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Interviews / Founders

Balancing the Grind with James Mulvany, Founder of Matchmaker.fm & Radio.co

James Mulvany is the founder of community platform Matchmaker.fm & online streaming platform Radio.co which includes Podcast.co and Create.co

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

I’m an entrepreneur and I’ve been running various internet businesses since I finished school, so I’ve actually never actually had a job!

Currently I run two companies encompassing 4 brands: Radio.co which it’s an online streaming platform for the broadcast radio industry and Podcast.co which also incorporates a new production company Create.co and a community platform MatchMaker.fm. I’m from the UK and live in Manchester.

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

I like to think I’m quite a hands on entrepreneur! However, I couldn’t run these different businesses on my own.

These days my average day is normally talking to different people within our team, ensuring the businesses are all moving in the right direction and being strategic about how we can grow and provide the best possible service to our customers.

I get involved with most aspects of the business, I like working on product ideas, I love marketing and content, plus also meeting new people which is really useful as our businesses are all very creative.

I try to set my week up so no day is the same. One day, I might be interviewing candidates to come and work for us – the next, I might be recording podcasts about what we’re doing or even getting my celebrity on and shooting some content for our YouTube channels.

Sometimes it’s not that glamorous though so I might have a bunch of admin to do – I think this variety keeps me driven and keeps things exciting!

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

Due to the nature of running an online business, it’s always been quite flexible but pre-covid, we used to be heavily office based. We still have our office space in Manchester City Center. However, we’ve moved to a hybrid model now.

So although I love the days spent in the office, as it is a creative and collaborative atmosphere, working from home also has its benefits – I think that’s one thing that covid has taught the world and I can’t ever see it changing back to how it was before.

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

These days I normally work pretty standard hours and try to switch off at evenings and weekends or when I’m away on vacation (although it doesn’t always happen!).

Looking back at my career though, for the first 5 years when I was starting out as a teenager, I did my fair share of 11pm finishes, was very much chained to every aspect of my business and I used to have a very bad work life balance.

I could never even go away without stressing out. Back then iPhones weren’t around so I used to have to put coins into internet cafes in order to keep a check on things & answer customer emails. Or I’d bring a laptop and sit in hotel lobbies with awful wifi and it was all very stressful.

But I think you often need to go through that madness as a young entrepreneur to get where you need to be and fully understand all aspects of running a business, then when you get to a certain level and start seeing some success – it’s then about hiring the right people and letting go of certain processes by mastering delegation, which then gives you much more flexibility and freedom.

Huge kudos to the amazing team who I have the pleasure to work with now as I wouldn’t have been able to do what I’ve done without their help!

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

I recently moved out of the city and into the suburbs. This has given me more fresh air – an awesome home office and things are generally different!

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

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

I’m an Apple fanboy. So I have all the latest kit! 

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

I think it’s pretty cool that Richard Branson bought a whole island just to chill out whilst he runs his empire and why not? 

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

It’s not always possible to achieve total zen in your work life balance. Sometimes you need periods of intense work to get where you want.

As an entrepreneur, you’ll need to work hard, but then sometimes there are periods where you can put your feet up and reap the benefits of your achievements. However, never ever become complacent!

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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.