Biz Dev & Sales / Interviews

Balancing the Grind with Nic Antonio Hallberg, Business Development Manager at MGI Entertainment

Nic Antonio Hallberg is the Business Development Manager 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?

Hi, my name is Nic Hallberg, I was born and raised in Germany – I am also half Portuguese. I studied Business Psychology with a major in international management and media psychology & marketing. I have a background in fitness, fashion, marketing and media.

I currently work for MGI Entertainment. as a Business Development Manager. We have offices in Shanghai, Sydney and a satellite office in New York. I am currently based in Sydney but have spent the majority of my time in our Shanghai office.

At the start of 2020, when COVID was exploding out of the blocks in China I relocated to our Sydney office. I will fly back to Shanghai in the next few months. When the borders open, I am looking forward to being able to travel between Shanghai and Sydney and also looking forward to travelling to the US and Europe.

A big part of my life will always remain European specifically Germany and Portugal where my family is based.

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

A typical/ideal day right now looks like this:

I get up at 5:30am (right before sunrise) and walk down my street to Bondi Beach (luckily, I moved here recently).

I found a great spot on a cliff (you have to climb a little) where I can see a stunning sunrise every morning. It really is worth it even if it means just sleeping 4-5 hours, it immediately energizes me, sets me up for the day and gives me a moment to myself.

I like getting up early and having a few hours just to myself, no distractions, just me and my thoughts. After the sunrise I take a quick dip into the ocean which really freshens me up, then grab a coffee and just walk around a bit or sit somewhere and let my thoughts go their way.

Between 7 and 8am it’s time to really get ready for the rest of the day which means an ice cold shower (or as cold as it gets), again this really wakes me up and gives me energy. Then get dressed, pack my daily vitamins and gym clothes and head off to the office where I usually start work between 9 and 10 AM.

As you might have noticed I haven’t mentioned anything about breakfast. I don’t eat breakfast. I like to eat my first meal between 1pm – 3pm, sometimes even later if I’m busy. I don’t follow a strict intermittent fasting diet. I just feel that breakfast slows me down. I can eat a lot more later during the day and still follow my body image goals.

I go for a workout, usually daily, at lunchtime or after work, depending on the day.

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

We are pretty flexible considering COVID and working remotely. We just need to complete the work and ensure that our projects get the appropriate love.

However, I prefer to work in an office environment more specifically in a good space, I just get more done. When I was studying I preferred studying in a library vs. studying at home. At home I am not as productive. Our Sydney office is in Barangaroo and close to some of our key clients.

If not in our office I also really enjoy working from cafés or other social settings. I like having people around me.

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

Work-life balance means a lot to me. I don’t believe in “work hard in your 20s and 30s so you can relax more later” – these are my best years, probably, and I want to enjoy them as well as work so maintaining a balance between work and life is very important to me and I believe healthier.

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

Early in 2020, at the beginning of the pandemic, I relocated from our China office to Sydney (for the first time) and I found myself in a very unique and new situation. I was in a new country and most gyms, cafés and other venues were closed.

I didn’t have many social contacts at all and found that I actually enjoyed it very much. I suddenly had a lot more time to myself and my thoughts, especially coming from such an incredibly buzzing and exciting city like Shanghai.

I made a new habit to get up with the sunrise, immediately go outside and just walk around with my favourite music and just let my thoughts go their way. Then I started doing yoga stretching routines almost every day which I really needed in addition to all the sports I’ve been doing.

To compensate for the loss of access to a gym I started getting into bodyweight routines and felt generally that I was probably healthier than before. Since the situation in Australia, fortunately, has improved, I would say I have not maintained all of the routines but have found a new balance which works for me.

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

I am really into self-development, life enrichment books and also spirituality.

  • Everything from Paulo Coelho, especially The Alchemist
  • The Forty Rules of Love by Elif Shafak
  • The School of Life: An Emotional Education by Alain de Botton
  • Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
  • Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself: How to Lose Your Mind and Create a New One by Dr. Joe Dispenza
  • The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Don Miguel Ruiz

The list goes on and on, and there’s so much more to read.

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

My phone where most of my communication and research takes place. Living between Europe, China and Australia but still being able to keep in touch with everyone is hugely important to me – apps crucial for that are Instagram, WhatsApp and WeChat.

Then all my music apps are the next most important to me, being Spotify and Apple Podcast where I follow a range of electronic dance DJs, especially for my workouts.

8) Do you have any last thoughts on work and life that you’d like to share with our readers?

I’m in the middle of my journey and figuring it out along the way. What I can say is enjoy the ride and go with the flow. I strongly believe that with the right mindset, positive energy and thoughts, things will fall into place eventually.

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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.