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A Day in the Life: Pure SEO's Richard Conway

A Day in the Life: Pure SEO's Richard Conway

Richard Conway is the founder and CEO of searching engine optimisation company, Pure SEO. He is also on the board of The Well Foundation and the author of a book called How to Get to the Top of Google Search: A Practical SEO Guide. Here's how he gets through the day, how he organises his time and how he practices resilience. 

What time do you wake up?

At the latest 7am when our room is invaded by our little people, Ethan (8) and Amber (5).

What kind of work do you do?

Business strategy and growth. Mentoring and motivating the leaders in our organisation. Speaking at events, writing articles (and a book!)

What’s the ideal way to start your day?

With good news, I am an eternal optimist and try and look for the good in most situations. If something really positive happens first thing in the morning, I know its going to be a good day.

Do you have any morning rituals?

I used to have morning rituals before having kids. Nowadays, mornings revolve around getting them ready for school and checking my days schedule.

How soon do you begin doing work-related things each morning, such as checking phone or emails?

Not long after I get up. I like to know what is going on and make sure I am on top of everything.

What’s your media consumption or interaction like – which podcasts, radio, videos, books, magazines, and new sites do you read or listen to?

I read and consume a lot of media. I have a subscription to The Times and NBR. I read online publications like Idealog, Stoppress, Stuff and BBC daily.  I love podcasts and am currently burning through How I Built This with Guy Raz. Locally I have recently started listening to Business is Boring with Simon Pound. I tend to read most nights before I go to sleep, I have no favorite genre; just read what I am in the mood for. Could be a Jack Reacher novel or a business book.

What do you think is unique about the way you approach your work?

With anything I do for the business, it must meet the following criteria:

  • If I was to be on the receiving end of that service or communication, would I be happy?
  • If what I did made the front page of a national newspaper, would I be happy with it?

If the answer is no to either of those questions, I won’t do it.

What responsibility do you have in a typical day? What takes up most of your time?

Most of my day is spent meeting with stakeholders; our leadership team, our board, clients, mentors, other business owners and more.

Where do your best ideas come from?

The best ideas always come when I take time out of the business. I regularly go to talks, conferences or just take myself away for a coffee and just think.

What does resilience look like to you?

Everyone has hardships in life. Since I moved to New Zealand there have been some pretty significant events in my life… recurrent miscarriages, Emily (my wife) getting cancer, my business partner passing away in a freak accident. I think resilience comes from how you cope with and move on from these experiences. It is very easy to let negativity and malaise take over.

Resilience is when these things knock you down, but you keep dusting yourself off. Getting up to face the world when you just want to stay in bed and hide. Showing kindness and compassion to others even when the times are rough for you.

What has been the most transformational business practice you’ve implemented at your work?

The implementation of systems and processes.  I am not naturally a systems and process type of guy, luckily I have awesome people who are.

With anything I do for the business, it must meet the following criteria: If I was to be on the receiving end of that service or communication, would I be happy? If what I did made the front page of a national newspaper, would I be happy with it? If the answer is no to either of those questions, I won’t do it.

What social or environmental issues inform the work you do, as well as what you’re aiming to do with your company’s overall vision?

As a company, a lot of the initiatives are led by the team. They are a passionate and eclectic bunch. We embrace cultures and diversity and are proud of the multicultural nature of our business.     

Personally, I am on the board of The Well Foundation (because of the great work they do and the experiences I have had) and am helping out Sir Ray Avery with the promotion of his Amigo Bars.

What’s the most enjoyable part of your day?

When someone on the team does something great and they get recognition from their peers.

What about the least enjoyable?

Anything when I am stuck in front of a computer for more than an hour.

Do you have any side hustles you’re juggling alongside being an entrepreneur?

I do quite a bit of mentoring and investing in other businesses.

Do you procrastinate? Is it good or bad?

If a decision has to be made, I make it. If I need to mull something over I do so. I prefer to be decisive.

What’s your best productivity hack?

Do the thing you least want to do first. After that everything else is easy.

Do you measure your accomplishments or productivity? If so, how?

I have a board and investors that I am accountable to.  I measure my success in growth of top line (recurring revenue), staff attrition and client retention numbers.

What’s your interaction with friends and family throughout the day? Can you be both a successful entrepreneur and a good mother/partner/friend?

A lot of my friends are fellow business owners, so I interact with them quite often. I try hard to be a good father and husband… I don’t always succeed.

Do you get stressed? If so, how do you manage it? Do you practice any mindfulness or meditation?

I do get stressed and manage it through massages and exercise. I go kickboxing or boxing three to four times a week and try and have a massage at least every fortnight.

What do you do once you get home? Can you switch off?

My mind never really switches off – I’m not built that way. Saying that I love spending time with my kids and try and read to them most nights before bed.

What do or don’t you eat or drink to maintain your performance throughout the day?

A lot of my job is networking and meeting people, therefore I drink a lot of coffee and will have a few wines if I am out in the evening. I am trying to consume less meat, partly for ethical reasons and partly for environmental reasons (plus my wife is a vegetarian).

What time do you go to sleep? How many hours sleep do you try to get each night? Any special techniques for a good night’s rest?

Sleep is not my forte. I can get anything between four and eight hours a night, depending on what is on my mind.

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