Founders / Interviews

Balancing the Grind with Philip Sheen, Director & Founder at GiG VR

Philip Sheen is the founder and director of GiG VR, a virtual reality platform for live music, and founder of content marketing agency, Sheen Media.

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

I’m a creative at heart. My whole career revolves around the arts, media, marketing and innovation. I founded a content marketing agency called Sheen Media and a startup called GiG VR which records live music in 360° for Virtual Reality.

I love building ideas and launching them from the ground up! I guess my skills in storytelling, branding and marketing are crucial to that process and I enjoy bringing those ingredients to the projects I work on.

It’s amazing when you get to see a community build around those new initiatives or collaborations because of your input.

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

  • Coffee, maybe 2 straight up.
  • Chase the kids to eat breakfast, get them dressed and then drop them off to school. By this stage it feels like half the day has been lived already.
  • Meditate or exercise somewhere in nature before I start any meetings or projects. I’ll pull the car over by the river or under a tree, it doesn’t matter as long as I can clear my head and give myself a pep talk before I get started.
  • No structure or method to the madness for the rest of the day really, just a lot of hustle. Each day is different, a blur of client projects, proposals, emails, phone calls, pitches and deadlines.
  • Wine, Netflix and chill (if I can stay awake).

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

I can more or less work anywhere I like, if I don’t have to be onsite somewhere for production, or with a client. This morning I woke up early, drove to the beach to watch the sunrise and came back to the city for meetings with sand in my hair.

I’m writing now from a lovely garden with lemon trees, flowers and birds but next I might go and work the rest of the day in my office just to be around people and some good energy.

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

This is something I have to constantly work on. We don’t really train ourselves to manage this early on and we often have to try and correct years of bad habits or neglect after it’s too late. I burnt out this year. It wasn’t pretty.

I’m still rebuilding from that. But I’m glad I was forced to re-evaluate how I balance life and work. I started taking more time for me which makes complete sense but it’s crazy how we easily forget to do that.

I’m learning to be more of a spiritual and adventurous person now because it connects me to an inner strength and opens more creativity. Seeking those opportunities out and making space for them has been the biggest achievement so far.

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

I say yes to too many things, so I have had to learn to start saying no more and keep my time sacred. I have started meditating more and escaping into nature by myself. I might try to camp for a night in the wilderness and middle of nowhere and just arrive with no plans to see what adventure unfolds. It’s quite exhilarating to do that.

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

I love podcasts that tell human stories. Two podcasts I devour at the moment that are amazing for the soul and perfect examples of how to tell a story are Meditative Story by WaitWhat and Thrive Global, and Heavyweight by Gimlet. Also The Hustle newsletter is always welcome in my inbox these days.

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

Right now my DJI drone. I’m using it a lot more when I take it on trips to tell stories about the landscape. Really good fun. My Fitbit, gotta keep my steps up. And I love my 360° camera and Oculus VR headset.

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

Hmmm I’m actually a big fan of Jamie Oliver. I have many of his books but I don’t seem to use them much.

Either way, I really admire what he has achieved especially with a growing household full of kids. His brand has scaled so big and kicked huge goals but he has also taken massive hits and recovered. I think it would be a good read to see how he manages that life.

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

Just focus as much as you can on your mental health to stay strong. We give away too much of ourselves to time wasting, soul killing tasks that really are affecting us at a personal level and within the wider community.

I just try to open myself to a more spiritual awareness and that doesn’t need to be an extreme experience (Although that is just as good sometimes). It can be as simple and refreshing as going into nature and really taking time to reconnect with yourself.

It inspires and strengthens and really opens your mind to things you are so busy numbing yourself to every time you check your email or Instagram for the hundredth time.

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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.