Founders / Interviews

Balancing the Grind With Joe Pulizzi, Co-Founder of The Orange Effect Foundation

Joe Pulizzi is an entrepreneur, speaker, author, and podcaster.

He’s the founder of multiple startups, including the Content Marketing Institute (CMI), the leading content marketing educational resource for enterprise brands, recognized as the fastest growing business media company by Inc. magazine in 2014 and 2015.

Currently Joe is spending his time at the Orange Effect Foundation (OEF), an organisation he co-founded with his wife, which delivers funds to children and families for speech therapy services and technology.

Balance the Grind spoke to Joe about starting and selling the Content Marketing Institute, balancing his current work now as a writer and fundraising for the Orange Effect Foundation, removing Facebook from his phone to increase productivity and more.

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

I started off in business-to-business media managing large custom content projects, mostly magazines and newsletters, for a B2B media company.

As the years went on, I took over that department and started seeing the potential of what would become the content marketing industry.

Left in 2007 to start what became Content Marketing Institute. Wrote or co-wrote 5 books on content marketing, launched Content Marketing World, now the largest event in the industry, and sold the business in 2016.

While I still stay active in the industry, I’m now writing a suspense novel.

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

Writer’s write, so Monday through Friday I write at least an hour a day. Every other week I sent out an e-newsletter on my random musings:

I also run fundraising for the Orange Effect Foundation, which raises funds for children who need speech therapy. I read a ton, and spend as much time learning and exploring with my family.

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

Wake up at 6:30. Drink coffee. Make school lunches for the kids. Read for 30 minutes, generally fiction. After they leave for school, I generally do a run or quick workout.

After cleaning up, I’ll sit down and write or edit for a couple hours. Then send a few emails out for Orange Effect Foundation. Lunch with my wife. Rest of the day is dedicated to family/friend activities.

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

Yes. Get your goals in order. What do you really want to accomplish – career/wealth, physical, mental, family, spiritual, giving? Review those goals every morning so you know what needs to be done every day.

Specifically, I removed Facebook from my phones, which has increased my productivity 10-fold.

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

It’s all about setting the right goals. In the past, I used to have the majority of my goals in the career/financial category, and things were out of balance.

Today, most of my goals are in the other categories. The key is to have some goals in every category so you don’t become one-dimensional.

6) What are some of the things you do to take time out and recharge?

I run at least 2 or 3 times per week. That gives me time to catch up on my favorite podcasts (James Altucher and Conan O-Brien). As a father, I’ve learned to just sit with my kids.

Be present with them, even if we don’t have a specific activity. You stick around long enough, they’ll start a conversation. I also enjoy doing the dishes. I have no idea why, but it keeps me grounded for some reason.

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?

Reading at least one non-business book per month. Reviewing my goals every day. Setting one huge goal every few years that no-one thinks is achievable. Get active in at least one non-profit.

Figure out who the most important people in your life are, and create regular activities (clubs, leagues, regular dates) so there’s always a reason to get together.

8) Are there any books you’ve read that have helped you with 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.