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Balancing the Grind with Martin Bryden, Chief Commercial Officer at Canngea

Martin Bryden is the Chief Commercial Officer at Canngea, a B2B contract manufacturer and wholesale distributor of GMP – certified pharmaceutical-grade medicinal cannabis products.

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

I’m the Commercial Director at Canngea, a licensed B2B contract manufacturer and wholesale distributor of medicinal cannabis products. It’s an exciting role in a growing industry, and I love my job.

My background is in commercial growth and marketing. I’ve spent nearly 20 years in sales, marketing and strategy roles and my work has taken me to the UK, Germany, France and Australia. 

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

My day starts whenever my twins need it to – they’re nine months old, so every day is an adventure at the moment. My workday starts with a 20-minute standing meeting with the heads of department, and then it’s back to back Zoom calls with clients, suppliers and team members. 

Once Australia finishes its standard workday, I’m off to do the night routine with my partner and the twins. Once they’re off to bed, I settle in for some focus tasks, then calls with Europe and the UK until midnight or 1am. 

The next day, rinse and repeat. It’s fast paced and long hours, but I love my job and I love what we do, so bring on tomorrow!

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

Yes, my role does allow for flexibility. If I need to work from home that’s no issue and sometimes if I’m working on a project that requires my full attention, I prefer to do this. Of course, it’s also nice to be able to have cuddles with my kids during daylight hours, too. 

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

Work life balance is very important to me, and it’s a juggle while I’m growing both a business and a family.

Flexibility and routine are both really important, like making time to do the bedtime routine with the twins every day and being able to work from the office or home as needed.

From Monday to Friday work is at the forefront, but on weekends I’m only doing two things: being with my family and trying to sneak in a round of golf!

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

My life has definitely changed in the past year – growing a business, becoming a dad, the global pandemic. We’ve all been affected in different ways. Like too many Australians, I lost a close friend to suicide during this time.

I struggled to cope and knew I needed to get a handle on it so I started with the most basic of things I could think of. I started walking. What I found was it gave me time to reflect not only on what I had lost, but what I had.

Of course, general exercise is also helpful. And now it’s my daily routine, I will find an hour in the day to walk, and if I can bring the kids along, even better. 

It’s also exposed me to great opportunities like the Black Dog Foundation, and I’ve been raising funds to bring awareness to mental health issues. 

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

My favourite book has remained the same for 12 years, Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts. I have a fair few podcasts I listen to but lately it’s been ‘Absolutely Mental’, in which Ricky Gervais phones his favourite smart friend, the neuroscientist and philosopher Sam Harris. It makes me see life differently, and laugh.

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

My AirPods and Deliveroo!

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

Richard Branson. By all reports he has a good relationship with his family, and is also a very successful businessman – so how did he do both?

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

Whether it be work or something in your personal life, make sure you are doing something that you love! Life is too short and precious to spend time otherwise.  

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About Author

Balance the Grind is a work-life balance publication on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.