Balancing the Grind With Darren Lamb, Head of Creative Development at Sassy

Darren Lamb is the Head of Creative Development at Sassy, an audience focused content creation and distribution company specialising in visual storytelling.

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

I started out as a TV station mascot for a now defunct but memorable called Live TV in London.

I made the tea and had to dress up in a rabbit costume to go and wind up celebrities in public. It was the 1990’s and it was a lot of fun. I had very long and very bad hair.

From there I unintentionally got associated with live magazine format and entertainment based shows. So lot’s of celebrities, lot’s of script writing, lot’s of ridiculous ideas that ended up on national TV hours later and a few premature grey hairs.

Spin forward 12 TV years and it was time for a change. After a surreal year in PR, I moved into a commercials and content production company and started developing small brand films, making contacts, meeting Directors, growing a beard.

3 years in and with two brilliant film making partners, we founded our own successful content production company. After nearly 6 years on the rollercoaster, I felt it was time for a re-set and re-fresh and had the opportunity to join a brilliant production agency with big ambitions, big plans and the right people to do it. And a year later I’m very happy here at Sassy.

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

My title has recently changed to Head of Creative Development. However it is a hybrid role that straddles Executive Production, Client and Creative Services and forging new relationships across potential partners and introducing new clients to our services.

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

It’s a cliche, however honestly, no two days are the same.

Today I’m working on the development of a TV format series, pitching in on creative for an automotive brand, looking at designs to refresh our branding, having a first look that has come in for a sport related tender, prepping for a client meeting and a new brand showcase later in the week.

And trying to prepare a family trip for the weekend.

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

Answer those important emails and calls first off, so you can clear the decks.

I try and build in all of my external meetings into one or two days a week and do them back to back, so a few days I can be based at one location and get stuck into what you need to do, rather than having to travel here, there and everywhere.

And buy a pair of good noise cancelling earphones. It can help switch off peripheral distractions in the office.

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

I’m a dad and husband first. So weekends are for us together and I don’t look at emails after 7pm. If it’s that important, they will phone.

6) What does work life balance mean to you?

Getting your shit together and planning in advance so there is no need to be writing long boring emails at 1am.

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?

Be nice to everyone, work hard, never stop learning about any subject that interest you, try to keep any ego grounded, don’t be a dick.

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

I used to love reading books, since having kids I’ve had less time and energy to get through more than a few pages at night.

However since joining Sassy, I’ve been introduced to the wonders of Audible, who happen to be one of our clients. I love it.

I’ve always found the ‘ be successful’ ‘win new business’ ’climb the corporate pole’ type books to be a bit cringe-worthy.

And for my job I find more inspiration in a variety of fiction and factual books.

Currently I’m reading/listening to:

  • Jaws by Peter Benchley – Summer blockbuster – That no pun intended, has a lot more depth than the film.
  • Blowing the Bloody Doors Off – Michael Caine tells you what it needs to be a successful actor.
  • Incognito by David Eagleman – The secret life of the brain. Why as humans we do things we do.

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

Don’t wake up with a hangover.

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

Find a job or industry you love, care about creating the best work you can, fill your career with friends not enemies, make it fun, try not to be a dick and it won’t feel like work.

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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.