Balancing the Grind with David Ireland, President at Magnetic Agency Group

David Ireland is the President of Magnetic Agency Group and the Executive Director of Winter Music Conference.

Over the course of his career, David has worked with some of the top companies in the world including Ford, Kia, Nike, Puma, Levis, Sony, Xbox, Live Nation, Apple, Red Bull and many other blue chip brands.

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

I started in the Magazine business back in 1995 when I began BPM Magazine out of my bedroom. In 2000 I moved to Los Angeles and partnered up the owners of Moonshine Records.

We eventually went on to build a larger boutique media company called Overamerica Media Group that specialized in youth culture, mostly revolving around DJ culture, street art, fashion, skateboarding, etc.

At our peak in 2008, we were publishing three magazines (BPM, Vapors, and C16) and websites along with running a specialized marketing agency. After the market crashed in 2009, I left the company to become the VP of Marketing of Diesel USA.

I was there for two years and then back into the agency biz with Magnetic Magazine & Agency group, which I’ve done since 2011, working with brands like Live Nation, SOL REPUBLIC, Beatport, Red Bull, etc.

I signed on to be the Director of The Winter Music Conference in 2018 and then took on Miami Music Week and some business development for Ultra Music Festival. This role takes up most of my time, but I’m doing client work in the off months.

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

When things were normal, I would start the day with my family and make breakfast, then drop off my daughter at daycare and grind until 6 pm. My wife and I work from home, so we retreat to our offices and get as much done as we can before our daughter comes home.

Now with the pandemic, we are juggling child care at home and doing what we can as our industries have both kind of groundto a halt. Winter Music Conference and Ultra were some of the first major events to get postponed back in March, and since then, it’s been kind of surreal.

My wife works as a film producer, and Hollywood has stopped all productions.

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

Yes, I work from home and have a pretty flexible schedule. We don’t have enormous budgets for travel, so most of my pitches and work are done through emails, Zoom, and phone calls.

It’s nice to have the flexibility and be able to travel when I want, etc. The work is so demanding that I don’t have a lot of time for recreational activities unless it’s on the weekend.

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

It’s everything to me. I spent the first significant part of my life building up my company and working 60+ hour weeks and traveling nonstop. It had a terrible effect on my health and happiness, so now I prioritize spending time with my family and having leisure time.

We make a schedule to start and stop our day around our daughter’s daycare.

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

Before the pandemic, I made time to go snowboarding and take a full personal day for myself. Whether that was working in my music studio or doing photography, I made sure to give myself some me time – which has been amazing.

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

I read the Bob Lefsetz email newsletter from time to time; otherwise, I’m so bombarded with new music, PR pitches, and WMC stuff that I don’t have time. I also help run our online magazine ( with my editor, who is based in New York.

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

Yes. My Sony A7 III camera, you can see some of my work on, it’s more of a hobby, but it keeps me inspired. My laptop is critical, as it’s my primary work tool and all my studio gear. It’s too long a list, but that’s some basic stuff.

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

Elon Musk, he’s insane, and I’m not sure if he sleeps or has a couple of clones.

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

Yes, prioritize your family and your creative hobbies as they keep you happy and healthy. Also, always try to do some physical activity, whether it’s walking around the block or a full gym routine. Health is everything; without it, you can’t enjoy anything.

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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.