Directors / Hotwire / Interviews / PR & Communications

Balancing the Grind With Jaime Nelson, Managing Director – Strategy & Marketing Services at Hotwire

Jaime Nelson is the Managing Director – Strategy & Marketing Services at Hotwire, a global communications agency with offices in the UK, US, Mexico, France, Germany, Spain, Italy and Australia.

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

Over the past 20 years in the marketing industry, I’ve had the privilege of being a part of and also leading high performing teams to deliver strategic marketing communication solutions across multiple industry sectors, both in Australia and overseas.

I’ve gained diverse experience working in numerous management and production roles, across many integrated communications disciplines including advertising, stakeholder communications, brand & design, live events, and content production.

These roles have seen me launch cars in Melbourne, medicinal drugs in Beijing, corporate values in England, a leader’s vision in Rio, and a cloud strategy in Sydney.

For the past 4 years, I’ve led Precinct which was an Enero-owned business that specialised in branding and design. We recently merged with our sister agency, Hotwire, a global PR and communications agency, doubling the size of our business and significantly broadening our communications offering to clients.

I am so excited for this new chapter in my career and to continue learning new skills from our Hotwire team.

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

A typical day in my life involves waking up at 5am and heading to the gym . Exercise allows me to take the time to reflect and set myself up for the day ahead. I then drive my two kids to school which is an absolute priority. This time is spent connecting with the humans who love me unconditionally and keep me up to date with pop culture!

I travel one hour each way for work so in the car I am usually listening to a podcast or making phone calls. I’m definitely a morning person so I try to plan super brain-intensive activities at the beginning of my day.

For example, these may include business strategy meetings, client proposals, staff 1:1 catch-ups and client meetings. By the afternoon, I am starting to slow down a little and spend my time focusing on keeping the agency ‘machine’ up and running.

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

At Hotwire, we take a more enlightened view of working practices and place great emphasis on ‘thoughtful working’. We are lucky to have the opportunity to work when and wherever we feel most productive – whether that is on site, at clients’ offices, or at home.

As a result, we are encouraged to be mindful of ourselves and others in the team, and to reflect on what best suits our needs and working styles. Whenever I need to block out time to write or focus on content reviews, I usually do opt to work from home.

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

I rely on a number of tips & tricks to effectively manage my workload, and I have learnt to play to mine and my team’s strengths. This shift in mindset has contributed the most value to our staff and clients, and vice versa my team feels empowered to delegate tasks to me.

Secondly, I am learning to become more comfortable with saying “no”. Although this comes with experience, I believe that if you value your own time and learn to say no when people are asking too much of you, or whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed, others will also learn to value your time.

Finally, diary management is a necessity! I rely heavily on my diary and productive meetings to get up to speed on what my team is currently working on, and to keep us all focused and on track.

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

To me, work life balance boils down to quality time spent with my family and close friends. It is so important to spend time with those that know me, warts and all, and to have down time to recharge from the demands of work. Time with my loved ones keeps me grounded and I am so thankful to have this kind of support network.

Bonus shout out to sleep. It has taken me far too long to realise that sleep really does work wonders. I’m a better person, mother, wife, friend, and colleague when I get my 8 hours!

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

I work best in the mornings so as a result, I have developed the habit of scheduling challenging conversations and stimulating work activities before 12 noon. I use my morning brain power to accomplish the tasks that are going to have the most impact, which in turn helps me to balance my priorities for the rest of the day.

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

A book that resonated with me recently was Shoe Dog; a memoir by the creator of Nike, Phil Knight. It acted as a reminder that if you pursue your passion or dream, you can achieve success – whatever that may look like to you. Phil also hits the nail on the head when he says “in business, resilience is everything”.

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

Exercise in the morning is a necessity as it prepares me mentally for the day ahead. I’ve learnt that if I wait to go to the gym after work, I will usually deprioritise it because of other commitments that are out of my control, so it’s best to set aside time for exercise in the mornings.

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

No matter how hard the challenge you are facing or currently working through, know that it will pass. It is only a moment and all will be ok.

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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.