Taylor Wright is the Founder of Social Medium, a creative team of freelancers and consultants, with experience across social media management, digital marketing, and communications.
1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
A five (or even ten year plan) was never on the table for me. I’m the type of girl who jumps on a plane, from the USA to Australia, just weeks after graduating from university with a passion and enthusiasm for discovering, “what’s next?”.
I fell into the industry of digital marketing with a focus on social media because I had a communications degree and it seemed like a good place to start. I quickly found that I was not only pretty good at it but I also *actually* enjoyed going to work. I think that’s rare and so I stuck with it.
From Sydney to Melbourne, I worked at a number of agencies, moving my way up the corporate ladder across social media, paid advertising and content. I ended up working across incredible clients such as Coles, Starwood Hotels, Adidas, and Sailor Jerry, to name a few. It was soon clear to me that my creative side truly expanded in the travel and tourism industry – so I followed my heart in that direction.
I landed a role in my dream company, Expedia Group and was thriving until that little ole’ pandemic hit. Without a business plan, mission statement and all that jazz, I jumped into action and launched Social Medium.
My LinkedIn reads ‘founder’ but I really am the (wo)man-power, knowledge, and super social powers supporting small to medium businesses thrive and take their marketing to the next level.
2) What does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
I’m not sure who Dolly Parton was referring to when she wrote ‘9 to 5’ but definitely not this gal. With the alarm set for 5:30, I quickly walk the five minutes down to Coogee Beach for an intense, sandy and sweaty bootcamp sesh.
This is followed by a morning ritual of brewing the most delicious home-made chai latte whilst listening to Alexa update me on the latest news. At around 8, the work day has officially begun.
From that point, my tush is glued to the desk swapping between a myriad of tabs trying to reply to emails, create and develop content, optimise ads, design stuff, keep clients happy, and remember to listen to some good tunes while doing it.
I finally shut the laptop around 7pm. I then join my partner in the kitchen and pretend to help him cook dinner. A quick hour or two of addictive television and I hit the hay around 10.
3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
Flexible and remote are my middle name these days. Working for yourself means no restrictions on when you start, where you work and how you manage your time. If you need a day off, take it. If you want to get your nails done, be my guest. In that respect, it’s a pretty sweet deal.
I am however looking forward to a time when travel is no longer restricted. The ability to then travel to visit my family in the United States or work-live in a villa for months in Bali is possible. Now that’s the millennial dream, right?
4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
With millions of people now working from home, the lines between life and work have become completely blurred. When you can see your office from the comforts of your bed or your kitchen table is scattered with screens and papers rather than a healthy meal, it’s easy to lose sight of balance.
I’ve recently taken to the term work-life harmony as a replacement for work-life balance. What’s the difference? Work life harmony means that your work is part of your life rather than separate.
This allows you to use “working day” as a time for doing things that you love for work and for your life, such as meeting with exciting new clients or breaking early to catch the sunset. For me this means working with passion for hours of the day while also making conscious choices for self-care when needed.
5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?
For the past 5 years, I cycled to work every single day, rain, hail or shine. Literally, it hailed once. But now, the commute time has been reduced to three steps to the right directly into my sun room. Sadly, my bike is completely out of commission and collecting dust.
The hour or so commute time has now been replaced with the little get-your-life-in-order tasks that used to wait until the weekend.
With the morning light shining into my flat, tidying the house, finishing last night’s chapter, a morning phone call to a friend or even a full breakfast cook up becomes more enjoyable than you would think. Although I do have a routine, I like to change it up and no morning ever looks exactly the same.
6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?
I must admit that for the most part, I don’t seek out marketing specific content as that tends to come across my lap naturally. Here are the things I’ve been listening to, reading and scrolling lately.
- ‘This American Life’ is an all-time favourite for inspiring and *damn* good storytelling
- ‘Stuff You Should Know’ teaches you everything from the weird to the random including topics like ‘How Sushi Works’ and ‘How Sneezing Works’
- Buffer’s Social Media Newsletter keeps me up to date on the latest and greatest in the social media world
- NPR’s Life Kit covers everything from health to personal finance to education and art. In my opinion, anything NPR does is gold.
- American Dirt about the plight of immigrants from Mexico to America
- The Sun Does Shine a true story about an innocent man on death row
- How To Win Friends and Influence People teaches you the communication tools you need in your life
7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?
The trifecta; my phone, airpods and Spotify.
Having a bad day? Adele’s got your back. Needing a mid-day jam sesh? A little Fleetwood Mac should do the trick. Music can lift your mood, reduce anxiety and give you those positive vibes you’re searching for. I highly recommend it.
8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?
In light of the recent elections, I would have to choose my girl crush and political empress, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Not only does she create a voice for the people who have never been heard but she is one of the most unique females ever to sit on the House of Representatives. When you’re fighting for the right of immigrants, legalisation of gay marriage and equality, the pressure must be immense.
Her fight to create real change is something most average humans would never have the ability or guts to take on. She handles every issue with grace, intelligence and courage.
9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
Perfection is not possible. Holding yourself and your work to a high standard is important as long as it is not a detriment to your mental health. Letting go is an essential part of stepping away from that unachievable goal.
For most of us marketers, we aren’t saving lives. So remember, if you make a mistake or upset a client, there’s almost always a solution to the problem. This is the perfect time to give yourself a break, step away from work and consciously do something you love, no matter how busy you are.
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