Founders / Interviews

Balancing the Grind With Nathan Darma, Founder of Implicit Playing Cards

Nathan Darma is a 25 year old Melbourne-based entrepreneur, founder of Implicit Playing Cards and marketing manager of Skwosh Club.

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

Other than the casual jobs I had growing up (grocery boy, promo work etc), most of my background consists of little business ventures that I’ve been starting since I was 19 (everything from a clothing brand to an app creation, and now my current side hustle of a playing card brand).

From these mini ventures I fell in love with start-up culture and learnt a wide array of skills, the most prominent being marketing strategy and social media marketing.

I now work for the start-up resort wear brand called Skwosh, where I lead the sales & marketing strategy.

Outside of this role, I’m a professional magician, photographer, and I also have a brand of playing cards that are in stores globally!

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

A typical workday for me starts with an early morning cup of coffee, followed by some form of exercise. I recently became an ambassador for the independent fitness studio Life Hub, so lately I’ve been doing an early morning sweat session there, before I head to work.

Once I’m at work, I start off by doing all the housekeeping tasks, such as responding to all emails and then the rest of the day is usually filled with either meetings, strategy sessions, planning campaigns, or, more recently, building chatbots for the company.

After I get home from work, I usually try to relax for a bit, have dinner, and then work on my side gigs, such as editing photos/organising photo shoots and practicing my magic.

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

It sure does! The Director of Skwosh (Adam Walsh) is incredibly accommodating towards my side hustles. If I get booked for a shoot or have any other sort of opportunity pop up that is of benefit to me, he’s been more than happy for me to take the time to go and do those things.

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

To be honest, the only thing I use to manage my busy schedule is my calendar on my phone. I schedule absolutely everything in there, to make sure that I don’t forget to do anything and this way it is accessible wherever I go.

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

Work-life balance, to me, means that you place a certain level of priority on your “me time”.

Whether that’s doing something like playing sport, getting involved in your hobbies, or even just sitting on the couch to relax and watch Netflix, I think that everyone needs to make sure they schedule in some time to themselves each day.

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?

One of the things I do that I feel helps me out substantially is using mind maps, to plan out (basically) everything. They are incredible to help flesh out ideas and use as a base for decision making.

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

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

I find that starting my day with a session at the gym helps me to get the most out of each day, as it wakes me up properly, puts me in a focused headspace, and it also ensures that before my day even properly starts, I’ve already done something for myself (which is a big part of my work-life balance).

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

A saying that I always keep in the back of my head is “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know, and who knows you” – networking is incredibly important, so I try and connect with new people regularly, because you never know who can add value to your work or personal life.

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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.