Balancing the Grind with Sam Winsbury, Founder & Chief Executive of Kurogo

Sam Winsbury is the founder of Kurogo, an agency that works with founders and CEOs to craft powerful personal brands.

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

Whilst looking for freelance marketing gigs during my time at university, I started building my ‘personal brand’ – though I didn’t know it at the time. 

I was sharing content around marketing online through social media and suddenly had business owners reaching out to me for help doing a similar thing themselves. 

After coaching and consulting for a year or two, I launched an agency after graduating during the Coronavirus pandemic. The agency, Kurogo, has since grown to 16 staff members and over 50 active clients across the world including in the UK, US and UAE. As the founder and CEO, I lead the team.

The agency specialises in building the brands of CEOs, founders, entrepreneurs, and creators, we have clients across marketing, sport and tech. We’re a remote based agency building, which helps massively with our staff’s work-life balance. 

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

I wake up at around 6am and spend the first part of my morning preparing for the day ahead. By 6.30am I’m at my desk and prefer to deal with light tasks and admin for the first half an hour of my working day. 

From 7am to 9am I work on important projects that I can complete myself, before the rest of the team and our clients are at their desks. 

From 9am to 3pm my day can consist of progressing the agency, speaking to the team, or having calls with new and current clients. 

I then go to the gym between 3pm and 5pm before returning for another 2 hours of lighter work and self-development in the evening.

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

Work-life balance to me means being satisfied or content with how you’re spending your time. I think the divide between work and life is much weaker than it was 10-20 years ago, so now there is just ‘life’.

I don’t have a specific breakdown of how many hours I have to spend working vs relaxing, as I love what I do, but for me it’s about listening to your body and knowing when it’s the right time to put the tools down and take a step back. I’ve learnt when the right time is by getting it wrong over and over!

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

I stopped trying to create the perfect morning routine. I used to try to meditate, walk, journal, stretch, and everything else you could think of. I realised that the willpower needed to do those things was draining!

So, I stopped and I switched to simply getting up and working. I’ve found that more beneficial for me. Recently I’ve introduced 5 minutes of mindfulness before starting work, which has been helpful. 

But all in all, it’s about finding out what’s right for you and stick to that, understand that the perfect routine doesn’t exist, and different people respond differently to certain habits.

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

My favourite podcasts that I would highly recommend are The Doctor’s Kitchen, My First Million, The Game, Modern Mastery, and The Koe Cast. Newsletters wise, I enjoy Sunday Synthesis by Andrew Kirby and Marketing Voice.

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

Ben Francis, Founder and CEO of Gymshark.

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

Balance does not mean an equal split. 

Your balance will be different to somebody else’s. If you enjoy your work and want to spend 80% of your week working, that’s okay. If you’d rather work 20% of the time, no shame in that either.

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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.