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Balancing the Grind with Scott Maxworthy, Owner of Max Media and Entertainment

Scott Maxworthy is the owner of Big Dog Studio Sydney, livestream production “micro” studio, and also the Director of marketing consulting agency, Max Media and Entertainment.

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

G’ day, I’m Scott Maxworthy, the owner of the Big Dog Studio Sydney and also a Director of Max Media and Entertainment.

Max Media is my marketing consulting agency. The Big Dog Studio (named after my Great Dane “Harold”) is a new livestream production “micro” studio (which is in beta development stage).

As the owner and co-founder, both these roles are self-created but came about after five years as Head of Digital at the Cronulla Sharks and in the previous 20 years involved in sport, media, entertainment, running pubs and launching several start-ups.

Several years ago, we identified livestream video was going to have a significant impact on the way we market and communicate. So, we went about developing the skills, processes, platforms and product/ service offerings.

Today we help brands create live engaging content for their audiences.

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

I’m an early early riser and get up at around 3 AM nearly every day (unless I’ve had a big night), turn the coffee machine on and head straight into the studio/ office. Those first four hours are very productive – there are no distractions, and it always starts with prioritising items for the day(s) ahead.

It’s during those hours I can concentrate on the stuff that is “Important but Not Urgent” – the “Quadrant 2” stuff like planning, research and capability improvement.

Snapshot – A Day In The Life – a Monday – (generally designated for internal type activities).

3:00 AM – Coffee #1 & review todo list and priorities for the day, week (within the strategic plan)

3:30 AM – A1 Priority Project – I’ve no filming or face to face customer meetings today so this morning’s project is very technical and sound production focused.

Problem – We can improve the customer audio experience.

Solution – I want to find out how we can automate some sound effects on a remote virtual mixing desk with just a press on a button on the video switcher.

6:55 AM – Research complete – To get a better understanding I’ve played with the software; read the manual; looked at user forums, and watched a few YouTube videos.

The Outcome – I estimate there’s probably three or four days work involved and block out more “A1” time during the week and all of next Saturday.

7:00 AM. The big dog “Harold” walks into the studio on queue – time for a walk, swim (even in Winter), coffee #3 and breakfast. I listen to the Mi3 podcast during our walk.

8:30 AM Weekly Zoom call with the Team followed by another call with my sales partners.

Back in the studio – “A2 Urgent Important”. Deadlines, stuff promised (this interview), emails, important calls, essential news and prep for my ADMA WFH miniMBA in marketing lecture with Mark Ritson at 12AM.

Noon – ADMA WFH miniMBA lecture. This course was put on by ADMA during COVID-19. Exceptionally good and one of the best decisions I made. Mark is a very entertaining and informative presenter.

1.30 PM-3 PM – Lunch. When it’s a beautiful day, I usually head down for a swim, followed by a 30-45 minute power nap/ siesta. It’s pouring rain, so I listen to a mindfulness app to help clear my head.

3:00 PM. A quick check and respond to anything urgent. I’m working on the run sheet for Wednesday night’s live footy show “The Naked Punt” and get the draft across to the team.

5:00 PM – Zoom call with the show hosts to go over the draft script.

6:55 PM – review my item list for tomorrow morning.

7:00 PM-8:30 PM – play with dog, dinner and time with my beautiful wife. Bed before 9:30 PM.

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

Yes, I am my boss and also work from home, so I decide on priorities. Saying that, as a “customer-focused business, we are very focused on making sure we deliver to customer expectation which means the customer needs take high priority.

Also, at this stage of the business development, then the focus is very skewed towards getting to a sustainable, cash flow positive position and the products/ service to a consistent, scalable offering.

Every business is always in a battle for survival and relevance (whether they know it or not). Still, there are times when you also need to rest, feed and reward your troops and allies. Note: I unapologetically use a military metaphor because this is the reality of capital markets.

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

Work-life balance is good in theory, but my life is not really like that. Let me qualify that statement. If you love what you do, then it’s not “work” it’s art – a form of creative expression.

If you’re interrupted, it takes 20 minutes to get back to where you were so I avoid and dislike the term “multitasking” so to focus. (Sometimes that can be a few days or more).

Saying that, on a mental health note – we should realise that the work we do – does not define who we are. The aim, to achieve a long term “balance” across physical, emotional, family, social, financial, intellectual, creative and spiritual activities.

You need to keep them all developing, but there are times when you need to focus energies to build muscles. Productivity and outcomes are key drivers.

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

Hmmm, interesting. I would say I spend far less time on social media and only check it three or four times per day AND have stopped watching any shit reality TV. I still love the footy – that’s my escape.

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

I’m a prolific reader – from a marketing perspective, I’m a big fan of Mi-3 podcast, marketing week, Mumbrella’s Saturday summary, Seth’s daily posts and the Blinkist audiobook summaries. Favourite books – Storybrand, Relentless, Back of Napkin and Write to Right, Robert Greens 42 Rules of Power is also pretty good.

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

No, it’s all just technology (which is there to make our life easier) BUT, my favorite tech for the last few years is NDI which is shaking up the video production industry – it’s video transport over a LAN.

I’d then add Unreal Engine which is about to have a significant impact from a virtual production element.

From an audio perspective – then Voicemeeter is very cool.

Hardware -then I love the photo and video quality of my Huawei P30.

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

Steve Jobs.

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

Life is not a preset filter where worth is based on popularity – find your passion(s), learn, make mistakes, master the art in the machines and have fun.

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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.