How Joey Crawford Manages 2 Careers (Academic & Entrepreneur)

by | May 4, 2021

Meet Joey Crawford. He’s an accomplished individual who has two careers. Like many portfolio careerists, he leverages his day job and has become a remarkable entrepreneur. Joey and I connected right here on LinkedIn, and it goes to show you that there are so many of us here who believe we can do more than one thing.

Joey’s Careers

  • Academic – I work as an academic at the University of Tasmania (Australia) as my full-time day job. In this role, I lead a series of business-as-usual and priority learning and teaching projects and conduct research. This role also includes acting as Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of University Teaching and Learning Practice.
  • Entrepreneur – My secondary career involves founding and leading Fifth Estate Co., and Negat-ve Distillery.

On his motivations for many careers 

My day job provides capacity to change the lives of our students through meaningful engagement with tertiary education. While I get the opportunity to think and create strategic solutions to challenges, I also enjoy creating products that I love using myself leading to the creation of businesses which generate my favourite hair care and gin.

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Advice to aspiring multi careerists

The key for me was being organised, and being prepared for the ‘busy period’ of the two careers to overlap despite best efforts to be organised. Carving out time specifically to work on my ‘side hustle’ before or after a normal workday has been critical to ensure it isn’t neglected during periods of increased workload from my core role.

On overcoming obstacles

Each of my roles are important to me, and require both physical and mental effort. It can be incredibly difficult to manage competing priorities at times when the roles are often directed by third parties. COVID-19 created a need for rapid changes in higher education. And having little control over rapidly growing product sales or an oversubscribed pre-launch of a gin distillery requires unique responses and management. Relying on other people and processes can be personally difficult, but being adaptable and able to rearrange my life as needed is the only way I’ve overcome some challenges.

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On how multiple careers are mutually beneficial

Having a gin distillery has certainly not been a disadvantage to building an academic career. It has been a great way to keep in contact with the world outside universities, and likewise a great excuse to get to know a work colleague better. Plus, work colleagues often grab bottles of gin or hair and beard care products which is an unsolicited free bonus.

On managing personal time

Sometimes it is hard. On distillation week it can be difficult to manage workloads, maintain a regular gym routine, eat well, see friends and family, and do my ever-dreaded laundry. I keep telling myself that I need to continually carve time for each of the areas of my life and consistently make effort for people even if I am feeling “busy.”

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On something he wished he had learned earlier

There are incredible benefits for dual careerism. My favourite is that when one component of my career is hitting hurdles, the other rarely is. The success in one is a motivator for the challenges in the other. I also wish I had mastered the digital calendar earlier. Leaving my physical diary in various offices or at home was a little bit of a nightmare at times.

On overcoming the stigma of having many careers

There is a “how do you do it” stigma that I regularly get asked. I always respond with “Check your phone usage. How much time did you spend stuck in a social media scroll of death?” I used to get trapped in keeping up-to-date with Instagram and Facebook (MySpace back in the 2000s), and TikTok now. I learned to reutilise that time. I still listen to a lot of music and trash lit by audiobook while I make products or drive. I try to limit my social media time and instead focus on high impact social time with friends instead.

On sublimating ego

I’m proud that all my roles provide immense satisfaction and opportunities to achieve. On the one side I can change a person’s life through radical improvements to their learning experience. On the other is an opportunity to promote sustainable and responsible products that give back to the world in which we live.

A Day in the Life

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I alternate depending on what I am trying to achieve that day.

Option 1

  • 6 am – Wake up and go to the gym.
  •  7.30 am – Go home, shower, and go to work by 8.30-9am. I often have a protein shake and fruit on the commute
  •  4-5pm – go home and carve out personal or social time.

Option 2

  • 6 am – Wake up, shower, and eat breakfast and coffee.
  •  7 am – Go to my work early.
  •  3 pm – finish work early and spend time on my other roles before dinner.
  •  6/7pm – Relaxing – Netflix or a gin and tonic with a friend are crowd favourites here

Where to find Joey


Kabir Sehgal is a Multi Grammy & Latin Grammy Award winner, as well as New York Times bestselling author.

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