I’ve been following Matt for a few years now on Instagram. He’s got a great eye for design and I’ve enjoyed following his journey from South Africa to Australia. I just love his (new) approach to life and very much aspire to some of his answers myself!
Title: Matt Allison, Social Media & Content Strategist
1. ) How did your business/blog/website come about? How was this idea born and what lead you to do what you’re doing now?
Over the years I’ve had several businesses/blogs/websites, all of them started out of a place of personal growth and self-development.
Blogging though has never been the end result or my primary business focus, but rather a tool, leveraging skills to become an influencer in a field(s) of interest which has led to opportunities to speak, write and engage with my target audience.I use these skills daily as a social media & content strategist.
I’m currently working on a content strategy for an office fitout company here in Sydney whose clients include Breville, McDonalds & IKEA.
2.) Tell us about your morning routine. Any specific rituals / productivity aspects etc.
I don’t have an alarm, waking naturally or am awoken by our two young children, anywhere between 5.15-6.30am. The first thing I do is simple stretches, open the blinds, window and make our bed. I won’t leave the room without making the bed. I don’t check e-mails till after breakfast and we don’t allow tech at the table. We eat meals together every day, breakfast and dinner.
3.) What inspires you?
My faith, family & friends. We live simple lives and over the years I have mellowed out. While I work hard and am focussed, I’m beyond being consumed by work, rather putting that energy into my family, making and collecting memories and carving out time for relationships that are important to me.
4.) Biggest lesson you’ve learnt?
To go easier on myself. I used to burn the candle at both ends, was regularly burnt out and it took a long time to develop an internal road map of what’s essential vs. trivial and to focus my time and energy on former.
5.) Biggest failure so far?
Failure is just an exercise in learning something new, and I’m always learning. I’ve “failed” more times than I’ve succeeded, but that’s what learning process is. I start all new ideas with an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) and am ruthless with giving myself a 3-month timeframe to see what can be learned, gleaned or earned in that time. Some have failed miserably; others have had mild success and I’ve gone on to sell several businesses sometimes as a going concern, other times the IP or as recently, just a domain name/media accounts I had that I wasn’t using.
6.) Biggest Success so far?
I’ve been truly blessed in my work, whatever that has been, and it’s changed over the years. I’ve created and sold businesses in different fields/niches and travelled the world doing what I love. These are all successes in themselves, each of them has taught me something, even if that’s been to fail, gloriously.
7.) Your work space? Clean & Minimal or Eclectic and colourful – what would we find on your desk?
Clean, I’m a sell proclaimed minimalist. My desk was handmade for me by Cape Town based craftsman Dan Saks and I sit on a ’simple’ Herman Miller / Eames DSW Chair. You’ll find a cutting mat, several moleskin journals and my favourite Muji gel pens. Technology is limited to my MacBook and iPhone.
8.) Top 3 entrepreneurial tips?
It’s going to sound like a cliche, but eat well, exercise and get enough sleep. I cook our meals from scratch daily with fresh ingredients, walk 10,000 steps, cycle a few kilometres and am in bed my 11 pm. My life is routine except for carving out time to do nothing. I’ll get lost in the city, eat at my favourite Ramen bar or read a book a park. It’s in these spaces new and exciting ideas form.
9.) Who are you currently listening to?
I struggle to write/concentrate with music with a lot of lyrical content so I use a Spotify playlist aptly named “Music for Concentration” as well as Swedish folktronica band from Göteborg called Wintergatan. The Japanese House is another firm favourite out of the UK, I got to watch them perform in Sydney a few months ago, and are well worth a listen.
10.) Your best marketing tool?
11.) Dream Big Right? What’s next for you?
It’s going to sound underwhelming, but I’m thinking small. I’m taking time out for my family, we’ve lowered our overheads, embraced minimalism, sold off 90% of our possessions and moved half way across the world and are freeing up time and money to be able to do more, with less. These years with our young children are fleeting and so I’ve only been taking on freelance work that really interests me and have cut my working week back to 10-15 hours. For how long? Well, that’s the question I don’t have an answer for, right now.
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