Balancing the Grind with Julia Vanderput, Director of Brand Strategy at Live Nation Entertainment

In our latest chat, we caught up with Julia Vanderput, Live Nation Entertainment’s Director of Brand Strategy, who gave us a sneak peek into her journey from poet to powerhouse in the music and brand world.

Julia shares how her mornings kick off with a dose of creativity and why her work is more than just a job—it’s about making a difference and connecting with people on a deeper level. She’s all about blending her love for music, storytelling, and social impact, keeping each day fresh and exciting.

Julia also opens up about finding that sweet spot between work and play, emphasising the importance of listening to what makes you feel alive. Plus, she’s got some killer book recommendations for anyone looking to shake things up. 

Let’s start with your background! Can you share with us your career journey and what you’re currently up to?

My journey has been quite the adventure. I’ve always had a passion for storytelling, which led me to various roles where I could amplify voices and spark meaningful conversations. From my early days of publishing poetry to advocating for social change in college, I’ve always believed in the power of narratives to drive impact.

Currently, I’m deeply immersed in creating music experiences for fans worldwide while collaborating with brands to build unforgettable memories. It’s a thrilling blend of creativity, strategy, and social consciousness that keeps me inspired every day.

We’d love to know what a typical day is like for you. Could you describe a recent workday?

I always start my day with something that sets the tone for the rest of the day. Sometimes that’s reading a good book, revisiting some beautiful poetry or meditating. Always outdoors. I dedicate a significant part of my day to understanding consumer behaviour and cultural trends or I might do a few brainstorming sessions with my creative team to develop concepts for upcoming music experiences.

I’ve recently been having fruitful conversations with brand partners about integrating meaningful social initiatives into our projects – that’s my biggest initiative for this year. After a boxing class and a run or bike ride on Venice Beach to unwind I grabbed dinner with my Bidinner partner – we host a dinner club bisexuals, so we’re always thinking up exciting new experiences to bring to our dinner guests. (Join us at @bi_dinner). It’s a dynamic mix of strategic thinking, creative collaboration, and advocacy work that keeps each day exciting and fulfilling.

Can you define work-life balance for yourself and share with us your approach in maintaining it?

I often say, when hiring people, that you can teach a skill but you can’t teach an attitude, and that’s really what I look for in life. Is this lighting my pilot light? Is it getting me feeling alive and awake? That’s a good path to pursue. When you are doing work that is aligned with who you are, finding a balance comes more naturally.

You don’t pull away from work resentfully. You don’t measure your free time. There are days when I work a whole lot. And there are days when I rest. If I am not rested, healthy, or feeling good, my work will suffer. If I am not engaged and contributing in life, my rest time will feel indulgent and boring. I think too often we forget our bodies have highly tuned systems to tell us about our optimal rhythms. 

Change is constant, and it’s essential for growth. Have you made any lifestyle changes in the past year to improve your work-life balance?

Absolutely, adaptability is key to thriving in today’s fast-paced world. In the past year, I’ve prioritised mindfulness practices such as meditation and yoga to cultivate a sense of calm amidst the chaos.

I’ve also embraced remote work opportunities, allowing me to create a more flexible schedule that accommodates both professional responsibilities and personal commitments.

Additionally, I’ve become more intentional about setting realistic goals and delegating tasks to alleviate unnecessary stress. These lifestyle changes have significantly contributed to enhancing my overall work-life balance and fostering a greater sense of fulfilment.

We’re always on the lookout for new resources! Can you recommend any books, podcasts, or newsletters that have helped you in your journey towards balance?

Rules for Radicals by Saul Alinsky to be a thought-provoking read that challenges conventional thinking and inspires action towards positive change. I am often picking it up because social movements are so interesting to me.

Political activism moves me because it’s usually people who understand we are all interconnected. For deeper introspection, the works of Ocean Vuong offer profound insights into the human experience and remind me of the importance of empathy and connection in our journey towards balance.

Before we wrap up, do you have any final words of wisdom or insights on work, life, or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?

I’m big on ‘if it’s not a f*ck yes, it’s a f*ck no.” Time is extremely precious and the faster you get at figuring out what feels good for you, the faster you can make room for a life that compels you. And who you’re living and breathing that zone of inspiration and excitement, you surround yourself with better people and better work, and a better you. If you have a big emotional response to something – a project you’re kicking yourself for not working on, a trip you long for – it’s calling for you because you’re ready for it. 

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.