Darren Woolley is the founder & Global CEO of Trinity P3 Global Marketing Management Consultants, with offices in Sydney, Singapore, New York, London and Zurich.
1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
I graduated from University with an applied science degree and a job in medical research. Five years later I was working as a copywriter in an advertising agency.
Fifteen years later I had worked at half a dozen agencies and was promoted to Creative Director. This combination of analytical science training and creative advertising led me to start my own dot com business in 2000 – TrinityP3 Marketing Management Consultants.
There are plenty of consultants in marketing with an opinion. We bring a qualitative and quantitative approach to advising marketers and their agencies on ways to improve productivity and marketing performance to overcome the six greatest challenges facing marketing today.
We have offices in Sydney, Singapore, New York, London and Zurich.
2) What does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
With twin three and a half year old boys, my day starts early. Before six in the morning, every day, I am up and organising the family breakfast (and my first espresso for the day). It is a daily ritual and an opportunity to get the day rolling.
After breakfast, while they are getting ready, I check my emails from overnight. Most days there are between 50 or more emails to be answered. At least once or twice a week I have a morning call with the office or a client in the USA.
Evening calls are with the team in the UK and Switzerland and during the day it is the local Australian team and Singapore. Three days a week the boys go to preschool, so my wife and I take the opportunity to go to the local preschool.
It is also a chance to discuss and plan the day ahead. Recently, I have been working from home, as most people have, and managing the business and clients via phone calls and video conferencing.
To talk about a typical day is nearly impossible. One of the things I love about this business I have created is each day presents with new challenges and new opportunities. I can honestly wake up in the morning with no idea of what the day will bring.
3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
Having worked for 15 years in agencies, working more than 60 hours most weeks, when I started TrinityP3 20 years ago, I was determined to create a company and business that allowed people complete flexibility.
There is no need to go to the office unless you want to and there is no need to work from home. This does not just apply to me, but to everyone at TrinityP3. It is interesting because people come to the office to have a place to think and work, to meet up with others on a project they are working on or simply for a change of scenery.
For those like me, who joined TrinityP3 from a longtime corporate role, it can take a while to become de-institutionalised. I think it took me about two years, and I was the one who created the business and made the rules for myself.
4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
For me the balance is not about quality time and it is not about balance in any particular moment. There will be time when you are really into a particular project or problem and even when you are at home your head is someplace else.
But likewise, it is important when you are home that you are truly present to those moments and those around you and for as much time as you can. It is precious time that you will not ever get back if you do not take it now.
5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?
In the past 12 months I have been working to close the move, exercise and standing rings on my Apple Fitness app everyday. I have been using my Calm app to meditate daily. And trying to eat only two main meals a day. It is all about trying to achieve that healthy mind and body.
6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?
I get more than 30 newsletters a day on marketing, media and advertising that I subscribe to from around the world. But the most influential business book I have read in my life was Maverick by Ricardo Semler in regards to shaping the way I wanted my business to be and the way people would be inside that business. The most interesting book on the way people work best is Team of Team by General Stanley McChrystal (Ret). Both highly recommended.
7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?
My Apple Watch and my iPhone 12. But more importantly the Fitness App, the Calm App and the news apps that keep me up to date.
8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?
With so many fingers in so many pies I would love to read an interview with Elon Musk.
9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
The most important advice I have ever heard is about “Why on the airplane they say adults should put on their oxygen masks before helping their child. It is because if the parent does not look after themselves, they will be in no shape to look after their children.
It is so true in so many ways – physical, mental, emotional. But also it extends beyond children to all of the people in your life you care about and care for and your ability to be able to be there for them, the way they may need you, when they need you.
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