home, and have been doing so for the past couple of years, I feel as if for my mental health I try and leave the house, even to go have a coffee or meet someone for a quick work lunch or even go for a walk to cut away.

30 minutes to an hour later I’m back in and usually, the times between 2 PM to 6 PM are the most hectic, that’s when the west and the east coast of North America start waking up and the meetings start piling in, while also finding time for my team, and any questions or queries that might arise. 

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

It depends on the individual – as a marketer I find myself logged in more often than not, as you are at the mercy of your community – but that’s why building an all-star team, and processes on top makes that easier for executives to get the job done, while also finding time for peace and balance. 

It’s essential to be able to disconnect from work, I’m pretty much a social butterfly, and have to be around people to feel at ease so I dedicate at least 4 out of my 5 working days in the evening to meeting friends, family or my girlfriend either for a nice walk, dinner, drinks or even an activity of sorts!

But to achieve this balance, I make sure to schedule time for myself, family and friends on my calendar with booked-off slots with multiple reminders 😉 I also make sure to take regular breaks throughout the day like I was saying previously, to step away from work and go out of the house to recharge.

Nevertheless, as a marketer in a start-up environment, especially one within the web3 world which is so dynamic and ever-changing, it’s very important to stay on top of things so I do find myself keeping an eye out on chats and emails here and there when I’ve had a second to recharge. Organising, documenting and keeping everything tidy I think is the best piece of advice I would have given myself around a decade ago when I started working. 

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

Well, with the new year comes new year resolutions, I’ve stopped smoking – been since January 1st which has been quite a difficult journey for me till now – 15 years of smoking does that to you I guess, but feeling healthier than ever really. I’ve also dedicated a few hours per week to continuing my book series, it’s funny – I guess Iuse writing as a method to relax.

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

Well, I’m currently reading The Dragonbone Chair, by Tad Williams – great world-building there, The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle is also solid, finished it some time ago. Some of my favourite podcasts include “How I Built This” and the “Lex Fridman Podcast”. As for newsletters, I love the “Milkroad”.

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

Well, that’s a tough one – would love to check out Elon’s or Buffet’s work-life balance, or a politician like Macron or even an artist like Dua Lipa. Understanding how these individuals run companies, express themselves in song, or run countries would be super interesting, and fruit for thought. 

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

Everyone’s different, but happiness is something that we strive for in our own ways – sometimes it gets lost in what you may think is happiness, but really it’s because you might not have time to understand it completely.

Spend time to reflect on what brings you joy, and if you’re incorporating those elements you love in your work and general life. It’s easy to get stuck, be proactive, organise and find more time to enjoy yourself.

Something I feel is quite important in my opinion is that when you’re young, the second you stop learning at work, it’s time to look for something else. Money is not power. Knowledge is important. Happiness is everything. 

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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.