Balancing the Grind with Simon Gould, Director of Orbit Marketing

Simon Gould is the director and lead strategist at Orbit Marketing, a bespoke digital marketing agency helping business owners navigate through social media advertising.

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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 Commerce graduate from the Univesity of New England in NSW with majors in Marketing and HR. Spent 15 years in advertising sales with News Corp, Carsales and an independent publisher before starting Orbit Marketing in 2017. Currently I’m the director and lead strategist for Orbit, a bespoke digital marketing agency.

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

There really isn’t a typical day, which is one of the things I love about digital marketing.

Most days though start with replying to emails, spending some time preparing briefs for our copywriters or graphic designer, and having a look at the Facebook campaigns we have running.

Our campaigns are largely managed by a team of specialists but I like to just have a look. I’ll usually have a client visit or call and possibly work on a funnel map or client strategy plan.

There’s usually time in the day for some personal things too. Time with my family, shopping, photography. It’s important to take a bit of time to recharge and enjoy life.

I’m the chef in the house so I’ll make dinner and in the evening do a bit more on client campaigns. I still like to build some of our chatbots myself so the evening in front of the TV is a good time for that.

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

If you’re going to build a business, it’s important that it’s sustainable. A business that doesn’t give you the life you want will eventually become a burden and you’ll hate it, self sabotage or just close it up and walk away.

For us it’s not about fitting it into our lifestyle, it’s about using the business as a tool to create the life we want. Our business allows for an almost totally flexible working arrangement.

We have family in rural NSW so we try and visit every few months. It’s been hard lately with travel restrictions but as long as we have the phone and laptop we’re good to go.

Both my wife and myself work in our business so we do our shopping in the day when most people are at work, walk the dog, visit elderly parents, all that good stuff.

We ran the business from a villa in Bali for 2 weeks last year and would have done the same from New York this year had Covid not thrown the world into a spin. We’ve been really lucky having been able to build a business that’s letting us create the lifestyle we want.

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

For us it’s been about finding something we’re passionate about. Building a business is hard work and during the early stages there wasn’t a lot of balance to be honest. To us it means not feeling chained to an office, not being beholden to a boss and feeling like we’re making a contribution to the clients we work with.

We get to travel a little, take time to do personal things whenever we like and spend time together so that’s a pretty good result. I’m excited to see how that plays out as we keep growing and able to hire people that allow us to remove ourselves from the day to day operations.

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

More processes than habits I guess. We’ve started working with outsourced providers and contractors which has enabled us to grow, to take back some time in our days and focus on the important things, work and personal, while still ensuring work gets done to a high standard.

We’ve also started using a time tracking app to help us better understand how our time is allocated and continue refining our pricing.

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

Social Media Today and Stacked Marketer always have great content in their newsletters also DM Insider from Ryan Deiss.

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

Oh, so many of them. Right at the top fo the list is my phone and laptop. I’m an Apple convert so iPhone 11 and MacBook Pro for me! Then G-Suite for emails, maps and file sharing and storage.

For my calendar, Trello, Clickfunnels, Business Manager for multiple Facebook clients, Basecamp for our production team, Manychat for our bots, Hubspot CRM. There are so many. Mostly we use them to streamline processes and reduce double handling of information.

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

Richard Branson. He’s built an empire and always seems to be having a good time while he does it.

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

The key really is to find something you love doing, and really understand why you’re doing it. That makes work feel a bit less like work and bit more like fun.

I work more hours now than I did in corporate but I feel like I work less because every day I’m thankful I can do what I do and have the life I have. Whomever said ‘Find something you love doing and you’ll never work a day in your life’ was onto something!

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This conversation is brought to you by marketing data consultancy Venntifact, helping organisations build and enable high-performance digital teams to harness data and technology assets, empowering digital innovation.

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.