Meredith Cranmer is the co-founder and managing director of Because ANZ, a creative experiences and brand activation agency with offices around the world.
1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
I’m the Co-Founder & MD of Because ANZ. My career started in New Zealand working in radio. Wanting new experiences and a bigger market, I packed my bags and moved to London.
From 10 amazing years in London with dream clients including Heineken, Eurostar, Durex and Jim Beam, I got my first taste of experiential marketing.
These global clients allowed me to see first-hand the power of face-to-face engagement.The challenge of founding the Because Sydney office lured me back to the Southern Hemisphere, and now we have 3 offices across ANZ!
2) What does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
I’m an early riser, part biology but mainly because I have two young children. My husband and I both have big jobs and no family support in the country so our diaries are very planned!
I usually head to the gym or my outdoor bootcamp before heading back home for breakfast with the kids, assisting with sight words and negotiating outfit choices (the toddler’s not mine!).
We’re splitting our time as a team between the office and home, I’m usually out the door by 730/8 grabbing coffee in our local café whilst listening to a podcast – loving Tim Ferriss and Fearne Cotton’s Happy Place.
Our team huddles religiously at 915am and it always ends with a mantra from Lisa Messenger’s Purpose book. Sounds woo woo, but it does help set your intention as a team and personally for what you day could be. It’s also been scarily prophetic during COVID or maybe it’s a bit like horoscopes!
I’m then usually on calls, writing proposals, pitching concepts and supporting the team and our clients navigate the day to day. Depending on what day it is, my ‘work’ day ends around 6-7pm and then its family time, before a few late night calls to our UK office a couple of days a week.
3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
Absolutely yes to remote working and flexibility however flexibility is not always possible when it comes to client deadlines and deliverables! Having started the business in 2011, we’ve always been cloud based and we’re often on site so need to be able to work from wherever.
When I came back to work quite quickly after both children I tweaked my hours to fit the needs of my family with that of the business. This means long days / compressed hours on Mondays and Tuesdays which clears some space for me to have the kids on a Wednesday afternoon for a few hours.
It doesn’t always go to plan, but for the most part it works. I’m a big fan of compressed hours for parents, once you’re at work you’re usually in the zone so staying a bit later or getting in a bit earlier can do wonders for getting through the work and freeing up time for other areas of life.
4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
A few years back I worked with an amazing Non-Exec Director Elizabeth Buchanan. We talked a lot about the different areas of your life, sometimes your family will need you more, at other times the business will take priority.
Priorities and what needs focus are always changing and evolving. Let things ebb and flow, then you won’t feel like you’re ‘out of balance’. I’ve got better at booking out my non negotiables weekly which is exercise.
I recently turned 40, and after my 30s being about business and babies, I’d like my friends and self to have a little more energy put into them. For me this means reconnecting with childhood hobbies like ocean swimming and I’ve just got a keyboard and piano teacher. It is true that a little bit of self care can do wonders for how you serve others and your creativity.
5) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?
I love Tim Ferriss’ podcast; long form interviews which zig zag all over the place from leaders in their field. Fuel for my thoughts. I’m a book slut who reads at least five different titles at a time, some faster than others.
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and The Alchemist are definite favourites, not least because they are beautiful stories as well as life lessons.
But mostly I’m about the music, from 90s grunge like Pearl Jam to James Blake. I try to not stay in my youth and listen to the same old songs, but nostalgia is very powerful especially right now.
6) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?
I’m doing an 8 week challenge at the moment so My Fitness Pal to track macros has been invaluable. I never knew how many carbs were in vino. I dip in and out of Headspace and Insight timer, both have been invaluable for slowing my mind when the shit is going down.
7) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?
My nana (sadly she has passed), who had 14 children. I’m sure she would have some very interesting views about what was important to her, and how she managed.
8) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
I’m a big fan of the 80:20 rule, plan your work and life with that in mind. It’s bonkers to think how much time is wasted on things or people who really don’t matter.
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