PTBM Logo H5

The Power Of Continuous Improvement | Manish Mak

Today’s Guest Manish Mak

Meet Mak, a media marketing expert with a passion for pushing boundaries and finding new and emerging media channels. With over 12 years of experience working with some of the world's largest advertising agencies and clients, Mak has overcome many challenges in his career, from making the decision to become an entrepreneur to navigating the relentless pace of the media industry. He's led global media strategy for brands like Coca-Cola, Sony, and Shell, and has won multiple industry awards for his work.

Mak is also a DJ and music producer, with a love for music that has influenced his career in media. He is the Founder and CEO of Formula Media, a cutting-edge agency that's focused on using data-driven media advertising to make a positive impact in the world. Mak is passionate about diversity and inclusion in the workplace and is interested in the intersection of media and technology, particularly in areas like AI and machine learning.

  • Mak's biggest challenge was confidence, particularly in his early twenties when he entered the media and music industry. He overcame this challenge through pushing himself out of his shell and being in the limelight, despite his introverted nature. His entry into the BBC Asian Network was part of a deal with his record label, and he found the experience of being on the radio and connecting with millions of listeners to be both rewarding and emotionally challenging.
  • Mak discusses the importance of believing in oneself and embracing feedback in order to overcome fear and build confidence, which is an evolving process that never stops. It is important to enjoy the journey and understand that different challenges require different approaches.
  • Despite tough times and personal challenges, Mak launched his business Formula Media in 2019 and secured a pro bono project for the Prince's Trust, which became an award-winning campaign, by pulling together support from friends and colleagues and committing to seeing it through no matter what.
  • Mak stays motivated and recharges himself through discipline and balancing two sides of himself - one that is always focused on growth and building, and the other that is more relaxed and calm. He practices hot yoga, goes to the gym, practices breathing techniques, does meditation, spends time with loved ones, and tries to minimize drinking to maximize his productivity.
  • Mak plans to focus on utilizing AI to take away laborious tasks and open up time for creative thinking while applying media for good and diversity. He also aims to establish a bigger purpose for Formula Media.

Links for Manish

Links & Resources from today’s show

Sponsor for this episode

At Aurion Media, we're committed to helping you set up and run your own successful podcast to grow your business and impact.

"You know what? I have found running my own podcast to be really rewarding. It opens doors to amazing people like nothing else I have seen. I have built networks, made friends, and had a platform to champion my customers, my team and my suppliers. I think just about any entrepreneur, or business leader should have a podcast because it has had a huge impact on my own businesses." - Matt Edmundson.

Is Podcasting Right For Your Business?

This is a great question and one we think you should really think about. Podcasting is proving to be a great tool to open doors to dream clients, network and build phenomenal customer relationships. But we know that podcasting might not be right for everyone. That's why we have put together a free online workshop to help you decide if Podcasting is right for you and your business as well as to understand what is involved for you.

Is Podcasting hard?

It certainly doesn't have to be. The technology has got easier and cheaper, so the trick is making sure your strategy is right from the start. Most podcasts end because it was started on a whim or even a good that just wasn't thought through or planned. Once you've got that in place, it's then about the right guests and consistency which all comes down to the team that you have around you that can help with this. No worries if you don't have a team...Aurion has a series of done-for-you services that can help you get the right strategy and bring the consistency you need to have real impact on your business.

Want to know more?

Visit our website for more info. We'd love to help!

Manish: was recognized by Facebook as a Best-in-class campaign, which they were mentioning to take to the UN as a best in class during the pandemic. It was like jaw-dropping stuff, but tough and we just had to get through it. My resilience just came from Right. You've now committed yourself and, and I'm a strong believer in once you commit yourself to something, whether it's sort of financially, emotionally, you gotta see it through. No matter, no matter where it lands, you've just gotta carry on.

Matt: Welcome to Push To Be More with me, your host. Matt Edmundson. Now this is a show that talks about the stuff that makes life work and to help us do just that I am chatting with today's guest, Manish Mak from Formula Media. Now we're just gonna call him Mak because this is the name that he goes by. Uh, and so if you hear me calling him Mak throughout the podcast, I'm not being disrespectful.

Uh, he's from Formula Me, uh, formula Media, and we're gonna be talking about where he's had to push through, what he does to recharge his batteries and to be as well as what he does to be more. Now the show notes and transcript from our conversation will be available on our website, And on our website you can also sign up for our newsletter.

And each week we will email you the links from the conversation, uh, the transcripts and all that stuff gets sent to your inbox automagically and it's direct and it's free. So make sure you sign up for that. Now this episode is brought to you by Aurion Media, which helps entrepreneurs and business leaders set up and run their own successful podcast.

You know what? I have found running my own podcast to be insanely rewarding. It opens doors to amazing people like nothing else I have seen. I have built networks. I have made friends and had a platform to champion my customers, my team, and my suppliers, and I think just about any entrepreneur or business leader should really think about having a podcast because it's had such a huge impact on my own business, which of course sounds great in theory, but in reality, there's the whole problem of setting up distribution, getting the tech right, knowing what the right podcast strategy is. I mean, the list goes on.

You see, I love talking to people. Just not a big fan of all that other stuff, if I'm honest with you. So Aurion Media takes it all off my plate. I get to do what I do. Chat to people all day and the team take care of the rest. Uh, so if you are wondering if podcasting is a good marketing strategy for your business, check out That's A U R I O N media dot com. We will of course link to them on the website, push to be more as well. You can find them either way, but do check them out.

Okay, so that's the show sponsor. That's Aurion Media. Let's talk about Mak, who is a media marketing expert with a passion for pushing boundaries and finding new and emerging media channels. Now, with over 12 years of experience working with some of the world's largest ad agencies and clients, Mak has overcome many challenges in his career from making the decision to become an entrepreneur to nega, uh, negating? Navigating the relentless pace of the media industry.

He's led global media strategy for brands like Coke, Sony and Shell and has won multiple industry awards for his work. Mak, in case he has any spare time, is also a DJ and music producer with a love for music that has influenced his career in media. He's the founder and CEO of Formula Media, a cutting-edge agency that's focused on using data driven media advertising to make a positive impact on the world.

He is passionate about diversity inclusion in the workplace, and is interested in the intersection of media and technology, particularly as we all are at the moment in areas like AI and machine learning. Mak, welcome to the show, man. Great to have you. How are you doing today?

Manish: Yeah, I'm good. Thank you for having me on the show, Matt. I've been, um, it's a busy the start of the week, uh, doing proposals to the US and catching up, actually working over the weekend. So actually catching up on some sleep this morning actually. Um, I was working late last night that, that's been my day, if I'm honest.

Matt: Yeah, no fair. Are you one of these guys that will, um, That will do that? Will work late into the night and sleep later in the morning. You, you sort of work better at night or are you an early bird kind of a guy?

Manish: Well, it's, it's a, that's a good question. I've been both, I've been an early bird and I've been a night owl and it just depends on, to be honest, it's a, it's a, I try and balance my time based on what it's, what is required.

So if, for example, I've got a big proposal on a Monday and I haven't had time to work on it, then that means the weekend's out. You know, I'm working on it and I'm working nights, and then I'll catch up on my sleep in the, in the morning. Um, so, you know, I'll get up at nine o'clock, 10 o'clock, um, but then when I've got a nice clear, uh, day and it's not so bad, I'll get up early and, you know, I'll make the most of the day.

So there's no routine per se in that sense. I just tackle what I need to as, um, as and when it comes along. Whatever It's, it's, is happening. Yeah.

Matt: Yeah. No fair. Well, to be fair, I used to be one of those guys that could quite happily work late into the night and would sleep, you know, quite happily late in the morning and, and I would quite happily work at one, two o'clock in the morning, and then I had kids.

Manish: Right. Yeah. There you go. Actually. Early morning starts.

Matt: Yeah, so my whole life switched around rapidly, which is quite fascinating. So, uh, Mak, listen, like I said, great to have you on the show. Now one of the things that we were talking about, um, And let's start with this. So you were one of the first British Asian guys on the radio to, uh, as it says here, navigate the relentless pace of the media industry.

You've obviously faced and overcome a lot of challenges throughout your career. So let's jump into perhaps what is one of the most pivotable moments in your journey, um, for you, what were some of the things that sort of really stuck at or stuck out, uh, in your journey as challenges?

Manish: Um, probably not a sort of obvious one. Um, you know, I, I mean, I can list all the, the obvious ones, but I won't bore you with those. I think, I think one of the biggest challenges was, um, confidence. Um, for me, establishing confidence, uh, you know, being on radio, um, a presenter on the BBC Asian network and stepping into the limelight if we're talking about my music career here, um, which was the first sort of key challenge in my early twenties.

Um, really, you know, coming out of my shell. I was quite in introverted as a person, so to, to, it was very intrusive, um, you know, having cameras on you or, or, or, you know, being on the radio and, and, and speaking to how, how 3 million, 4 million listeners at the time, um, knowing they're on the other side. It was, yeah.

So it was, it was, it was that sort of, you know, that challenge, that confidence and, and, and trying to overcome my internal battles of, um, fear and, and, and. Uh, judgment and what people may think. And, um, and really then bringing out a personality. So that was the, you know, that for me was one of my first challenges as a sort of young adult, um, moving into the media, um, and music industry, I would say.

Matt: So I, I mean there's a lot there. Geez, right. So you are, uh, on the British, on the BBC's Asian network and so in your early twenties. Can I ask, how did you do, how did you come across that? Was that just something you stumbled into? Was that a very definite decision to do that? Um, how, how, how did that door open?

Manish: Um, it was part of a deal with a record label. So I was signed to, uh, 2.9 records, um, who looked after an artist called Jay Sean. Um, and the Richie Rich Project, which were like, um, as you sort of mentioned, one of the first British Asian um, artists groups to sort of break the charts, you know, uh, we got, we had, you know, as a group kind of collected, we had singles in, in, in the charts.

And we got a show, uh, on KISS FM for two years. And then off the back of that show a tour, Jay Sean's album, a tour for that album. We then got a, uh, signing to the BBC Asian Network for, uh, one year, um, Saturday afternoon shows at, uh, 5:00 PM till 8:00 PM sort of pre club type show. And, um, which we had to drive up to Birmingham every Saturday to do.

And, um, it was, it was great fun, don't get me wrong. And those of sort of road mileage and tie into sort of, um, bond and, and connect. But it was, it was, it was an incredible time in my life. And peaks and troughs of emotion, money, stability, you know, relationships and experience of things. It was phenomenal.

Matt: Yeah. Yeah. I, I, I'm, I'm kind of curious if I can dig into this a little bit.

I'll tell you why I'm kind of curious. Because I like podcasting obviously, and I think, uh, uh, whilst it's not two, 3 million people, uh, yet, I mean, you know, maybe next week, um, it's interesting that when you start a podcast, there is always the, the thing that you mentioned, the fear and the confidence is something that you have to overcome.

And then there's the discovery of your personality, which has to sort of come out. Um, and again, something else, that's something that you mentioned you had to figure out who you were on, on the radio. How did you do that at such a, you know, if I, I don't mean to sound demeaning, but it's, when I say it's such a young age, it makes me sound like an old man, I suppose.

But, um, in your early twenties, it's, you, you, you've gotta figure, figure these two things out. How do I overcome the fear? How do I get confident and how do I be, you know, I suppose me, how do I bring that personality out? How did, I'm just really curious how you did that.

Manish: Um, it's a, it's a, it's a two-fold scenario.

The obvious thing is you've gotta let go. Um, but you know, anyone can easily say, you've gotta let go and, you know, and, and sort of embrace what you're faced with. The truth of the matter and fact of it was that I had to believe in myself and my, my skill and, and, and what I was doing enough to overshadow the fear of judgment and what people may think.

Um, so it was sort of, it was a, a balancing act. Um, you know, uh, a sort of balancing act between, um, you know, feedback of course, which is important, but also, um, just, you know, having that innate belief in yourself. Like that sort of, you know, whatever it is you're doing, do it with conviction and, and, and deliver.

Um, in that moment and that moment should then, you know, have a, have a sort of, um, knock on effect. And, and, and with that knock on effect or be sort of getting better and better, you, you build your confidence. Um, so it's not a, a switch that you turn on, you know, it's a, it's, it's a, it's an evolving and evolutionary process.

Um, that continues. You know, I'm still on that journey. It doesn't, it never stops. Um, you know, it's, it's, I think it's a, it's a, it's, you can enjoy it. There's an, there's, you can eventually enjoy that sort of journey. You know, initially I think when you are a lot younger and you're starting out and you're trying to figure it out, there's a lot of chaos and lot to navigate through and there's a lot of thoughts.

Um, but I think, you know, as you get better with your, your business, your skill, your, your, your artistry or whatever it might be. Mm-hmm. Um, and you deliver that with conviction and you receive the feedback and you realize it's good and it gets better and better you deliver. You start delivering that with confidence.

And then when you deliver it with confidence, you know, uh, sort of slow balls, um, and, and, and it gets easier, um, over time, I think. Um, but then, you know, it does change. Uh, you know, you then sort. You know, I've had, then I've had different challenges, which had to, I had to then sort of step back and be like, okay, I can't apply the exact same methodology elsewhere.

Um, there are parts of it I can apply, but, and there's, you know, there's more to the life than, uh, a simple state of conviction and confidence. Mm-hmm. So I think that was, um, what, what I learnt.

Matt: So how did you go from being a radio DJ in the music industry to heading up, um, formula Media? Because it, it doesn't, I'm not gonna lie, it doesn't strike me as a traditional path, uh, you know, from, from one to the other and I'm, what, what sort of happened there?

What was that quantum leap like?

Manish: Yeah, I mean, there's, there's a few things. Um, I, I studied psychology in my, as a degree. My dad, um, you know, I wouldn't call him out on this, but he, he, you know, he, he was adamant that I followed a sort of, you know, professional route, doctorate route, you know, go down that route. And then I went down music and, you know, coming from my, my dad's Indian and coming from Indian family, they, you know, that's judged upon.

That's you know if you're not an accountant, a doctor or lawyer, um, it's not good enough. Um, It was, you know, there, there was that battle. So, you know, and I, I explored music and I, and I, I faced that, um, that family internal struggle. My mom was very supportive and, you know, and I, and I, and I, and I went forth, uh, with music. But then, um, I did have a passion for um, psychology. That's why I studied it.

And, and, and I, and, and I didn't just choose the degree to sort of get into psychiatry. I did it also from a personal perspective to understand the human mind, human behavior. Mm-hmm. Uh, the evolution of human and technology as well, and that relationship and where that was kneeling towards, that was my, my sort of niche area of interest, so to speak.

Um, but then I, you know, got taken away in the music world and, and I've just sort of summarized what happened, which was great. But it's still, there was something in the back of my mind still saying, niggling away, saying, well, you know, what about revisiting this, um, interest area of yours? So, but then I had no idea how to do this at the age of 26/27.

You know, I'm four or five years into my music career, really deep into tours, DJ, late night, night owl, how I had no idea how to get back to it. So, uh, a friend of mine actually helped me get a job, um, um, at a media company. I, you know, to be honest, you know, I had no, uh, experience on paper at this point, you know?

Mm-hmm. No professional experience on paper. Um, yes, it's great being the kid being on the bbc, but before, before what I was trying to do, I did, all I had was my degree. Um, So I got into a media company, which was essentially selling media. Uh, I was on the sell side of media and I did well, uh, selling because I have the confidence.

I've been on radio to communicate well, et cetera. But, um, I wasn't using my psychological side of my brain enough. Um, so then I, um, I looked into the world of, uh, the agency landscapes and media agencies and what they do and essentially they you know, for those that don't know, um, buy media. So it's all about sort of strategic thinking around audiences and mm-hmm.

What's right for the client, which is tough to get into. It's a very small circle. It's, uh, you know, it's, everyone wants to be in it because sort of the, the, you know, just the fun side, so to speak. A lot of perks and there were a lot of perks, um, pre pandemic. Um, so yeah, I mean, that was the obvious next step.

And then, you know, I, I did the whole agency landscape. Um, I went from, uh, you know, I went to some three, four agencies before starting my own. And that was the path to, to Formula Media.

Matt: So, so, okay. So I'm, I'm now starting to see the path and so how long has Formula Media been going?

Manish: Um, four years now. Just, well, nearly four years.

Matt: So, uh, let me just try and do the math in my head. You started it right at the start of the, well, sort of pre pandemic time.

Manish: Yeah, yeah. Tough, tough time. One of the toughest, craziest times, which, you know, I couldn't anticipate cuz a year later. 2020. Yeah. We all know what happened.

Matt: Yeah. No, none of us predicted Covid. Did we really? Well and that's not true. I think the Simpson, the Simpsons predicted and maybe the movie Contagion. I maybe the,

Manish: yeah, I think so. And I think. Is it Bill Gates or Obama? One of the two mentioned it in a, I think he was Obama talking about it.

Matt: I know it was Bill Gates, wasn't it? Bill Gates. They did that video, didn't they? Uh, which circulated like crazy. Um, in the middle of the pandemic that he'd recorded like a few years before saying we're not ready for this. Uh, and he turned out all the things that he said came to passing it. Like, goodness me, uh, I'm surprised no one's gone. Bill Gates for, you know, president next.

Really? But. So you, you launch your business a year before the, the pandemic. Um, how, I mean, like you say, times were tough. So what, what, how did you get through that? What were some of the things that you, you did, I guess, mentally more than anything? How did you have that resilience?

Manish: Um, you know, going back to that innate beliefs, um, This, this Formula Media, you know, was a concept in my mind from sort of 2016.

You know, uh, it was a few years, two, three years before I actually went ahead and did it. Um, you know, something I wrote down on paper, sat down with a couple of friends, and we sort of mulled over the idea and it sort of sat there in the back pocket. Um, but I think that pivotal times the 2019 on, you know, um, on top of, uh, everything that was happening.

Um, you know, unfortunately, my, my father was diagnosed with cancer as well, so, and then he, and he, you know, he lived with me at the time. I looked after him. So I had this, I, I, I took this decision to, to leave my, my, my old agency job, which is great, you know, as a director there and, you know, good salary, et cetera.

A friend of mine, um, offered me a role at, um, his company, uh, which is a bar chain, a, a cocktail bar chain, um, and, uh, as a sort of stop gap head of marketing interim role where I did that three days a week. And then I, I worked on formula media two days a week, um, which was an open discussion and were happy for me to do that, uh, during sort of 2018 into 2019.

In 2019 and I, I started transitioning them over as a, into a client and, um, um, someone from that company, um, a really, really nice gentleman called Hoppy, introduced me to, um, the Prince's Trust. Mm-hmm. It was, it was a sort of, You know, Matt, I need to meet, I need to meet someone. Um, and um, he took me down to Facebook, um, their offices in, oh gosh, I don't remember.

There, there offices in Soho. And there was this event happening and it was like, um, it, it was business with meeting young people and they were doing sort of a hands handshake scenario around table. Um, Vicky York was the innovation director for the Prince's Trust and she was like, you know, get involved and, and enjoy it.

And then we had this sort of quick chat at the back of the room and it was like, um, Hoppy was like, uh, Mak he is great, you know, he can do all of these great things with media. Vicky's amazing. She's got this amazing concept starting out, uh, called Get Hired with the Prince's Trust. I think you two should speak.

You know, we spoke, we had a chat, and long short of it, she said, look, I have no money to give you. Um, but I've got around 50k to spend on, on sort ads on, on behalf of the Prince's trust. Um, would you be up for sort of helping out? And I went, yeah, that's, I mean, that's the Prince's Trust and you know, I, I could do this pro bono and I knew it'd be great for the sort of, the friends and the, and you know, the, the logo.

And, um, so 2019, end of 2019, we started this project. Um, when we started talking about this project, it didn't really kick off until 2020. Mm-hmm. Uh, you know, March, April time, 2020, um, you know, peak pandemic. Um, so it was, it was all a bit like, oh gosh, you've got Covid, there's no longer face-to-face. You know, you've, you've gotta set up this, this big pro bono project.

Um, and you know, if, if I'm honest, I just pulled together who I could and, and whatever I could to get this off the ground. You know, I, I, I knew I could do, you know, a, a big chunk of it, but to get it right, you know, I needed the right design. I needed the. Um, planners, I needed some, um, you know, just some client support, some, you know, just the, the general agency stuff. I just started calling on friends and people I knew. Um, and I was fortunate enough to sort of get some support at the time, um, and, and, and just power on through, um, delivering this, this campaign.

Thankfully became an award-winning campaign and, um, was recognized by the Drum awards, uh, alongside VMLY&R, which is WPPs, one of the WPPs largest agencies. It was recognized by Facebook as a Best in Class campaign, which they were mentioning to take to the UN and as a best in class in the Pandemic.

Um, it was, it was like, you know, jaw dropping stuff. Um, and, but tough you know, we were doing this. You know, put so no money and try to make, make it work. And I had some sort of other clients to sort of tick us along and, but this was the big one. And, you know, we just had to get through and, and that, that was it.

Just get through it deliberate. And, and that was my, my thinking you know, that that's what my, my, my resilience just came from. Right. You've now committed yourself and, and I'm a strong believer in once you commit yourself to something, whether it's sort of financially, emotionally, mm-hmm. You're gonna see it through.

Yeah. No matter, no matter where it lands or ends up. It might, it might go all the way to crap or it, you know, you might, you might hit the, you know, yeah. You, you might hit the sky, but you've gotta just gotta carry on until you get to that point.

Matt: Yeah, absolutely. Well there's, there's an integrity there isn't there? Uh, and, uh, it makes a big difference and I, I'm kind of. I'm sit here listening to the story and going, this is a phenomenal opportunity, um, that you, you, you've sort of carved out with the Prince's Trust. Um, thanks to, was it Hoppy? Um, which is a great news. It was. Um, and also at the same time, it's, it's a lot of, I get why this is such, um, such a task for want of a better expression.

You know why there's a lot involved with that. So post, post Prince's Trust, right? You, there's, there's a, it's award-winning. Um, it's been recognized by some great companies. Did all of that hard work, um, pay off for you guys? Was there, was there, what's the, the, the proverbial pot of gold at the end of the rainbow? Um, or is it not quite worked out like that?

Manish: I mean, I would say yes. I, I would say it, it, you know, there I had this belief that if we see this through and we do deliver this, cuz I, and I remember having a conversation with one of my colleagues, uh, that was supporting me at time, Billy, um, who it was like Mac, I mean, we are doing all of this and there might be nothing off the back of it.

Hmm. You know, and that's, that's the reality of what, what we're going through right now. Um, and I really had to sort of convince him and myself that there will be, Hmm. Um, you know, what, what gave me that idea? It, it's, it's, it's a sort of, You know, it's, it's, it's for how my, my brain works. I just, I just believe in something and, and, and it usually comes to fruition if, if I, you know, maybe not exactly how I imagined it, but I, I knew this is big and I felt it, and it was, and, and it was something, you know, um, I'm a strong believer in instinct as well, so, you know, if your instinct tells you that something's right. You just go for it. Mm-hmm. And that's all I had. That's literally all I had. And I'll say it was the Prince's Trust, which of course, you know, the King, the King's Trust probably it should be called now. But.

Matt: That's a good point actually. I wonder what they will be calling that. Yeah, yeah.

Manish: Um, so, uh, yeah, at the end of that, of course, like, that was my, my pitch.

You know, we've done this for the Prince's Trust, we can do it for you, you know, and, and we are, we have worked with other charities since, and um another great charity, uh, springboard uk, um, who launched, we launched a program for them called Career Scope, um, which is also sort of helping people or helping the hospitality industry during the pandemic, where, where, where it needed, needed the most to sort of upskill people, provide finance and advice on, on, on how to get into hospitality or, and or move within sort of you're a chef and you know, you wanted to become a more advanced chef and this is the path to do it, um, up in all over the country.

So I was working with the, um, DWP Job Center Plus, um, and the Springboard charity launching this program, uh, digitally, uh, called Career Scope. Uh, they already had it in person. That's the person at the job center. So we launched, we helped launch the Digital hub, um, and get people signed up to it, which is, you know, still running and, and, and, and a big success.

We're getting, you know, near to 200 signups a month to the hub, uh, from, from scratch. So it's, um, it's, it's, there's, there's a lot that's happened. In a very short space of time. Um, we know, and, and, and I still do take moments to, to look back and think, wow, like so much has happened. Um, and um, so yes, a lot did happen.

The ball rolled, you know, at one point last, uh, summer 2021, we had up to 15 plus clients. Um, we had a team of 12 plus. Uh, more remotely. Um, uh, we had a great office, uh, which, you know, we don't, we don't have at the moment, but we're more remote now. Uh, we do have an office, but we had a sort of fixed office and yeah, it was all, it was, um, it was incredible. It was an incredible journey very quickly, and which I, which I enjoyed.

Matt: So you're on this incredible journey, which is motoring along really quickly. How do you. How do you fill your tank? How do you recharge your batteries whilst it's all going crazy like that and you're working into the, the wee late hours of the weekend, uh, getting all your proposals ready.

Um, how do you, how do you do that?

Manish: Um, so that's a really good question. It's, it's cuz it's, it's it's discipline, uh, is the word that comes to mind because, you know, I have to be really disciplined. And, and try and switch off, you know, the, the, that switch off thing. Um, I don't like to switch off cuz I, I, I just, I always feel like you can grow and build and grow and build and grow and that's my one side of my personality.

But then the other side of my personality is a hippie. It says, no, just chill out. Like go to the, just, you know, just go to the lake, go to the florist, just, you know, just, just shut up and just chill. Um, so there's this two, there's two sides of me. And, and if I let one side win too much, then you know, it'll, it'll kill the other.

Um, so I'm gonna feed both. Um, and the way I'd feed my hippie, I guess, um, is, you know, I do, I do hot yoga every Wednesday night, um, which is pretty intense. Um, but you know, I, I've made an active effort. I, I committed myself this year, so I said, right. I'm gonna buy 40 parcels per the year so that I can go at least sort of once slash every other two weeks.

Uh, one for week slash uh, you know, biweekly. Mm-hmm. Um, for the rest of the year. You know, they might, things this might come up in between or whatever, but now I've made that financial commitment and I've gotta go. Okay. Uh, same thing with the gym. I, you know, I've got a gym membership, um, and you know, Billy and I, who's, um, the media director at formula media.

We make it, make it a point to go on a Monday. So we kick off the week by going to the gym, you know? Yeah. So it's a sort of board meeting slash gym session, you know, that's, that's the way I like to, to sort of put it. Um, I also really got into like Wim hof and mm-hmm. You know, practicing those types of techniques.

So I do take a cold shower, you know, and I do practice, I do take a cold shower every morning. Um, I try and get breathing practices in as much as possible. Um, Uh, um, you know, I meditate. I've created my own, my own meditation. Um mm-hmm. When I say creating my own meditation, it's bits of everything. It's a bit of sort of, um, you know, things from apps, um, like calm and headspace.

But also I sat with a, an Indian guru once who showed me how to do chakra style meditation. And then I've been to meditation centers in Common Garden, when I used to work near there. Um, and I learned, uh, creative meditation techniques. So I've sort of, and then I've, I've overlaid that with my musical knowledge and I've created a sort of breathing creative chakra, uh, style like, um, personal meditation thing.

Mm. Um, where I give, you know, thanks to God and I visit places. I, you know, um, I really just go inwards for a little while. Yeah. Uh, and then come back to reality. Um, and then, you know, I make active plans with friends and family, so I'll make sure I go and spend some time with my mom or my dad or, you know, you know, Friday just gone out and I had a good sort of dinner with, with one of my closest friends and he's getting married and I just make sure.

You know that times in, and we have a glass of wine. I don't drink. I try not to drink because I know that you know, sends me up and down too much and has knock on effect and I'm getting too old. So I struggle for three, four days. So, um, you know, so I'll have a, you know, a good night hour and a session when I need to, you know, once or

twice a year. But, you know, the, the regular Friday night drink, um, had to stop. I've just had to make some sacrifices in places where, And, and, and flip those out with different, different way of thinking. And, and I think that's the, you know, hopefully that answers your, like how I,

Matt: how you feed the hippie question.

Manish: How I feed the hippie. Yeah. That's,

Matt: I think, great quote. Uh, we were talking earlier, weren't we, about what's the title of this podcast? And we always fix the titles after the recording. I wonder if it's gonna be called How to Feed Your Hippie.

Manish: I think so. I think so. I think that's it. That's a great topic. Oh, you'll get loads of listeners.

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Everyone's got a bit of hippie in them.

Matt: Yeah, everyone, absolutely. Everyone's got a bit of hippie in them. Uh, and um, it'd be a great book title actually, How I Feed My Hippie. Um, and the Wim hof thing, uh, piqued my curiosity. Uh, my son has got into this and so every morning he has this cold shower and he's waxing lyrical about it at the moment, and I'm like, Not gonna lie, Mac, uh, just, I don't get it.

Manish: I didn't, it's, it's, it's a nightmare. But it, you know, and I'm sure your son could probably sort of vouch, um, once you get over the barrier and the pain and the, your mind, there is a switch in this scenario where you go from that I hate a cold shower to, I love them. I love the feeling now. Um, and I, and, and believe in me.

I'm not a cold shower person. I love a nice warm, hot shower every morning. That's my go-to. Um, so, you know, I started, so I tried a few, you know, I turned, turned the, uh, heat down and, you know, decreased, decrease, and, and got to the cold point. And now I just, you know, when I go to the gym, I have a, I go sauna, cold shower, sauna, cold shower.

Mm-hmm. And, and daily I try that cold shower thing. I, I haven't got to the tub scenario. I mean, you know, you know, I, I don't have space for it by that right now, but if I had, um, the space and I didn't live in London and I had a nice big garden, I would probably get a nice tub. I'd probably go all the way.

Um, but the shower works. Yeah, it, it just makes me feel better. Um, there's a lot of, you know, there's a lot of science behind it, which I'm sure you know, Wim hof will tell, tell you about. Um, I'm not so, so, so fussed about the science. You know, it gives me energy. Yeah. It, it just wakes it wakes it up.

Matt: Works. It works, right. It's one of those. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I mean, I get the, I get the coming out of the sauna, going in the cold shower thing because I'm stupid hot. I need to cool down and that I, there's, there is an appeal for that. Um, but yeah, Zach, my son is, he's just back from uni and he is like, dad, Have we got a container that I can put ice water in? He wants to sort of, and I'm just like, dude.

Manish: Yeah. Just putting out buckets and

Matt: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I've got, I've got inflammation I need to deal with. I'm like, okay. Um, right. So, yeah, really interesting. And, um, uh, what's your space? I dunno whether I'll do cold showers. I probably would get into a nice bucket though. Uh, I dunno why I, I'd find that different. I dunno. That's just weird.

Manish: I think that's the way to do it really. Showers are harder apparently because the science behind that is when you're moving, you are breaking. So when you sit in a cold ice tub, because you're still. Your body, you know, I'm probably really bad at explaining this, but your body creates some sort of defense where you don't feel the cold as much, but when you're moving around in a shower, you're breaking up that defense. So you feel the cold more. Yeah. So there, there's some, there's something about that. Um, so try the ice tub.

Matt: Yeah. Be interesting. Very good. So next two to three years of life, where do you see it heading to Mac? What's, uh, what's on the horizon for you?

Manish: Um, I mean, the big topic right now is AI, right? Mm-hmm. Um, you know, we are already, we, we are using AI.

Um, you know, our, our formula media is, is based on data, technology and AI. Mm-hmm. Full, full stop. Um, but, um, there is a new version of that ai, um, which we are in discussions and talking about now. Um, So, you know, taking away some of the, let's call it the mundane, uh, laborious tasks, uh, that we go through day to day and, and then opening up the freedom and time for, um, creative thinking.

And utilizing that more. It's not replacing humans, uh, which I know there's a lot of sort of scare about that, you know, and, and I, and I, and it is, it is something to sort of, something of concern. Um, The when, when, you know, when it comes to things like, uh, data analysis, putting things together in data, uh, overlaying that with open source information that's already available, uh, and then also plugging that into channels, media channels, um, to make clients money go further, uh, and more, more higher impact.

No cost. Um, that's less sort of laborious for us. Higher impact for clients. Um, and there's, um, more fun and creativity involved. And so that's that for the next two, three years, that's gonna be my, my, my focus in terms of getting that right and built and set up. Mm-hmm. Um, but also, um, just, I mean, we're still in early stages of getting out there.

We've, we've never done our own marketing, you know, I've never done anything like this. Um, You know, we are, it's all been very organic mm-hmm. Up until now, as you know, the Prince's trust and the knock on effect. Um, but I still do think there is a, uh, um, something to be said and, and, and, uh, promoted, um, for, for Formula Media, what we really stand for and what, what, you know, and why we exist.

Um, and there is a big why we exist. Um, you know, outside of the data technology, AI back obvious business sensical stuff, there is a bigger purpose, you know? Mm-hmm. Just the logo is a serotonin, uh, clinical data, uh, logo. Um, the icon you'll see in the Formula Media, uh, logo its clinical data, or serotonin, uh, because it goes back to my psychology days.

Uh, and, and also some of my experiences with say Shell, um, as a client. Where I know media can be used for good and it can be used for bad. Mm-hmm. Um, and where we can use, uh, media for good, which has power and impact for clients that are doing good, um, and, and making a difference to people's lives like today as the client, um, then are, they're combining golf and fitness, um, you know, in a really interesting way.

Which, you know, is gonna make a difference to people's lives. Families can go and share that, you know, so, you know, if you're interested in golf, you can go, you know, go and play golf. There's a, a bar, there's a, a gym, you know, something for the family to do. And yeah, that's, that's the, the, you know, the where we can really apply ourselves for charities, for, uh, technology that's helping humans for, um, you know, uh, hospitality, leisure, travel, events, things that.

create uh, dopamine, serotonin, and, and, and, and, and value to people's lives. Um, so bringing those two things together, I think for me is really important. But also pushing, uh, the whole diversity equation, you know, being Asian, um, you know, it's, it's, it's an agency and founder. It's, it's a big, um, statement I think in today's world, and I'm trying to really.

Um, uh, push boundaries, status quos and, and, and really, um, show that, um, you know, this can be done without, you know, holding the flag of, of, of the whole diversity agenda. Um, but, you know, bringing people in into the fold and a part of media for all sort of, um, um, diversity media group. Um, yeah, I think they're not-for-profit group.

Um, Now, you know, I'm getting more involved in and, and, and there, there, there's, there's a bigger picture here. Yeah. To, to establish, which I don't think has been established just yet. Mm-hmm. Uh, we've done some great stuff, got some great clients. It's all come, you know, coming together. But we just, I think there's, there is still another level to that in the next two, three years.

Matt: And it'd be interesting to see where the journey takes you, isn't it really? And um, Uh, I, I'm really curious to find out. Uh, really intrigued to see where it all sort of heads to, um, because I think, you know, being a British Asian and, um, there is the diversity aspect of it. And just by putting yourself out there more and more, you know, kids see that, don't they?

And this is, um, this is important. Uh, and, and super cool. So Mac, listen, we've got to the stage of the show where, uh, we go for. The question box. Dun dun dun. I need some dramatic music, uh, to, to go alongside this. Um, I keep saying that I really should find some, and this is where, uh, if you're not watching the video, uh, and we know that 99.9% don't because you listen to this on an audio podcast.

Uh, I have a deck of cards in my hands. Good, sir. And, um, you are gonna say, stop. And I'm gonna stop and we're gonna ask that question on that card. Right there. Yeah? Okay.

Manish: Yeah. There we go.

Matt: So that's an interesting question. I was, okay. What work were you doing the last time you forgot time altogether?

Manish: Oh wow. Um, um, what work was I doing when I forgot time altogether?

Matt: Yeah.

Manish: I, I would say it's when I'm DJing. Okay. Um, I, I sort of, I go into a meditative state, right. And, and I think if you really go deep into your meditative state, time doesn't exist and all of that deep stuff, uh, but yeah, that, you know, I was DJing, um, and I was really enjoying it. It was, it was a private party. Um, And it was quite a long setting.

It was sort of four or five hours, uh, in, in, in reality. But it flew. Time flew, and I forgot about time and you know, I really just immersed myself and enjoyed that moment, um, of, of my life. And I think it's, it's tough to replicate that there isn't, you've probably, you know, you've probably heard it or you've probably come across it.

And the reason why people love DJing and become DJs and whatnot. And yes, there's all of the, you know, there's all of the, the, the show and, um, clout and money and blah, blah, blah. But I think there is something else. There's, there's a sort of feeling that can't be replicated and, um, which is which, which is related to sort of a loss of time. I'd say.

Matt: So do you still do a lot of DJing?

Manish: I wouldn't say a lot. Uh, but I do, I do still play a lot of private parties and I've played in Cannes, like Cannes Lions Festival last year and most likely again this year. And I do a lot of private events. Um, whereas before I would do what's known as the circuit, um, which is playing various clubs and around the world or whatever it might be.

Um, now I just do sort of yacht parties and fun stuff.

Matt: Yeah. No, that's awesome. Yeah, yeah, yeah. That's a, that's a really interesting answer and I, I think it's a really interesting question, um, because to me it talks of this thing called flow, doesn't it? The state of flow, which is maybe an old-fashioned term that we used to use.

Um, when do you sort of get that sense of flow, uh, and it's interesting for you that's DJing because I would say if I was to answer that question, I would say probably every time I do a podcast, um, I start talking and before I look at the clock now and I'm thinking, Goodness me, we've been, I need to wrap this up at some point, right?

You just like, amazing. I just need to, you just like, it just disappears every time. It's, it's fascinating. I love it. So, Mac, listen, as you know, this show is sponsored by Aurion Media, which specializes in helping good folks like yourself. Uh, set up and run their own successful podcast. So me bringing around.

Manish: Sorry, let's talk about that. We should definitely talk about that I mean, Matt.

Matt: Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. I be, you should be, definitely be on your podcast. Um, but let, let's just fast forward. Let's assume you have your podcast. Um, out of the people that have impacted your life, past and present, uh, whether people you've met or books you've read, podcasts you listened to, or whatever it is, I'm curious, who would be some people you would love to interview on your podcast and why?

Manish: Well, um, who would I like to interview? Um, I mean, because we were on a musical topic. Uh, a musical topic. I'll, I'll, I'll continue that first. Um, Fisher, he's a DJ out there. An Australian DJ, an absolute crazy nutter DJ, but I, I just think it would be so, it would be such a fun podcast. Like, yeah, he's, he's wild. So I would love, love to just get it in his head as well and mm-hmm.

And, and find those relatable topics. Um, um, and then I would also like to have a chat with, um, sir Mark. And so from the, from the media world. Um,who, who, you know, WPP, WPP CEO now, you know, investor and CEO in multiple businesses. Um, and I'd just like to understand his perspective on, you know, the journey to CEO of WPP and what, what really happened and how it happened and the, the pitfalls, the, the, the, you know, the lessons and the challenges and the, the wins and then

more modern, you know, uh, who runs podcasts themselves, Steven Bartlett. I must have a chat with Steven Bartlett too because, you know, he's, you know, from the same realm. Media had his own media agency, but more on the social side of things. Um, influencer led. Um, he's great on podcasts.

Stephen Bartlett then is a good business mind. It would be, I think we would have a, um, a good, fun chat. Um, And then, and then maybe some, someone from the more sort of hippie side, the spiritual side would, you know, that's just to again, feed the hippie. Feed the hippie, yeah, of course. Feed the hippie, you know.

Um, there, there are a few people I've come across, you know, Jay Shetty being one of them. You go, you know, and he's, he's obviously done a lot on that side. Um, but there's, there's a whole bunch of others and you know, Vishen from Mindvalley and someone called Jade who's into astral projection and, you know, and, and Wim Hof. That would be so fun. I think just

Matt: be interesting conversation.

Manish: That would be interesting. Yeah, I think that'd be quite wacky. Um, and Russell Brand, um, these all, you know, I'm, I'm, I'm naming some of the, you know, all, all, all the people that have podcasts and they're not quite famous and, you know, but I'll probably interview my mate as well. Just to see his perspective on, on, on Lech and how, you know, make some comparisons. In an ideal scenario, those would be the sort of my, my go-tos.

Matt: Mm-hmm. This is, uh, Mak perhaps my favorite question I ask guests, because this always fascinates me. Uh, why, why people say what they say and who they say to the point where I think I'm, um, you tell me what you think.

Uh, we're thinking of moving that question to the start of the show and starting the conversation off the basis of that. Um, so why did you say that person? Why did you say that person? What is it about them? And to see where that conversation goes. We might try it. You never know. I think you should.

Manish: Yeah, that makes sense.

Yeah. Yeah, that's a good idea. Uh, see how we get 'em. You, I guess you'll, you'll get a, a quick indication of the areas, um, if you know who they are, um, yeah. That they're interested in, and you know where you can navigate the conversation.

Matt: Yeah, that'd be be really interesting. Listen, Mac, it's been great chatting.

Uh, and like I said, it's, it's one of those things where I blink and the, the clock has come to its end. Um, how do people reach you? How do they connect with you? If they wanna know more about you, if they wanna know more about Formula Media and what you guys get up to there, uh, what's the best way for them to reach out?

Manish: You know, Um, you can reach out to me directly if you like, um, on

Um, or you can add me on LinkedIn if you prefer. Um, and you can check me out first and, you know, all that jazz. It's just, it's just makformula, um, after your like Just type in makformula I should come up um, on LinkedIn. Uh, if not, email me directly. I'll be happy to have a chat.

Matt: Fantastic. Fantastic. Well, we will of course link to Mak's info in the show notes, which you can get along for free, along with the transcript at Or if you sign up to the newsletter, it will be making its way to your inbox. Uh, Mak, listen, thanks so much, man for coming onto the podcast.

Great to meet you. Great to, to chat about, um, feeding the inner hippie, uh, and to hear the stories. Uh, I just thoroughly was enjoying your story about the, the radio. I'm not gonna lie, uh, just, just because, uh, this interests me. Uh, but no, it's been great, honestly, genuinely appreciate it. Thanks for coming on, man.

Uh, it's been a blast.

Manish: Thank you very much, Matt. And you know, I, I, I, I love what you're doing. I hope you keep inspiring and, and, and growing your podcast, and you get some good people on here because, um, yeah, these, these, these are the types, types of conversations that make a difference to other people's lives and mm-hmm.

I think people take a lot of value out of, um, just listening, uh, to stories and how other people have done it and where they've been and what they've done. And, and you know, and, and, and, and just to sort of quick side note, I think there's a lot, a lot of assumptions can be made on Instagram and, and, and YouTube and Facebook and, you know, these days and this type of authenticity, hearing it from the horse's mouth, so to speak, is it's the best way.

Um, And, and, and, and invaluable. So, um, it's great that you do that.

Matt: No, I appreciate it, man. And uh, totally agree. Totally agree. I'd much rather do this than post on Instagram. Not gonna lie. Much more interesting. Uh, very much more interesting. Absolutely. And it's one of the reasons why I love podcasting, like you say.

I mean, if you think about the conversation that we've had in the last hour, you don't normally get to have those conversations with people until you've known them for a really long time.

Manish: That's right. You get so much in like so quickly. Yeah.

Matt: Yeah, you do. It's brilliant. It's, uh, it's a beautiful thing. So thanks for being so open, uh, and telling us your story.

It's been, uh, it's been brilliant. So huge thanks again, Mak for joining me today. Also, a big shout out to today's show sponsor, Aurion media. If you are wondering whether podcasting is a good marketing strategy for your business, do connect with them at That's A U R I O N media dot com. We'll of course link to them in the show notes as well.

Now be sure to follow Push to Be more wherever you get your podcasts from because we've got yet more great conversations lined up and I don't want you to miss any of them. And in case no one has told you yet today, you are awesome. Yes, you are just created awesome. It's a burden you have to bear. Mak has to bear it. I have to bear it. You've gotta bear it too.

Now, Push to Be More is produced by Aurion Media. You can find our entire archive of episodes on your favorite podcast app. The team that makes this show possible is Sadaf Beynon, Estella Robin and Tanya Hutsuliak. Our theme music was written by Josh Edmundson, and as I mentioned, if you would like to read the transcript or show notes, head over to the website, where you can also sign up for our weekly newsletter and get all of this good stuff direct to your inbox. Totally for free.

So that's it from me. That's it from Mak. Thank you so much for joining us. Have a fantastic week wherever you are in the world. I'll see you next time. Bye for now.