Balancing the Grind with Marion Farrelly, Speaker, Educator & CEO Whisperer

Marion Farrelly is a speaker, educator and CEO whisperer, working with large corporations and senior execs to engage their audience.

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

If you have watched it, I probably made it and won an award for it – the biggest TV shows in the world with the biggest teams, audiences, budgets and stars.

My content has been viewed more than eight billion times worldwide and now I work with large corporations and senior execs to help them get the attention they deserve – I call it ‘sticky information’ – information that sticks in the minds of the people that matter to you.

It’s so basic but ignored. If you are not getting attention, you may as well go play golf. Attention is everything. Without it you are dead in the water. I love my job – I am obsessed with it.

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

So, today – the day started with someone calling me to say I’m in the Herald Sun Confidential page – I’m not wildly keen on days that start with someone telling me I’m in the papers for obvious reasons.

I saw the article, it’s actually OK and was about a TV podcast I did last week and how I managed to keep my moral code in a crazy crazy world. Now they want me to mentor them.

My days are split between corporate clients and content creation – about 80% / 20% which I like, but it’s actually all the same – we all have to grab and keep attention in the first minute of everything we do – if we don’t grab attention in the first minute of TV or a film you’re gone and you’re not coming back.

It’s the same in business – if we don’t grab attention in business our clients are gone to our competitors and winning them back is very hard work, almost impossible. Keep your clients.

I went through a presentation for a Psychologist who is running a seminar at the end of the month and they want to take it from a tiny bit dull to dynamic – I am a producer – this is so easy for me – I did it remotely then talked them through the changes. It’s going to be a magnificent presentation, smart, funny, direct, clear messaging and engaging.

I was invited to be a guest on a new show that’s all about business and the host asked me for some advice about other guests – I’m always happy to help pals. Content is the same, whether it’s TV, movies, YouTube, your showreel, your holding page video, whatever.

Content is king and to make it work is hard – to get people to watch it, read it, engage with it is a real skill so the rest of the day was with clients who want to sell their products and ideas with video content – I help them engage their audience.

The final hour of the work day was spent with some clients wanting to raise venture capital – I turned their pretty ordinary pitch onto a killer pitch – their idea was good but their storytelling was weak so it wasn’t working – I’m pretty certain they’ll get the capital now.

I am pretty much working full time online and that’s fine for me – I have been making content for small screens for the last 30 years – for me it’s business as usual

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

I can pretty much choose my hours so I am the most blessed person on earth – I tend to work when I feel like working because then I know I will do a great job. My mind is focused, I have energy, I am firing on all cylinders – I am very blessed that I can control my hours – it is not something I ignore – I know it’s a privilege

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

I have never had work life balance – it’s totally new to me and very exciting – I can make plans and keep them – when I used to make TV and films I had to be at work pretty much every day – the big shows I used to make had contestants that were with us 24/7 so we had to be too – we worked non stop. Truly. Looking back it was bonkers.

I couldn’t ever really make plans to see pals or go on holiday because if anything happened I had to be there – I was the boss – it was fun but fun with practically no balance.

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

In the last 12 months everything has changed – I have never had routine in my life so I have developed one and am loving it – I make sure I have some exercise every day.

When I am making coffee, I send a video message every day to my best pal, Fi. We discuss what we want to do that day, how we’re going to achieve it and our short and long term plans – it’s magnificent – it means that every day I have a goal – it can be tiny, but it focuses my busy, busy mind

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

I am obsessed with podcasts – I am loving Oprah MasterClasses at the moment – superstars talking about their careers. I love Tim Ferris and am obsessed with True Crime.

When I need to switch my mind off I listen to audiobooks – I find inspiration everywhere and especially from pals – my pal Lucian James is a coaching genius and does a regular newsletter that I always read and click through.

In all honesty, I never get to the end of anything – I have a wildly short attention span – if it is not fascinating, I am gone – Lucian’s Fearless Strategies do what they say on the tin – who doesn’t want to be fearless? It totally engages me.

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

I can’t live without fine botanical gin, a good coffee maker and a power shower – otherwise I am astonishingly low maintenance.

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

Oprah. She has the same number of hours each day as me but seems to get so much more done – I know she has huge teams but she fascinates me. I would like to have a gin with her.

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

Laugh as much as possible. When you think you’ve had a good belly laugh have another one. Remember that life is way too ridiculous to be taken seriously. Put your fave track on and dance to it as you brush your teeth day and night – shake it up, laugh at yourself.

Spend more time with people who make you feel like you are a rock star – life can be tough – arm yourself with your best crew. Be interesting. It is actually your job. And did I mention laugh? A lot.

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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.