Balancing the Grind with Charlotte Ward, Founder & Director of Agnes Media

Charlotte Ward is the founder and director of Agnes Media, a measurement-first media agency founded by a team of marketers.

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

Recently I launched Agnes Media, a measurement-first media agency and it’s a super exciting time for myself and the team as we build our brand and client base.

I previously worked in agency and client-side roles, before deciding to launch my own business. Agnes provides a range of digital marketing services with analytics and measurement at the forefront of everything we do, which essentially means we seek to tie a brand’s marketing investment back to core business objectives they care about.

We are working with a range of start-ups and disruptor brands to help them achieve and surpass challenging growth goals, which I really enjoy!

Prior to this I worked in both Sydney and in Dubai, managing the marketing and media campaigns for a wide range of brands including Qantas, Optus, L’Oreal, Volkswagen and Tinder.

I’ve had my fair share of ups and downs in the industry, worked with some brilliant minds, met some of my closest friends whilst also experiencing some of the most stressful times of my life!

I can’t imagine finding any other industry which is as challenging, fast-paced, strategic and creative as the media industry. It can definitely be a rollercoaster!

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

My typical day involves me waking up and checking my emails almost immediately (not the greatest habit), before going to the gym to start the day.

I tend to start working around 8.30 or 9am, liaising with our team and managing priorities, checking client campaign performance, attending meetings and jumping into tasks.

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

Yes it does which is fantastic. I have always been a big fan of flexible working, and working from home, and I have been doing this consistently for the past year. Our wider team is encouraged to work flexible hours also, as long as outputs are delivered.

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

Work-life balance means having the time to enjoy my life whilst not needing to think about work, and being able to ‘switch-off.’ I try to ensure that I still make time for myself, I go to the gym and exercise (this keeps me sane) and I regularly check in with myself to ensure I’m energised and not feeling drained by my workload.

I reassure myself when things are a bit hectic that it will calm down and that the hard work will pay off, and it almost always does!

Prior to our borders closing this year, I would travel regularly throughout the year and this has always been my way to reset – albeit a very expensive tactic. As of this year I obviously have had to find other ways to do this, and although I struggled (as has everyone in 2020).

I now find great joy in spending more time in nature, exploring the the beauty we have on our doorstep here in NSW with lots of weekends away, and trying out different forms of exercising. I became slightly addicted to reformer pilates earlier this year!

I think a core part of maintaining work-life balance and not getting overloaded by work is by setting realistic timelines with your customers/clients and your team, and through implementing efficient ways of working.

At Agnes, we automate everything we possibly can and rely on a range of tools to maximise efficiencies as a team. If you think there could be a better way to do something, that means there probably is!

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5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?

I have indeed! When quarantine started, I implemented a strict exercise regime which had the biggest impact on my life. It gave me so much more energy, and a new focus outside of COVID-19 and the stresses which came along with it.

I have also tried to give myself more chill-time during the week, and reducing the amount of plans that I make. I also try not to work too much in the evenings or weekends so I feel like I have that balance which is so important.

6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?

I love Joe Rogan’s podcast as he has a wide range of guests and I either find myself laughing along or taking in new information. Highly recommended for anyone who has not been exposed to Joe Rogan. You may disagree with some opinions of topics covered, but that can only open your mind to understand other ways of thinking.

7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?

My AirPods! I recently lost the charging case and was devastated until I replaced it. I didn’t understand the hype until I bought my own. I’m going to buy myself an Apple Watch soon so expect that may join my list of gadgets I can’t live without.

8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?

I would have to say Richard Branson as he has achieved so much in his life, and always appears to have a huge amount of energy! He is remarkable.

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

Implement boundaries – whether they are with yourself or with others. I can’t recommend this enough. It can become so easy to become frustrated because you don’t have the right balance. Be vocal, find solutions and be proactive.

Your happiness is the most important thing, and if you find that right balance then everything should fall into place but be realistic and expect some bumps along the road!

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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.