Founders / Interviews

Balancing the Grind with Malcolm Auld, Founder of The Content Brewery

Malcolm Auld is a marketer, author, speaker and lecturer, as well as the the founder of content marketing consultancy The Content Brewery.

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

I’ve worked in marketing my whole life. To quote my old boss David Ogilvy, “I’ve tasted blood” – running multinational agencies, marketing departments, digital agencies, start-ups, a SaaS business, bricks n mortar and online retail businesses.

I’ve published 6 marketing books and taught executives in 22 countries. Living and working in the USA, Asia and Australia has given me wide exposure to different cultures.

I continue to speak at industry events and currently lecture at UTS on five subjects across advertising, public relations and digital futures.

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

Starts between 5am and 5.30 depending upon when the dog wakes me to take her outside. I usually drive my teenagers to school (year 11 and 12) or drop them at the bus. My wife takes dog for walk, then I make fresh coffee on return before we both start work from our home office (both working in different businesses) around 8am.

The day can involve conference calls – even before COVID – client meetings across the city, or interstate or overseas travel. I write copy so usually have a job to write/edit. Most recently I’ve been migrating and teaching classes online for university, which takes an enormous amount of time, so has restricted my ability to do as much as I want elsewhere.

There is a slight break around 4pm when teens arrive home, I walk the dog and then after dinner, back to work, sometimes til around 11pm. Before COVID I would go to the gym about 4 day a week during the day around lunchtime for an hour.

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

I have worked remotely on and off for about 20 years, so it is my ‘normal’ these days. So I have a flexible work/life routine and my children have grown up with either one of both parents at home when they leave for school or arrive home from school,

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

My attitude is to find something you really enjoy doing rather than just working for a living. This gives you more balance as your work isn’t a burden. It is easier said than done though and took me a long time to achieve.

But given COVID, many of us realise we don’t have to be tied to a strict work routine. If we’re not commuting each day, we can be more productive working from home, and have a better-balanced lifestyle as we have more time for ourselves and our family.

Working from home and need inspiration? Grab a copy of our Workflow book, featuring beautiful photos and inspiring stories from workspaces around the world.

5) What do you think are some of the best habits or routines that you’ve developed over the years to help you achieve success in your life?

If you work from home, have a routine. Be disciplined as it’s too easy to find excuses around the home to not do any ‘work’. Have a separate work space, don’t work at the dining table. Develop a team of advisors to use as a sounding board.

Be cautious of whom you trust as most people care about one thing only – themselves. Apply common sense and don’t go chasing the latest fads. Remember, the obvious is often overlooked. Don’t suffer fools.

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

Here are some marketers to read:

7) What is the number one thing you do to make sure you get the most out of your day?

No real specific ‘thing’, but I set tasks for the day and then make time to achieve them. If I can relax at night with my family, or a quiet drink, without feeling I have to be at my desk, then it’s a good day.

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

I don’t follow anyone in the work-life balance arena. I believe sometimes work dominates and sometimes life dominates. As long as you’re comfortable with how you are living, that’s all that matters.

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

Make the most of every day – you never know when the rug will be pulled out from under you, and you may have no choice when it gets pulled.

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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.