CEOs / Founders / Interviews

Balancing the Grind with Renece Brewster, Co-Founder & CEO at Visual Domain

Renece Brewster is the co-founder & CEO at Visual Domain, Australia’s largest video agency working with businesses to create high quality videos at scale.

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

I am currently the Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Australia’s largest video production company, Visual Domain.

Prior to starting Visual Domain, I worked at a mobile web development company pre the smartphone era. Prior to that it was for a website company, at a time when having a website was not the norm (now I’m really showing my age!), but it’s fair to say I always enjoyed bringing emerging trends to businesses.

I launched Visual Domain with my business partner Daniel Goldstein back in 2008. When we started, video marketing wasn’t a thing. What really excited me was being able to bring something that most brands couldn’t access affordably, or at the quality they wanted.

At that time, most Australian businesses viewed video content as too difficult, time-consuming and overly expensive. Fast-forward to 2021, where videos are now dominating social media and corporate websites, and those same businesses can’t get enough of it.

I’m really proud of Visual Domain and the work that we do. We lead with our people, product and platform to produce world class video content and personalised service for the country’s leading brands and companies – all under the one roof.

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

No one day is ever the same at Visual Domain and we’re so lucky to work with some of the best brands in the country as their partner in production. I am fortunate enough to love what I do, so every workday is always exciting for me.

Lately, my typical nine to five working day generally consists of back-to-back meetings with the team, clients or other stakeholders. Regular meetings with the team are paramount to creating new initiatives and understanding where our business and projects are heading.

It’s also a great way to connect and check in with the team, particularly as we navigate lockdowns in both Sydney and Melbourne.

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

Visual Domain has always been a flexible workplace. Even before lockdown, we were flexible and accommodated family and personal circumstances to ensure all our team had genuine work-life balance.

We offer both in-office and remote working, and when it’s safe to do so, we encourage the entire team to come together on certain days to meet and connect face-to-face. I think it’s so important when we’re together to brainstorm creative ideas and connect on a personal level.

Our team also has the option to restructure their day according to their needs. For example, employees can start work early to avoid peak traffic and finish in time for school pick-ups.

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

It’s fair to say that I don’t have a textbook definition of work-life balance, and that is by choice. I’ve recently been working 16 hours a day, but I wholeheartedly love my job and what I do so it never really feels like ‘work’.

There is always time for my family and friends however, ultimately it all comes down to balance. Some weeks might be heavier with work but equally when there is something happening with the family, I’m there.

Routine is everything to me and small daily rituals that help me feel connected. At home this might look like the conversation in the car on the way to school each day, or lunch on the weekend.

For work it will be a daily must-do task that ensures everything is moving forward and for myself it’s an early morning walk before the sun comes up to calm my mind for the day ahead.

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

My routine has probably become even more important over the past 18 months, maintaining many of my pre-COVID habits gives me a sense of order when everything else feels out of my control.

I’ve also been really focused on my health of late, investing in a nutritionist so that I can learn what foods and vitamins will help my energy from the inside as well as support my mental health.

This has really been fuelled by my role as leader at Visual Domain, I feel a great sense of responsibility to handle the different things that come our way and navigate this so being in my best possible health both physically and mentally is absolutely essential for me to do this.

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

I have so many! Three of my recent favourites are:

  • What it Takes by Stephen A Schwarzman. There are so many valuable takeaways from this book!
  • The Company I Keep by Leonard A Lauder. I love a female entrepreneur’s hustle story. This one had so much grit and passion.
  • Good to Great by Jim Collins. There was so much of this I actually didn’t like but loved a few parts that just made so much sense, it made up for it!

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

My phone is the number one thing I can’t go without. My calendar is also everything! Every reminder, everything that needs to get done will make its way to my calendar and inevitably always get done.

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

Definitely Zoe Foster-Blake! She is an inspiring writer, founder of multiple successful businesses and is also family-oriented – it’s incredible how she can juggle it all.

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

Your thoughts are your beliefs so be so careful of what you spend your time thinking about. Mindset is so powerful in shaping and influencing our perspective on everything.

You are 100% going to make mistakes, do things you wish you had done differently, but it’s how you think about it that will make all the difference. It feels a little silly but talk to yourself in the same way you would talk to a friend.

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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.