Founders / Interviews

Balancing the Grind with Farrel Brest, Founder at Nine Tribes Agency

Farrel Brest is the Founder of Nine Tribes Agency, a Tel Aviv-based digital marketing startup – a live brief hub where brands can access entrepreneurial content creators.

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

Our careers are so intertwined with who we think we are. And because I didn’t know where I wanted to go – I began my career as a generalist. It was like a tasting plate of new experiences and collaborations.

I started my career in an advertising agency and worked my way from the ground up. I’ve been a receptionist, office manager, account manager, social media manager, community manager, content creator, campaign manager, events producer and digital strategist.

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

What’s interesting about my week is how I communicate with my team and clients. Even before the COVID-19, we’d meet face-to-face on Google Hangouts as most of the collaborators are scattered around the world. I get the most work done at home and at the office-studio.

I would regularly work in my client’s offices too. I enjoyed working with so many different people, becoming part of their culture and most importantly, I get to learn how they run their business.

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

Nine Tribes’ goal is to make location almost irrelevant. Flexibility and remote work is what we do. In an age where the lines of work and play become more intertwined, it just makes sense for everyone to work – when, where and how they want. Just get the work done, and do it professionally. When COVID-19 arose, fortunately I was already set-up.

4) Do you have any tips, tricks or shortcuts to help you manage your workload and schedule?

Managing my energy is more important than managing my time. In the mornings, my creative and strategic fuel power is at its highest and I focus on meatier projects, while leaving the administrative tasks for that 15:00 slump. I also work on personal projects in the mornings.

The deadlines of the day always get done, so adding in my creative projects first, allows for that to move forward. That’s a great tip for anyone working on their side hustle 😉 or any other passion project that always seems to be pushed back.

Photographer: Gili Levinson

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

It’s a conscious effort. I try not to blow myself off. I’ve had times where I’ve worked so much that I wasn’t even productive. In my calendar I schedule my gym sessions and my social activities – and lunch time.

6) What do you think are some of the best habits you’ve developed over the years to help you strive for success and balance?

Turkish coffee, smoking hand-rolled tobacco and walking my dog in the morning is non-negotiable! Seriously though, it’s about having a network of mentors, friends and colleagues to talk through those challenging times.

7) Are there any books that have helped you improve over the years?

It was a children’s story book. In Hebrew it’s called, הצפור הקטנב – which translate to the Little Bird. It’s a meaningful story about the importance of individuality and doing what suits you.

8) What is the number one thing you do to make sure you get the most out of your day?

It’s all about planning the day with dedicated time slots. I focus on doing less, not more. And when the days are over – I FEEL accomplished. You know, there’s always more work to do.

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

I think I’ve learnt to decipher what work is essential, and what’s just keeping me “busy.” Because striving to be perfect, especially in the beginning — just crushed me. Knowing when to stop has created more time to live a balanced, healthy life.

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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.