Hao Nguyen is the Head of Content at The Nudge Group, Producer at Give It A Nudge and Editor in Chief at Balance The Grind.
1) To kickstart, could you share about your current role, what the company does and a bit about your career background?
Sure thing. I started out in the media & communications world, landing my first job at a PR agency. Over the years, I transitioned more into marketing, with a big focus on content marketing, working at various in-house and agency roles.
Right now, I’m the Head of Content at The Nudge Group. We started out as a recruitment agency designed to work with start-ups, scale-ups and accelerated growth businesses. Over the past couple years, we’ve evolved into a global ecosystem that is primarily focused on helping companies grow and scale across the world.
2) Can you describe what your typical workday looks like?
Working in the start-up and scale-up world is super exciting, you’re always learning something new everyday and working on a cool project. On a typical day, I might be booking guests for our video podcast show, Give it a Nudge, drafting a new daily routine article for Balance the Grind, working on a webinar presentation with our CEO, filming online training videos, promoting our partners on social media, and collaborating with PR agencies to profile their clients. That’s just to give you an idea.
3) What does personal growth mean to you?
That’s a great question, and honestly, I’ve never thought about it before. I guess personal growth to me would mean that I’ve evolved in a positive way, compared to who I was, 3 months, 12 months, 5 years or however long ago. I like to think that looking back in the past, I’ve been able to learn from every experience I’ve had, whether positive or negative, and apply that in my life moving forward. But I’m not quite sure, and it’s probably something I’m going to be thinking about a lot more now.
4) What does it mean to grow in your career? How do you measure your career growth?
I have no idea to be honest. If you had asked a younger me, I probably would have said my salary or title would be a good measure of career growth. But as I’ve gotten older, there are other things that I think are way better indicators of career satisfaction, such as:
Feeling happy at work
Being surrounded by smart, positive people
Working on interesting and challenging projects
Learning something new on a regular basis
Getting a tiny bit better at whatever you do, every single day
5) Aside from your full-time job, is there anything else you like to do outside work?
As a side hustle, I love creating websites and building an audience. Balance the Grind actually started out as a little blog that I wrote for during the evenings and weekends, which has since been acquired. I’ll probably start up another website in the near future, totally unrelated to what I do at work. Maybe in the hip hop space, or even food & travel. I’ll keep you posted!
6) Are there any books, podcasts or apps that have been helpful for your growth?
The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz
Lost and Founder: A Painfully Honest Field Guide to the Startup World by Rand Fishkin
It Doesn't Have to Be Crazy at Work by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson
Founders at Work by Jessica Livingston
Draft No. 4: On the Writing Process by John McPhee
On Writing Well by William Zinsser
On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King
Give It A Nudge
The Tim Ferriss Show
The Business of Content
The Knowledge Project with Shane Parrish
How I Built This with Guy Raz
This Week in Startups
7) Any tips you’d like to share for those who are looking to venture into similar roles?
In my opinion, it’s a content creator’s world right now. You’ve got platforms like TikTok, Shopify and Substack that have really emerged to empower people to build full-blown businesses by following their passions. If you’re looking to get into the media or marketing space, my best advice would be to go out there and start building your own thing. Create an ecommerce shop, start a newsletter, whatever it is, just start doing it. I’ve learnt more from setting up a website, cold-calling potential guests and building an audience, than I ever did from a four-year university course.
8) Finally, what is the one quote you always live by?
French novelist, Gustave Flaubert, once said: “Be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work.” This was a quote I stumbled on when reading about how famous artists and writers structured their day. I wouldn’t say that I necessarily live by this quote, but it certainly strikes a chord and never fails to make me smile whenever I read it.
Are you based in Sydney, Australia? The Nudge Group is hiring!
Check out their open roles for on their careers page!
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