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Balancing the Grind with Izzy Lugo III, Head of Content at Tradeblock

Izzy Lugo III is the Head of Content at Tradeblock, a community enabling sneakerheads to use their kicks as currency and trade their sneakers.

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

In college, I really wanted to get into sneakers but being in Wisconsin made that very tough. So I started my career in sports with the Milwaukee Bucks and other sports brands.

After realizing that sports sales wasn’t the direction I wanted to head in my entire career, I tried to get into the marketing side of things. I started with small businesses locally to build a portfolio to bring the marketing teams but was met with opposition.

One day, I walked into my job and quit on the spot & proceeded to start an agency locally. The business grew rapidly and soon we were working with those sports brands, among others to help tell their stories.

Unfortunately, after being aggressive with company funds in January of 2020, COVID took us out. I decided right then and there I was going to finally get into sneakers and started the Strange on Purpose Podcast highlighting the people behind and around brands.

Since I have been a member of the amazing team at intheworks.com, highlighting purpose driven founders and most recently, finally broke into sneakers as the Head of Content at Tradeblock, the #1 sneaker trading app in the United States! 

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

I’m fully remote with a pretty great routine. Everyday starts early in the morning with a long walk with my dog. Gets the blood flowing and immediately gets me ready for the day. After coffee and breakfast, I answer and take care of everything for Strange on Purpose for the day.

Once finishing this, I get into everything for Tradeblock. My role is very much focused on creating and planning right now as I look to fill some open positions on the team–so I’m zoned in throughout the day. 

Close out the day with White Sox baseball, some dinner with my fiancè, Erin and a walk with Yoshi. 

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

Remote work! It’s give and take. I love it. But sometimes I’d love to pop into the office once a day, knock out all my meetings for the week and be able to zone in throughout the rest of the week. 

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

It means that I have the time and energy outside of work to be able to work on things I’m passionate about and have time to spend with loved ones. 

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

I’ve stopped smoking. Feel like my brain is 100% clearer. I’ve started a daily routine and love to stick to it. I live and die by my schedule. 

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

Book: This Is Not a T-Shirt: A Brand, a Culture, a Community–a Life in Streetwear by Bobby Hundreds 

Podcast: Claima Story by Bimma Williams

Newsletter: The Kicks You Wear by Mike Sykes

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

My phone and camera: iPhone 13 Pro and Sony A7C. Literally are my lifeblood! 

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

Jay-Z. He’s an entrepreneur & musician. I’d love to hear what he considers down time. 

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

It’s important to have a hobby. My hobby is Strange on Purpose and getting behind the camera and making content for sneaker brands. While all connected, working on stuff that isn’t directly related to my 9-5 is so important to me because it opens the door to inspiration. 

Also just taking a stroll helps a ton too. My dog Yoshi appreciates it so much and my mental health is so much better when these happen regularly. 

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About Author

Balance the Grind is a work-life balance publication on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.