Founders / Interviews / Marketing & Advertising

Balancing the Grind With Chris Khoury, Senior Social Strategist & Digital Marketing Manager

Chris Khoury is a Senior Social Strategist & Digital Marketing Manager at boutique content agency, The Crowd Co, and Founder of fashion and accessories brand, Oscar and Oliver Lifestyle.

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

Over the past, almost 10 years in the marketing industry I’ve been able to:

  • lead teams in Australia, New Zealand, UK and US
  • create and execute exciting strategies from agencies to start-ups and large corporates, and
  • drive creative executions across copywriting/content development and community management for multiple verticals including sports nutrition, tech/software, FMCG & fashion retail, hospitality, entertainment

2) What is your current role and what does it entail on a day to day basis?

Currently I work for the team at The Crowd Co as the Senior Digital Marketing Manager and I can honestly say, no two days have ever been the same since I joined the agency 1.5 years ago.

Not only have I done my own job, I’ve also moonlighted as our BDM and Account Manager, Office Manager…and you get it, I do a lot! I’d say the most consistent part of my day is reading emails!

I also run my own business on the side called Oscar and Oliver, it’s a minimalist genderless fashion and accessories brand. My days are non stop.

3) What does a typical day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?

My day usually starts at around 8, I’ll have breakfast in the office and check my emails to see if there’s anything that needs immediate action.

I only have breakfast in office because I live quite a distance from where I work and I hate being stuck in traffic for too long. Once everyone starts rolling in at about 9, that’s when more of the fun starts.

I’ll either be somewhere between taking a call from one of our partners or trawling through LinkedIn to make sure I’m up to date on what’s been happening in social/digital/marketing overnight on the other side of the world, making sure that we as an agency (and personally) can always be on top of how we make sure we’re at the top of our game.

I’ll typically then sit with our content creator to work out what shoots we have on for our in-house socials, post on those, then get stuck into helping out the BDM team look for new leads and piece together a few presentations, whether they revolve around strategy, webinars, pitches.

I’ll also jump in on app development meetings for something we’ve got coming up (I can’t talk too much about just yet but it’s going to change the way consumer research is carried out and how brands make content) and that’s just how my Monday panned out!

4) Do you have any tips, tricks or shortcuts to help you manage your workload and schedule?

I find that physically handwriting a list of things I need to get done in the day or a big list at the start of the week is generally how I sort out my priorities.

It’s strange being in digital but using a non-digital medium to make sure I’ve got a clear view of what I need to tackle.

I also find that It helps sending a WIP type email to the team on a Friday afternoon, so we know where we’re at for the the end of the previous week and what we need to tackle for the week coming.

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5) In between your job, life and all your other responsibilities, how do you ensure you find some sort of balance in your life?

Making sure I have a bit of down time is key to making sure I have balance with my busy schedule.

I make sure that I go to the gym at least 4/5 times a week, not only for my body but also to make sure that I’m not constantly tied to my desk or using my mind to think about work.

If I’m not at the gym I have to make time to go out to dinner with friends or be really lazy and switch off mentally with something on Netflix and lovingly annoy my dog.

I also do my best to not answer work related emails or phone calls after a certain time. Unless something’s urgent, it can wait til the morning.

6) What does work life balance mean to you?

Just that really, being able to find the perfect level of when you know you can switch off from your job and just enjoy what’s happening around you.

The problem I have is I have to force myself to switch off, otherwise I’m constantly planning out how to elevate my game and give 110% at what I do or what products I’m adding to Oscar and Oliver.

7) What do you think are some of the best habits you’ve developed over the years to help you strive for success and balance?

Short answer: Goal Setting and evaluation

Long answer: Having people who not only understand the vision you’re striving to achieve and getting them onboard with why you’re trying to achieve it is paramount. By that what I mean is having a one team, one dream mentality.

No-one needs to be ‘ON’ constantly and everyone has their role to play, and while it’s important to know other peoples job functions, you don’t need to do the job for them.

Help is always welcome and constructive criticism elevates everything you do, but knowing your strong suits and finding ways of improving what you’re not the best at, is probably the best habit to have.

8) Are there any books that have helped you improve over the years?

  • The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k by Sarah Knight.
  • The Secret by Rhonda Byrne (I remember reading that when I was 14 and parts of it have stuck til now).
  • The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris (I actually carried it around with me and read it daily + the audio book).
  • I, Justine: An Analog Memoir (one of my favourite content creators on YouTube, I’ve followed her journey for a long time and it’s inspired me along the way).
  • #AskGaryVee and Crushing it by Gary Vaynerchuk. I had seen him so much on LinkedIn and Instagram and I thought, I just need to read the book to make sure I’m on the same wave length, spoiler, I am, haha!
  • Harry Potter – I just need to remember what it’s like being a kid without the responsibility of work and I’m a sucker for switching off

9) What is the number one thing you do to make sure you get the most out of your day?

Crossing off items on a list, it’s small but it’s legitimately the most rewarding thing knowing I don’t have a THING I have to get done.

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

I think one of the most important things I’ve discovered is to not let your job run your entire life.

There are so many other things outside of the office you’re in that give your life value, more than what a dollar can. Yes, money is great, but what’s the point if the situation you find yourself in isn’t fulfilling you.

I’m a huge believer making sure you surround yourself in the right environment, the right people and being part of the right cause.

If you don’t have those things in where you’re at, it’s probably worth reevaluating because at the end of the day, you’re not doing yourself any favours (or anyone around you for that matter) if you’re not happy.

The other thing, is being confident in what you do. If you’re not, why should anyone else be? Knowing you know how to smash what you’re great at should be enough.

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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.