Pressure proofing brains, decluttering minds, and future-proofing the careers of the good, the great, and the magnificent.
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In an effort to keep up, stay relevant, and stop the spotlight on your front turning into a target on your back, you push your brain to the brink, run your nervous system into the ground, and drive your loved ones up the wall, with an immune system that's battered to buggery, and a subconscious that's soaked in fear.
Yet despite what the self-help brigade may say, the mindfulness bores may preach, and the coaching cowboys may insist, following your breath, aligning your chakras, and colouring in a silly little Wheel of Life, is NOT the way to future-proof your career, optimise your performance, and keep your sanity in check as the madness is going on all around you.
Executive Creative Director, MediaMonks
"I was skeptical about professional coaching at first. To me it seemed like a selfish and indulgent thing to do. But Matt’s coaching hasn’t only helped me personally, it’s been absolutely instrumental to my success at work."
Creative Partner, M&C Saatchi PR
"Matt’s phenomenal insight, expertise and sound practical advice has had an enormously positive impact on my life, accelerating my career at the same time as helping me achieve a greater work/life balance. A scenario I'd written off a long time ago as simply not being possible."
Associate Director, Ketchum
"Matt has had a profound impact on my life. First, he extricated me from the wreckage of trauma. Then he gave me the tools and methodologies for improving well-being and focus in my personal and professional lives. I feel extraordinarily fortunate beyond words to have been able to work with him."
In a pressure-cooker business like ours, where sharpness of thinking, depth of thought, and an unflappable sense of self, purpose, and perspective can mean the difference between burning bright and burning out, pummelling your number one tool-of-the-trade into submission is not a good idea.
But thanks to masochistic working practices, poor modelling strategies, and next to no mental fitness regime, we've become so mentally and emotionally obese that the bulldozers in our head continue to collide, the hope in our hearts continues to wane, and the chatter in our mind continues to ask, "Why do we fucking bother?"
Over the years I’ve asked hundreds of creative leaders if this volatile state of mind is something they resonate with, and the stats are nothing short of depressing...
Like it or not, your brain is not designed to be on a war-footing every single day of the week. And when it is, the fight or flight hormones which flood your nervous system don't just hijack your happiness, castrate your creativity, and run a zombie knife through your relationships, they literally overstimulate healthy brain cells to death.
We experience this cell suicide as brain fog, a sluggish memory, free-floating anxiety, and a psychological bias towards self-sabotage. But do we take any of these warning signs seriously? Do we fuck.
Instead of stepping back and repairing the damage we plough on regardless, drowning ourselves in guilt, shame, and frustration, as we fly blind into yet another emotional shit-storm.
And as the fog gets denser, and the sleep gets shitter, we tell ourselves that stress is our fuel, fear is our motivation, and one of these days all of this madness will pay off. Which you and I both know is bullshit.
Group Creative Director, FOX
When you can’t see the wood for the trees, have lost sight of your end goal, and seriously need to re-focus yourself, you call Matt. He has the ability to reignite the original passion and energy which once oozed at the start of your professional journey. He builds your confidence, helps you gain clarity, and sets you on the path to being a leader in your field!
Creative Director, Portas
"Matt is magic. He has helped me immensely with the mindset to be a more inspiring leader, and given me practical tools I use on a daily basis with my team to better our performance. He’s a bloody great guy, super supportive, and always a bunch of fun. Absolutely no bull-crap leadership theory going on here, Matt is the real deal who gets results."
Co-Founder and ECD, Who Wot Why
"It's very easy to lose perspective in this business. Matt restores perspective. It helps that he's a proper creative and understands the pressure creative people put on themselves to come up with great ideas. His advice has not only helped restore that perspective but also given me a unique angle on the creative process which has actually improved the work itself. Bonza."
Not because I got fired or made redundant.
Not Jean from Scunthorpe or Stuart from Gateshead.
Head of Content, BMF Sydney
"I was a cynic, a big one at that, I did not believe that by visualising a couple of scenarios every day, I could change the way I thought. How wrong I was. For a long time, we wanted to move to Australia but I always found a barrier. I had two sessions with Matt where he introduced me to visualisation techniques and they made a huge difference. It’s one of the reasons we are living in Australia today. Best money I ever spent... and I genuinely mean that too!"
Founder & ECD, Hunter
"When you reach a certain rung on your career ladder you find yourself consumed by all types of pressure. You’re constantly looked to for leadership, answers and inspiration. Yet in that maelstrom, who do you look to for that same sort of inspiration? Where can you find that same sort of energy you want to install in others again and again? That same swagger you had when you started out on your journey. A chat to Matt can help reinstall that original passion and energy which made you step forth in the first place."
Chief Strategy Officer, TBWA
"Working with Matt has been brilliant. He takes you on a journey towards knowing yourself. We connected emotionally when talking about stuff which allowed for truth and openness. He prods and questions, and sometimes he just sits in silence, intuitively knowing that things are becoming clear to you and not wanting to disrupt a breakthrough. He helped me to create a compelling vision for what I wanted to do and gave me a clear sense of purpose again. I came away from our sessions feeling energised. Matt is a master at what he does."
Creative Director, Grayling Ignite
"Matt has an incredible ability to unshackle you from the pressures work and life put on you. To understand and hold close the things that are meaningful and motivating and discard those that aren't. In the time that I've spent with Matt, I've never felt more creatively free, balanced and energised. I hold Matt entirely responsible for that. His understanding of the creative industry and ability to delve deeper into your values makes his skills, unquestionably, the best weapon to have in your creative arsenal."
Head of Art, BBH London
"I can’t thank Matt enough. He has helped me clear my head to be an effective leader. To see what I was doing was right, even if some around me did not. He helped me harness my confidence back. He’s a great guy and is incredibly easy to talk to, he’s flexible and understands the pressures of the workspace that I’m in. The sessions are very open, fun and frank and are not rigid or forced and flow in the direction that feels right. I genuinely feel a huge sense of gratitude as Matt helped me at an incredibly crucial moment in my career."
Head of Consumer, Grayling
"At the start of this year I felt at a crossroads, and was having a crisis of confidence. I knew instantly that Matt was the one to talk to. He's easy to open up to, full of empathy, funny, and generous with his time. But most importantly, unlike other coaches, Matt allows you to seamlessly blend personal and professional challenges together, without judgment - because he just gets it. And let's face it, anyone trying to divide work and home self in 2019 isn't on the same page of what being a successful leader or human is all about."
Unlike it's caustic counterpart (fear) flow is the performance enhancing neurochemical cocktail that's supercharging the synapses of your creative brain when you're feeling your best and performing your best.
Bathing your mental wetware in a powerful combination of dopamine, serotonin, endorphin, anandamide and noradrenaline, the effortful becomes effortless, time bends in your favour, and nothing feels out of your control, beyond your capabilities, or scary as fuck.
This is the most potent state of sustainable high performance you can possibly be in. A heightened level of consciousness which shuts down the inner voice of doom, face-plants self-sabotaging thoughts and emotions, and ramps up the brains creative capabilities by 500%, accelerates its productivity by 700%, and more than doubles the speed it takes to learn and integrate new skills and behaviours.
And as if that wasn't enough, flow is medically recognised as being the brain's naturally occurring anti-depressant.
Founding Partner, Worksmiths
"What Matt has helped me achieve this year has been nothing short of monumental. In the past I've been a little suspicious of professional coaching - do they really get the pressures? Is their experience applicable to my situation? Do they understand the creative mindset? I can wholeheartedly recommend working with Matt if you have doubts such as these. Handling personal pressures, a very intense TV appearance, huge pitches in the day job, and navigating the weirdness that is launching a startup was only made possible for me by working with Matt. Acting as 'a springboard, not a crutch' is the best articulation of his work."
Film Editor, Big Chop
"Matt and I have been friends/colleagues for a while. When I needed some guidance and focus in my life I asked Matt for help. I will be honest and say that I thought I would be uncomfortable talking to Matt and that would hinder the whole process. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Matt is brilliant. He listens, advises, helps and guides and does so with understanding and experience. I thought that it would take a lot of time for me to see a way out of the forest but Matt helped me see it very quickly. Furthermore he is always accessible and always on point with his advice to guide you to a positive frame of mind."
Co-Founder and ECD, Nice and Serious
"It’s fair to say that I felt lost. I had been running a creative business for 9 years and I was struggling to see the role I had to play in taking it forward. When you’re at the top, it’s not always obvious who to turn to. That’s where Matt came in. He combines an understanding the creative industry with an understanding of what makes leaders tick. Over a period of 6 months Matt helped me figure out what I needed as an individual and how that translated to my role in growing my business. The whole process gave me clarity and a renewed vigour in my working life. The business is now doing better and so am I."
Partner and Executive Creative Director, Brooklyn Brothers
"Gentle, smart, intuitive, funny. That's Matt. Coming from a creative background, he understands the demands and realities of business and the challenges growing personally within that bottom-line environment. Mix that with his general good human-ness, and he understands people and what they may be feeling and aspiring too. He's easy to talk to, focused and smart and has given me advice on both a business and personal level."
Digital CD, iP2Entertainment
"Matt's head on your screen will become a mirror of yourself. Gentle yet full of confronting questions that'll lead you into answering fundamental "WHYs" about your creative career and yourself. But beware that, by the time you reach the realisation that "I want to do great work and not burn out trying!", you'll be just getting started. Matt will help you dig deeper into your driving values, replacing delusion with honesty even if truth is scary. Only then you'll be ready to start connecting those realisations with actions to become a better creative leader. And you'd begin to suspect that was Matt's plan all along. The sneaky bastard."
Marketing Director, FOX & National Geographic
"A lot of people want to be successful and don't understand WHY and WHO they want to be when they get there. Matt has really helped me to focus on what is important to me both in my career and personal life. He pushed me to go outside my comfort zone and asked the tough questions. His approach to coaching is one that is honest and approachable, which really worked for me."