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Balancing the Grind with Justin Epstein, Membership Director at The One Club

Justin Epstein is the Membership Director at The One Club, a nonprofit global creative community, where he manages memberships and partnerships.

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

I have a background in communications and fine arts. I began my career in a non-profit, managing membership and small events at The Zimmerli Art Museum. I wanted to move to New York and try something new. That transitioned me into marketing for a plastic surgeon.

Once they started filming a reality show I knew I needed to leave, ha! I wanted to get back into the non-profit life and that brought me to The One Club just under 5 years ago.

I manage membership and partnerships at The One Club. Majority of my role is focused around relationship building with agencies and in-house brands. That’s the best part, is meeting people from around the world, getting to know them and building a friendship!

I also plan smaller scale events around the world with my membership partner, Lou. One of our largest scale programs is Intern & Creative, a networking event in eight cities and Portfolio Night, a global competition held in thirty cities.

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

Before Covid-19 I was traveling up to two weeks out of the month, hosting events/workshops in different cities and building relationships with our biggest supporters (very fun!).

My daily routine has obviously changed substantially. I escaped my apartment on the Upper East Side mid-March. I’ve been staying in Central New Jersey. It’s been interesting, ha.

My usual day consists of checking Instagram, some emails then heading on my run. Then LOTS of Zoom meetings and virtual event run-throughs.

We’ve spent the last month curating content and creating opportunities like our jobs board and summer mentorship program. Sort of adapting to what our constituents need. It’s tough to bring in revenue at the moment, but we are hoping the department can still be profitable in the coming months.

I usually try to grab a bit of sun when it’s nice out too and finish the day with a beer.

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

I’ve been very fortunate to travel often for work, so I was pretty familiar with working out of the office. I was meeting with people and engaging so often in person it’s been an adjustment with just emails and phone calls. I miss going into the office and interacting with coworkers so much! I can’t wait until we are able to go back, whatever and whenever that might look like.

It has been nice to squeeze in a work out or head to the grocery store during the middle of the day though.

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

It’s tough. I’m someone who really enjoys working and keeping busy (I also hate seeing the unread number on phone). I do check emails on holiday and on the weekends, but I realize I’m not saving lives over here, so if I don’t get something accomplished right away, it’s not the end of the world! I’ve gotten better at not responding on the weekends.

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

I haven’t really changed a whole lot of my daily routine. I’m a creature of habit for the most part. I still write out a to-do list for the week. It’s important to keep some sort of consistency and normalcy to my routine. I think I’d go crazy otherwise.

It’s been nice to draw again. I haven’t really tapped into that side in years, but I’ve had considerably more time, ha.

This time has certainly given me some time to reflect on what I want out of my career and life in general though. I was anxious about it at first, but it feels like a nice time to consider changes.

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

I’ve been reading Doctor Sleep. Loved the movie, the book is great too!

I’m sort of horrible with podcasts, they just aren’t for me. A little shameless plug though if you are looking for a mindless podcast – check out my twin’s on Spotify and iTunes! It’s called Popgoggles. A bunch of bs celebrity gossip, but it’s entertaining.

I’ve also been reading too many New York Times articles. To counteract how I feel after reading those, I usually scroll YouTube for some Gordon Ramsay cooking tutorials and/or him screaming at people.

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

Airpods. I used to hate on them so much, but they really do make a difference, ha.

Purito Centella Green Level Unscented Sun SPF50+ has been perfect this past month. No burns here!

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

Sir Richard Branson’s is on my bookshelf; I need to give it a go! Mark Cuban is a legend. Dave Portnoy’s work-life doesn’t really seem balanced, but I’m curious how he shuts it off sometimes!

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

Have fun in everything you do! Even if you are doing something for work that is less than exciting, still find some aspect of enjoyment. Always seek happiness outside of work, even if it’s tough, there is always something to find enjoyable in life!

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About Author

Balance The Grind gives me a platform to talk to these people about how they're achieving their ideal lifestyle. I'm inspired by the passion, the work ethic, the hustle; and these conversations motivate me to live life the way I want to live it.