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Balancing the Grind with Kristin Perissinotto, Founder & CEO of Cheek Media Co.

Kristin Perissinotto is the founder & CEO of multi-platform, digital media start-up Cheek Media Co., in addition to being a part-time content writer.

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

I’m a public relations and communications professional and I’ve worked in roles in PR and communications for a number of years, but last year, I left my corporate job to work on launching Cheek Media Co., a multi-platform, digital media company, with my two business partners.

I also have a remote, part time job as a content writer for a medium-sized business. I’m also the CEO of Cheek Media Co. We’re a startup, so the three of us share the load, so my role includes writing articles, co-hosting and producing our podcast, and PR, marketing, social media, and recruitment as well as those every day admin tasks that always need to be done.

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

Most of my day is spent in front of a computer, as my various roles are all remote!

I like to wake up around 7, and I’ll either have a slow, relaxing morning with breakfast in front of my TV show at the moment, or I’ll be productive with a morning workout and either writing an article, editing a podcast, or planning future content.

It really depends on how I’m feeling, as I try not to push it if I’m feeling tired. I start my remote, part time job at 9.30am, and work until 4pm, and at lunch I’ll usually work on something quick like editing an article submission from one of our writers.

At 4pm, I’ll switch over to do more work for Cheek, usually writing, but recently we have been recruiting interns, so I’ve been looking at resumes in the afternoons. At around 5 or 6pm, depending on the weather, I’ll either go for a run or walk to get outside as the sun sets.

When I get back home, I’ll shower, eat, may write an article if I’m feeling inspired (I always listen to podcasts on my runs and walks, and sometimes an idea will spark), and I always make a bit more time for TV before bed!

I try to read before I go to sleep, but sometimes that’s thrown by the wayside in favour of scrolling through social media or texting my business partner about new ideas – we pretty much talk all day!

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

Yes, my permanent role is fully remote! I love my current workplace for their flexibility and how encouraging everyone is of my business on the side. Quite a few people at my work have a business on the side, and I feel as though the entrepreneurial spirit is encouraged.

I haven’t broached flexible working with them, but I know they would be very accepting if I were to. At Cheek, we are also fully remote, and as employers we’re committed to making sure we’re staying fully flexible as we expand. In my opinion, in the modern and post-COVID world, there’s no room for anything else.

Employers need to be flexible and open to discussing alternative work arrangements if they want to keep staff around and productive. Many of my colleagues, friends, and online connections have left jobs in the past year because they refuse to be flexible. 

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

For me, work-life balance is really about what you’re doing at work, and how it affects you. If you’re at a job you hate, even if it’s only a few days each week, it will impact your life outside work.

I’ve realised throughout my working life that for me it’s less about what the company does and what my tasks are day to day, and more about my team and the workplace culture. For some people, it will be more about the industry or location of their work.

I think to achieve true work-life balance, you need to be in a role that compliments the rest of your life and fits in seamlessly. For example, I spend a lot of my week working on Cheek, including weekends and evenings, and when I’m not physically working on it, I’m thinking about how to grow and new ideas.

I dream about Cheek. But it’s my business and I think it’s great, and I want to see it expand and grow. Working on Cheek for an entire Sunday is contributing to work-life balance for me.

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

I am really big on routines, but I find the key is allowing them to adapt and change to your lifestyle. We have a very strong culture of goal setting and pressure on rigid routines, but sometimes a routine or goal just doesn’t suit you anymore. Or maybe it never did.

For example: I’m a really light sleeper, and my partner just spent 3 months working on a job that required him to wake up anywhere from 4:30 to 5:30am. I would wake up when I heard his alarm (again, light sleeper), so I just started getting up then and starting my day.

It was really good for a while, and I was super productive in the mornings. But now that he’s finished the job, we usually spend time together in the evenings and stay up too late to logically wake up at 4.30 or even 5.30am (I’m big on getting enough sleep), so I just pushed my day back. The best routine is one that serves you well.

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

Of course I have to recommend our podcast, the Weekly Cheek, which is available on  Apple and Spotify! We talk about politics, things that influence politics, and things politics influences.

One of my favourite episodes went up the other day, where we talked about the differences between men and women when it comes to career and household duties.

My other favourite podcasts, ones that I don’t produce, are Something Was Wrong (storytelling and psychology), Everyone has an Ex (storytelling about relationships), and The Daily (news deep dives). I gravitate towards novels rather than non-fiction when I read, and my recent favourites have all been by Liane Moriarty. 

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

Google Calendar comes to mind! I’m probably too obsessed with scheduling, but I need to book anything and everything in so I don’t forget or double book.

I’m also a huge fan of my Huawei Honor smart watch for tracking steps, runs, and getting notifications straight to my wrist. A lot of people prefer to be switched off social media, but I feel better being more connected and seeing messages and notifications come to my watch often gives me the space to ignore the less important ones and stay off my phone when needed.

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

Probably Jacinda Ardern. she seems to have it pretty down pat! But I also like reading routines and tips from everyday people who have access to the same resources as me – it’s usually more realistic!

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

I think the most important thing is just doing what’s best for you. Some people can find it really helpful to read books about time management and optimisation and productivity, but there’s no one size fits all.

I know I work a lot now, but that’s what I enjoy at this point. A few years ago I spent a lot more time socialising and that’s what I enjoyed. Work-life balance isn’t just about each person’s preference, it’s also about what you want to do at each specific time in your life. 

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About Author

Balance The Grind gives me a platform to talk to these people about how they're achieving their ideal lifestyle. I'm inspired by the passion, the work ethic, the hustle; and these conversations motivate me to live life the way I want to live it.