Gbenga Awomodu is the Managing Partner at editorial content services company TweakCentric Solutions, where he leads a team of marketing and communications professionals.
1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
I currently serve as the Managing Partner at TweakCentric Solutions, a marketing communications and content solutions company I founded in 2015 as a part-time business concern and recently incorporated as an LLC.
In this role, I work with a vibrant team of young professionals to help personal and corporate brands tell their stories effectively for bigger impact and better results. Personal branding and career-related content services form a major part of the business at the moment.
Prior to transitioning into this full-time focus on TweakCentric in February 2020, I worked at Samsung Electronics West Africa as a Marketing Specialist (and acting Marketing Manager) for the Mobile division, with a primary focus on Nigeria.
I managed marketing communications and campaign planning for all smartphones, tablets and wearable tech in the country. One of the. Most notable campaigns I ran at Samsung was the #TechMeetsArtNG, which blended artistic elements with the use of technology.
I joined Samsung in September 2014 having worked with the GE Africa Communications team, first as a Communications Coordinator under the Early Career Development Programme (ECDP) and then as the Digital Communications Lead for Sub-Saharan African in a short stint post-programme.
I worked on exciting projects and got the rare privilege of interfacing with several business leaders across Africa. I managed a major Africa storytelling project at the time and led the setup of GE Reports Africa working with teams spread across sub-Saharan Africa, Europe, Australia, Asia and North America.
My GE experience was a remarkable one which built on my first post-University job at BellaNaija.com, a leading lifestyle website in Nigeria with global followership.
2) What does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
Depending on whether I worked till almost daybreak or not, my day could start as early as 8 AM or as late as 11 AM.
I usually start with some personal reflections, then I get ready for work at desk in the living room which has become my new office after the COVID-19 pandemic led to a lockdown in Nigeria.
To kick off my workday, I typically run through my to-dos for the day – my Google calendar open on one of my two screens. I breeze through my breakfast. Then, I get to work immediately. At 10:30, I help my 20-month old son setup a tablet for his online classes whilst I allow our live-in help to support him through the rest of the 30-minute class.
From then, I typically work on client briefs, get on several client reviews as may have been scheduled. Very rarely, I drive out for an in-person meeting with a prospective client.
I typically work till late in the afternoon, taking a few breaks in-between to stretch for a bit, have my lunch, get some water from the dispenser, or generally get a break from work. Sometimes, I get to take walk with my wife and son around our neighbourhood.
Then I typically resume work: another client review call, work on more pending tasks, and/or review of my team’s work submissions. My typical workday lasts between 8 – 12 hours, sometimes a bit more.
3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
Of course! My current role allows for flexible and remote working. I now work from home 100 percent. This blends with my daily routine as I can readily access most of the things I need: books, internet connection, conveniences, and so on.
4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
Work-life balance, to me, means being able to remain sane and at peace in my heart and mind, regardless of the numerous things and responsibilities in various aspects my life calling for my attention.
I like to think that work-life balance is subjective and not as literal as picturing a simple scale on which you have just two sides with varying sizes of load which you then adjust my varying the distance of each object from the middle point or fulcrum.
Instead, I think that work-life balance is it is more like a complex system – perhaps you may need to picture a planet rotating around the Sun, with so many moving parts.
You have to intuitively develop your own interpretation and formula for measuring or sensing the various thresholds of pain, discomfort, and joy that could indicate which state of equilibrium in which your entire system is at any point in time. Think signals.
Ultimately, there is only so much you can do within the 24 hours of a day. One’s sense of balance will be influenced by one’s definition of success and what one’s order of priorities looks like alongside one’s values. The resources are finite, so you must prioritize.
To maintain my sense of ‘work-life balance’. I generally adjust my priorities from time to time. I observe my body a lot, especially when I have been demanding a lot of stretching from. I keep my sense of balance dynamic so I can maintain some sanity more often than not.
5) In the past 12 months, have you started/stopped any routines or habits to change your life?
Yes, I actually started paying more attention to my diet and developing healthy eating habits.
About 2 months ago – with the help of my wife, I started on a diet which has helped my lose about 5kg so far!
6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?
For books, I absolutely love Patrick Morley’s The Man in the Mirror, Michael Hyatt’s The Vision-Driven Leader, Verne Harnish’s Mastering the Rockefeller Habits, Phil Knight’s Shoe Dog and Graham Robertson’s Beloved Brands!
My favourite podcasts at the moment include HBR Ideacast, Online Marketing Made Easy by Amy Potterfield, #WithChude by Chude Jideonwo, Lead to Win by Michael Hyatt and TED Talks Daily.
I also look forward to reading email newsletters from Moe Odele, Kemi Onabanjo Joseph, and Seth Godin.
7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?
I practically can’t live without my smartphone (a Galaxy Note 10 Plus), laptop (a MacBook Pro) + wireless mouse, Audible app for audiobooks, Podcast Go app for curating and tracking my podcast subscriptions, Deezer music app, and I recently discovered the eboox e-reader app!
Those are all must-haves for me right now!
8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?
I definitely would like to read an interview about work-life balance by Alphabet’s CEO, Sundar Pichai.
9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
Firstly, it has been a pleasure chatting with you, Hao and the Balance The Grind (BTG) team!
In conclusion, I would like to reiterate that in ensuring a sense of work-life balance, every individual needs to define success in their own terms, as much as possible. This is a crucial step which could help truly determine the amount of work and other input required for one to achieve the ‘success’.
This way, one can brace up, and plan accordingly to ensure that critical areas of life are not left with little or no attention.
I am of the school of thought that opines that in all you do, keep tabs on your priorities and take care of your body, soul and spirit regularly and track how you are doing regularly. Be truthful to yourself and apply self-care regularly, whether it is for 5 minutes, 5 hours, or even 5 days.
Define your success and work-life balance. Do not neglect your own well-being too frequently or for too long. Stay alive and healthy. You’ve got this!
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