We had the good fortune of connecting with Marcus Maximo and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Marcus, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?

Balance is everything, especially when you have a family and children. Finding balance is essential to conducting a happy and healthy life, and to me, balance means being truly present in the moment.  If I’m playing with my son, for example, my heart and soul are there with him, not with my work obligations or anywhere else for that matter.

I didn’t always possess this mindset, however. I use WhatsApp to communicate with my work team, and I used to be connected to it 24/7.

As my wife and I are immigrants without family nearby, once the pandemic hit, we had to work from home while managing a three-year-old boy who was full of energy. Believe it or not, this situation significantly changed our lives for the better because it forced us to find a balance in order to survive all the chaos around us. From that moment onward we stabilized many of our routines, started exercising, spending real, quality time with our son, and practicing our hobbies, among other things.

Another important lesson that I learned about balance is that most of us look to leaders’ and other famous individuals’ lives and routines for inspiration, but I determined that this is a useless practice. For example, I don’t foresee myself getting into a bathtub full of ice at 5 a.m. to start my days, simply because that’s not who I am, and that isn’t who most people are. Once I realized this, I was able to understand myself better and create my own routine, and this was hugely beneficial when I had to figure out a work life balance!

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?

People help other people! This is my motto for both my personal and professional lives. At an early age, we have to make a difficult decision when choosing our profession, and then we network, gain job experience, go on business trips, learn other languages, etc… and many years of our lives go by while we are preparing ourselves to reach higher positions within big corporations and make more money.

I believe that preparation and mastering a subject are incredibly important in our career pursuits, but I believe that the relationships we forge with others to be the most important factor. That’s right, it’s people! You can have five doctorate degrees under your belt, but if you aren’t engaged with people and creating a real network with real people (which is not the same as making 1,000 or more connections on LinkedIn), you may struggle to move the needle in your favor. Aside from that, always be willing to help, spend your time, and share your knowledge without necessarily reaping any financial rewards. Just do it! Provide your assistance, be proactive in helping other people, and I’m sure that great things will come your way!

This is how I started Natural Farm. I was asked by a friend of a friend to validate their product within the US market. Did I request money for that? Of course not! I simply said, “Tell me what you want, and I will help you.” He was not residing in the US and he had no knowledge of American culture. As a favor to him, I went out and performed market research, took photos, spoke with FDA and USDA representatives, I did everything I could to assist… only for the product to never reach the US market because it wasn’t a good fit.

But guess what? Weeks later he called me saying that he had two investors who wanted to start a new business in the US, and he recommended me to take on the challenge. That was it! That is basically how Natural Farm began.

With that in mind, be the best that you can be in whatever it is that you love, but never forget to give, because on this little planet on which we live, we only truly have each other.

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 love jazz music, so I would take my friend to New York to visit Bill’s Place which is one of the last remaining speakeasy bars in town. It’s located in Harlem, and it was also the first place that Billie Holiday was invited to sing professionally. It’s a really small establishment where you have to bring your own food and drinks, but it’s absolutely worth the visit.

To eat, I would take my friend to a Brazilian bakery to experience some delicious cakes and other pastries.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My son Liam deserves credit and recognition, but he is too young to know that yet at only five years old. When the opportunity to start the company came to me, Liam was just a baby. I was unemployed at the time and the challenge was daunting. I remember standing by his crib and holding a mental conversation with him. That day, I understood what it meant to be a father, and without even knowing it, Liam was encouraging me to say “yes” to that unique challenge in my life to provide him with a better present and a better future.

Website: www.naturalfarmpet.com

Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/marcusmaximo

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