Balancing the Grind with Craig Swan, Chief Creative Officer at FanCircles

Craig Swan is the Chief Creative Officer at FanCircles, a fully brandable SaaS solution giving you a custom mobile & web app to engage directly with customers.

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

I have worked in the music and entertainment space for over 13 years – publishing, label marketing, booking agents, industry publications, music tech and more recently fan engagement and related technology.

All this has led me to my current role of CCO of Fancircles. We create next level fan engagement platforms for some of the world’s biggest artists in music and television and we have entered the NFT space, working with a whole host of amazing clients.

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

Each day is different but I spend most mornings catching up on emails, press releases, industry news and checking in with various team members. A lot of my remaining time is spent working on stuff with our existing clients and having introduction chats with potential clients.

This is a really great part of my job – bouncing ideas around with awesome creative people. I also spend a lot of time working up ideas and strategies with our CEO, Kevin, who I am also proud to call my friend.

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

Yes we are fully remote now. This has been life changing, especially with the birth of my son, Dylan. I never saw my Dad when I was growing up as he was away working all the time.

Getting to see my son everyday and put him to bed is absolutely precious to me and not something I take for granted. I think I am also much more productive and happier without the dreaded commute into London everyday. I can see why some people prefer office life but it’s not for me anymore.

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

It’s incredibly important. When I first started out I thought you had to run yourself into the ground and say yes to everything, just to stay in the game. One thing I’ve learned over the years is to be strict with your time and not neglect other areas of your life.

Time management is key to achieving a good balance. Finding ways to boost productivity in relatively short bursts, having regular breaks away from the screen. Giving your mind the space it needs to receive ideas is essential. I am a music obsessive and so make sure everyday is full of music. I make a point of not checking emails in the evening. If it’s an email, it can wait until the morning.

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

I stopped checking emails at night. This dramatically improved my sleep!

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

  • Unlimited Dream Company – J.G Ballard
  • Gallows Pole – Ben Myers
  • Acid for the Children – Flea
  • Just Kids – Patti Smith

And Red Hand Files by Nick Cave is probably the most inspirational and important collection of writings you’ll come across today. 

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

Logic Pro X and Final Cut Pro are my primary tools for creativity. As well as my Macbook Pro – my work and art are all born on it. Obviously FanCircles apps are all awesome, too.

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

Jimmy Iovine.

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

When you grasp your own impermanence and the fleeting nature of life, then you are free to take yourself a little less seriously. You are a visitor, an observer. Work can be an incredibly fulfilling thing but must be viewed in the context of your wider life, which is a perishable gift given and taken away at very short notice.

Nature creates harmony and discord and you are challenged with being content in both. Take pride in the work that you do, whatever level you are at. It’s that dedication to the task that will give you the fulfilment, not the reward for doing it.

Family and friends are more important than anything you’ll ever do in your profession. Take pride in your relationships in the same way. They require work, too. Listen to Led Zeppelin at least once a day.

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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.