After years working closely with clients as a video strategist at Ride Free, Ryan co-founded Wrappt with the intention of putting the power of video into the hands of marketers and businesses.
Balance the Grind spoke to Ryan about his business background, developing and growing Wrappt, a day in his life as CEO of a startup business, what work-life balance means to him, and more.
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1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your background and career?
I grew up on the Sunshine Coast and after a GAP year working a bunch of rare jobs trying to decide to either pursue human movement or film at uni, I ended up with the latter at Griffith University in Brisbane.
I was fresh to the film scene, but I took an interest in the digital disruption the industry was undergoing. Upon graduating I started a business (Ride Free) in 2011 with my mate Nick James.
Our goal was and still is to create, manage and distribute video content that achieves results for business, and to keep a great working culture at the heart of everything we do.
2) What is your current role and what does it entail on a day to day basis?
Currently I’m looking after the development and growth of Wrappt, a new startup that helps businesses to produce quality video content quickly, affordably and at scale.
I’m responsible for the direction and growth of the business and the product development. I work with developers, designers and filmmakers to deliver products that put professional video in the hands of everyday people.
3) What does a typical day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
I’ll usually start with a long black to kick things off. From there it could go anywhere from internal meetings about business direction and product development to sales and onboardings with clients and if I’ve really kept on top of my emails, I get to bury myself in a good Radio 1 essential mix and a fresh Google Sheet.
4) Do you have any tips, tricks or shortcuts to help you manage your workload and schedule?
I try to get good sleep, every night. It seems to be the most underrated and overlooked thing that actually has the most impact on your performance across every area of your life.
It doesn’t really seem right to call it a hack, tip or trick, but I wish I clued onto it a long time ago, instead of counter-intuitively spending more time doing less.
I try to do what I ‘feel’ like doing, or what I’m already in the headspace for, not what the most urgent thing to do is at the time. If I’m on a roll and connecting dots with a particular task, I’ll stay with it as long as I can, even if that means falling behind in another area.
Before starting any sort of work, I’ll try and create an environment that reflects the work I’m trying to do.
If it’s strategic and logical, then a confined space, laptop and headphones with Drum and Bass is the go. If it’s creative problem solving, then sunshine, open air, pen and paper and jazz is where it’s at.
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 try and stay connected with and listen closely to my fiancé, family and close friends. And listen to Dr. Karl talk about how crazy the universe is.
6) What does work life balance mean to you?
When I first started Ride Free, it was about blurring and blending the line between work and life as much as possible. Now it’s about being conscious of what I’m missing out on, either at work or in life.
Unless you start with serious coin, a large network or a genus level intellect, sacrifice in proportion to your ambition is going to be necessary.
I see balance as more of a constant dash back and forth across the seesaw depending on where the most value is at any given point, rather than an attempt to balance one foot firmly either side the whole time.
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?
I think I still have a long way to go in this area, but I’ve really benefited from staying conscious of exercise, diet and mind space.
Taking time to truly investigate and reflect on something that’s outside my own sphere of reality and control seems to really help from getting stuck in the grind and waking up 5 years later.
8) Are there any books on work life balance that have helped you over the years?
- My brother-in-law gave me The One Thing that helped me see what’s important vs urgent.
- A staff member gave me Creativity, Inc. to keep people at the core of relentless innovation and ambition.
- One of my best mates recommended Why We Sleep: The New Science of Sleep and Dreams which scared the shit outta me and helped me answer question 4.
- My father-in-law gave me The Alchemist; a great read to remind us of what we already know but choose to forget every day.
9) What is the number one thing you do to make sure you get the most out of your day?
Before I get out of bed in the morning, I think about the one most valuable thing I can do that day, work or life related, and then before emails, meetings and appointments have their way with me, I write it down somewhere so I keep it front of mind.
10) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
If the people around you are happy, and you’re conscious of how you’re spending your time, then keep trucking and the rest will work itself out. Just because life is busy, doesn’t mean it has to be complicated.
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