CEOs / Interviews

Balancing the Grind With Dylan Reed, CEO & Partner at Kreate Australia & New Zealand

Dylan Reed is the CEO & Partner at Kreate Australia & New Zealand, a communications agency which specialises in delivering brand experiences, events, and staffing solutions.

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

After studying a degree in Linguistics and then a Masters in Tourism Marketing I started my career client side at the City of Melbourne working in several roles across destination communications, tourism and events.

In 2006, I relocated to London, where after a few short term marketing contracts took up a role agency side as Account Director overseeing a range of clients including Oxford Street and Regent Street in London’s West End and film clients including Disney and 20th Century Fox.

After 4 years of heading up major events including the Christmas Lights Switch Ons for these world-famous streets I returned to Melbourne to head up Melbourne’s brand marketing at Tourism Victoria.

After 3.5 years there, and a short stint in radio, I took over the GM role at Kreate Australia, and over the last 4.5 years have diversified the agency’s offering and am now the CEO and co-owner of Australia and New Zealand.

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

I wake up every day at 5am and start my day with either a boxing session at 12Rnds or a run in Bondi. I am in the office by 8am and a normal day consists of any combination of client and internal WIPs and phone calls, brainstorms, new briefs, new business meetings along with a steady amount of client work.

As a boutique agency, I get involved at all levels of the business from strategic financial forecasting to writing copy! Many days of the week end with a work event or networking function, but when that’s not happening it’s sometimes an after work run, followed by maybe a drink or two, dinner and veging out on the couch reading or watching a Netflix series.

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

We operate nationally, with a large number of our clients in Melbourne, so I am often travelling to and from the southern state.

I work remotely when in Melbourne, hot desking from our client’s offices, or from Liminal on Collins Street – my current go to for coffee and work. It’s great to be able to work from anywhere with just a laptop and a phone, however I do miss my fitness routine when I am in Melbourne and it’s always harder to eat healthily on the go!

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

I start and end every day with an action list, splitting it up by clients, projects and the agency. I prioritise each action and I also slot times in my day, throughout the week for specific focuses. I am a sucker for a hand-written to do list, but I am also a relatively new user (and major fan) of using Google Drive and co-collaborating on producing documents – saves so much time!

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

I believe that as a business owner, work-life balance should be important, but it shouldn’t feel as necessary to divide up – if you’re not doing what you love, why are you doing it?

I am lucky to be in a position where I am now working on projects and clients which I am passionate about and so it’s easier to blend my work and life without feeling out of balance. I do give myself complete switch off moments though and I find that my daily exercise helps with that as I totally zen out.

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

I have a collection of books which I dip in and out of as I see fit depending on what advice I need.

I live by Simon Sinek’s Start with Why, I also keep close to my bed or desk: The Saint, the Surfer and the CEO by Robin Sharma, UnF*ck Yourself by Gary John Bishop, Why People Fail by Simon Reynolds, 18 Minutes by Peter Bregman and Confessions of an Advertising Man by David Ogilvy.

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

Start with a plan. Each night I actively think about what I am going to achieve the next day and how I am going to go about it – whether that’s exercise, food, work or even my leisure time – I am a textbook Capricorn and LOVE to plan.

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

I believe that everyone should find a work-life balance which doesn’t feel like a burden – you should try and do what you love. I also think it’s important to allow yourself to completely unwind and do nothing sometimes.

If you found the above conversation helpful and inspiring, be sure to check out Balance the Grind’s guide to achieving a healthy work-life balance.

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.