Balancing the Grind with Michael MacRitchie, Managing Partner at MGI Entertainment

Michael MacRitchie is the Managing Partner at MGI Entertainment, an entertainment marketing agency working with brands, celebrities and influencers.

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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 MGI Entertainment. We help brands tell stories and specialise in transactions between celebrities/influencers, businesses, and institutions.  

Often a business will come to us with a new product they wish to promote, and we’ll find a celebrity who fits the product and its promotional goals; usually, this takes the shape of a traditional endorsement, but we always try and remain flexible and open in our thinking – we don’t pursue one-size-fits-all solutions.  

Other times a celebrity will come to us with a project they want to create and we’ll match them with a business that shares their values to create a partnership between them and the business.  

In either case, we try to remain both platform and geographically agnostic and focus on the hard and soft-goals of both parties to form partnerships that will be mutually beneficial and sustainable.  

We have a background in content production, media, advertising, marketing, and PR.

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

I wake most mornings around 5:30 am and have hot lemon water. (The vitamin C in lemons can help alleviate stress and also hydrates your system).

I’ll spend 1-2 hours prioritising my day with scheduling and workflow. A quick social media sweep and put together a “to-do list” for myself and team members.

Three times a week I see a personal trainer in the morning. On the other mornings, I am not with a personal trainer. I try to get in some light exercise.

During the workday, I would spend 30% of my day talking to clients, friends, or contacts listening to what they are working on, what challenges they are facing, and how I might be able to help them.  

I spend approx. 50% of my day dividing my energy between managing our portfolio of on-going projects and transactions, and the balance dealing with the administration of the above.  We currently have an office in Shanghai and Sydney with a satellite office in the US.

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

I would spend half my time in the office and half my time working from home.

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

I am constantly trying to find the right work balance. I tend to be a little extreme with work or at times extreme with other elements in my life. Spending time exercising, reading good books, and catching up with friends is really important to me.

COVID has forced us to re-examine issues around work-life balance, mental health, and what constitutes effective and flexible work practices.

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

Pre-COVID,  I would travel a lot for work. I  spent most of my time in Shanghai, the US, and  Europe on different projects.

At the start of the pandemic, I got in the habit of drinking too much and became lazy with exercise and general well being.

I have started meditation again. I have found that a daily meditation before sleeping allows me to calm down and give myself the appropriate rest. Also, stopped drinking and partying (as much)!

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

My Favorite book is Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich.

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

Can’t live without my gym bag, Spotify and the meditation app Headspace.

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

  • Kobe Bryant, 4am club.
  • Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich.
  • Robin Sharma, The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari
  • Tim Ferriss, The Four Hour Work Week

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

I think breaking up your day with exercise is so important. I noticed the difference in my mental state when I made this a priority again. I was lucky that I had an amazing personal trainer, Luke Duffy from Inner Mastery who helped pull me out of a rut and has kept me on course since.

During this year our company lost a huge amount of revenue and as a result, I,  like many people, experienced depression and anxiety. 

For me, it was really important to then put a big focus on my health and also check-in with my friends.  I am on a WhatsApp group called Boys Upfront- Health with 17 mates who keep each other motivated with fitness, health, and general well being.

The exact same group of guys is in a separate WhatsApp group called Oldschool Crew and instead of motivating each other with fitness, health- like other boys groups, we discuss all elements of our lives. Not often PC but good for a laugh.

In summary, having good mates, investing in a personal trainer, and adding in meditation, reading and journaling has also been good to keep focused and be able to handle the additional stress 2020 has brought.

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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.