We had the good fortune of connecting with Bob Bradley and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Bob, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
Over time many will face the true value of time head-on, and realize that perhaps the amount of wide-open time available in their late teens and early twenties begins to tighten. This is completely normal, and for someone like myself who is driven but also has a family and kids figuring out that work life balance situation was critical. For those who have their own business, freelance or even work from home, it has been a year to really figure out that game plan to maximize time dedicated to work, creativity and everything else that is valuable (family, leisure, vacations etc). Over the last 20 years of my life, I have transitioned from being a college grad to becoming a full-time touring musician, to then returning to working in different types of jobs and freelance roles. As my lifestyle changed, and music became more of a hobby, I realized the only way to stay sane was to “time block” my activities to the best of my ability. This didn’t necessarily mean living life hour by hour on schedule, but more-so being mindful and scheduling the most important things, without compromise or deviation from the plan. I don’t really see things as work-life balance, especially if you enjoy the career and have a healthy amount of time dedicated to family, which matters the most. The idea of 9-5pm was ingrained in my mind and over time I learned to let go of that standard, and I stopped placing value on the “hours worked equals hours paid” model. As my skills got better and I took on higher-profile clients, it became about the results and relationships, more than X amount of hours equals the amount you made. So I think of it being peaks and valleys, being mindful of the time spent on my work and if some weeks I have to work 12 hour days, then so be it. For other weeks, if I’m ahead of the curve and it’s a little slower on time sensitive tasks, that time can be dedicated to more of what you love outside of work.
What should our readers know about your business?
I have been working as a publicist for just about 14 years now. I got started in the business after spending years touring in a band and going to college. I had other jobs during that time frame, but none of those were considered long term career potential. Although I was fortunate to have training and mentorship during my first couple jobs in digital marketing/PR, when I went out on my own and freelanced for different companies it was indeed challenging. Some of those barriers can be finding clients, building journalist contacts and of course getting those crucial results that make both you and the client happy. I have learned to always be in the mindset of learning, to never settle but also be easy on myself during the journey. Celebrating wins is also important, as it helps me stay motivated and know that there are milestones to achieve. It can be easy to take everything day by day, and forget about all those victories that you had over the days, months and years. As far as my brand, I want to be known for my hands on approach and empathy towards the needs of my clients. It’s easy for people to phone it in and get comfortable when success finds their way, but it’s crucial to stay curious and passionate about learning. I credit that to being able to stay a freelancer/small business owner without hitting a wall during slower times.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I would take them to the beach areas to have drinks and food (outdoors) around the resort hotels in Huntington/Newport. Another day may be spent hiking around Laguna or Tustin/Orange area trails to soak in nature and to discuss life and ideas. To note though, these questions are also being asked during a pandemic, so there would be a lot more on the itinerary once things clear up in the world. Nothing beats taking a trip down the 5 fwy by the ocean as well, maybe rent a cool luxury car and pop the top down.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There is a PR Czars group on Facebook that I have been a part of for many years. It’s a great networking and opportunity forum for publicists and other journalists seeking to connect on both opportunities and sharing of ideas, thoughts and challenges. In retrospect I learn more from reading posts in that group than from most other sources, so I wanted to give Jennifer and that group a huge shout out of gratitude!
Brad Alexander Heather Thomas Ashley Bradley