Balancing the Grind with Mark Joseph, Managing Director at Vouch Global

Mark Joseph is the Founder & Managing Director at Vouch Global, a creative performance agency based in London.

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

I am the founder of Vouch Global, a creative performance agency based in London. I have spent 15 years working in digital marketing across some of the largest agencies in the world, growing performance campaigns for brands such as Estee Lauder, Wonderbra, Soho House and British Gas. 

I began my career journey at the University of Hertfordshire studying Media, with a plan to get into film production. However, this soon changed when my girlfriend fell pregnant and I had no choice but to start working.

Many failed job applications later, I decided to pursue my obsession with digital and started developing websites. I taught myself to code through books and taking major websites apart and grew my first website revenue to £4k a month within 6 months. Soon I was able to provide for my family and do what I loved. 

10 years and after one previous failed attempt at starting an agency later, I founded Vouch Global in 2018. Although we haven’t had the easiest journey with the COVID pandemic hitting us, we are out the other end and now on target to grow over 200% in 2022, whilst working with some of the largest hospitality, property and eCommerce brands.

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

My home is in Hertford, Hertfordshire – only a 30-minute train ride into London where our head office is. It’s great for downtime away from the hustle and bustle of the city and perfect for my two favourite hobbies, golf and road cycling. 

At Vouch, we have flexible working so I tend to travel to the office in Shoreditch 2-3 days a week. On these days I collaborate with my team, ideate and have fun playing pool or putting on weekly social catch-ups.

I love these days of comradery where I get to spend time with my amazing team, having a laugh in between doing great work for our clients. The other WFH days I set aside for more focused, deep work where I can get important tasks done without any distractions.

When I commute to London I spend the journey completing my daily journal and time blocking my day to integrate my to-do list into my calendar to help minimise feeling overwhelmed. When I get into the office we start the day with a 10-minute team huddle to discuss any potential issues or urgent plans – if we are working from home this is done via Google Meet. 

For me, each day is vastly different but typically consists of supporting the team, speaking with clients and suppliers, reviewing campaigns we’re working on and ideating new client strategies. 

When I’m in the office I tend to head home at around 6 pm to spend time with my son and partner for a few hours and then end my day by reading industry press and reviewing and improving the Vouch’s processes for 1-2 hours.

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

I believe work and life balance go hand in hand. Through journaling, I have constant clarity as to where my time goes and how I can reset the scales if I am going too much over one way or the other.

My work is a huge part of my life, but so are my family, my friends and my health. They aren’t always evenly balanced but I am also a fan of working my year in ‘sprints’ For example, I may have a busy 3 months with work, working on a pitch, but then I know summer is coming and I will plan to have a trip with family and friends.

Then, work will pick up again for the Autumn and winter months. Seeing my years in sprints helps remind me of the flows and imbalances of life, and understanding that each part will get its time to flourish. The main thing is to understand everything is constantly changing, to enjoy each aspect of it, and be present as the scales will soon shift again.

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

In the past few months, I’ve cut down on the amount of media I consume. I have realised that I’m either in a consumption or output mindset. When I’m learning and consuming, I am a sponge and want to learn more but it has been beneficial to turn this down over the past few months. I‘ve found I’ve had a much stronger focus and output on new ideas for both client campaigns and our own technology at Vouch.

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

I read at least two books a month, but my favourite book and the one that has had the most impact is Psycho Cybernetics by Maxwell Meltz. 

Other favourites include The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle, Good to Great by Jim Collins, Relentless by Tim Grover and Atomic Habits by James Clear. 

My favourite podcasts are Agencyphonics, How I Built This, Secret Leaders, Authority Hacker, The High-Performance podcast, The Diary of a CEO, Built to Sell and Naval. 

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

It would probably be Kanye West or Jay-Z. I’d be interested to see how billionaires in the limelight truly manage their work-life balance and the impact of the toll on different aspects of their life.

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

When reaching for a goal recognise that sacrifice may need to play a part and imbalance may occur but make a plan as to when you will need to even the balance and enjoy the other aspect that you have been missing.

Remain in a flow state and make plans. If you are busy with work, have a plan for when it will slow down and make plans to look forward to in other areas of life. Sometimes the idea of a moment coming up is more impactful and drives more positive feelings than the actual moment itself when it finally arrives.

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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.