The Structure of Success

Chef, restaurateur, entrepreneur, father and new Samsung ambassador, Josh Emett, has achieved a lot in his life already, but by the way that he maximises his time, we can be sure that there is more to come.

What’s your morning routine?

My morning routine is quite tough at the moment. The boys train four days a week for either soccer or water polo. This means we get up at 5:45am to get them ready for the day before they have to go to training. I usually either exercise or work from a cafe around the corner before we drop them off at school at 7:45am.
I’d say most mornings of the week, we’re up before six o’clock and we don’t get a huge amount done, other than getting the boys to school and training before nine o’clock. Then we get stuck in with our day.

With the boys, has there been a bit of a shift in focus for you in terms of your own trajectory and that balance with family?

I’m definitely trying to spend a lot more time with the kids. That morning time is really good. I actually really like it when I’m doing either the drop off or pick up routine. I always go to football training with them because I like to watch what they’re doing, that’s really important. It definitely sets you up for the day.

It’s good getting out of bed before six o’clock. Once you’re in the routine, it really works. It gets to 8:30am and it often feels like you’ve done a lot of stuff before nine o’clock rolls around and everyone else starts working. You get this weird free space, which is actually quite nice.

Those quality times that you spend with your children are amazing. Have you got any advice in terms of being able to carve out that struggle?

I could give advice, but I probably wouldn’t be practicing what I preach. I am trying to get better at spending some time where I’m completely switched off and don’t touch my computer or my phone. But it doesn’t always work. I’m generally quite engaged at dinner times.

There’s three of us in the house; there’s me, Helen, and our au pair, Ashleigh. If those two are on the case with homework and with kids time and various things like that, I end up on the side a little bit. Whereas I think I need to get in there and allocate a little bit more time and help the boys out with homework. But unless I do, they will just get on with it.

It’s good to get the boys out of the house and go down to the park. I take the dog and the football down there and do some exercise with them. They are getting to that age where they’re starting to want to get out and get fit.

Speaking of being on the phone and the laptop, with your world, I imagine that you would have a million things to think about if you could. Do you practice mindfulness or do you try to shutting down and focusing on what you’re doing?

I don’t practice mindfulness as a scheduled thing. I work more on the structure of my day and my week. I try to stay relaxed, I try to take a little bit of time for myself.

I’m hugely focused on exercise and eating well, and less focused on where my head’s at, which I probably need to give a little bit more thought to. I have a tendency to plow through the work, but I know that I need to adjust that thinking to keep things going forward at the pace I want to go.

If you’ve got your diet covered and you’re staying fit, that’s half the battle. But you’ve got to exercise your mind. I need to read more and do various things like that. I’m getting better at it.

There’s so many variables in your world. Is it important for you to have a structure to the day or the week?

I have a calendar that I strictly follow and there’s a list of things I need to tick off during the week. But there’s things, like with anyone’s business, that can keep coming in from different directions. It can be anything from shoots, to interviews, to book stuff, to restaurant things, to events.

The difficult thing for me is that there are a lot of different variables. If I was to stick to one core business, which is running restaurants, that’s one thing. But then you start firing everything else; you’re catering an event, and then you’re doing an interview, or a shoot about something completely different. Whether it’s a brand-based thing, or an alignment, or an ambassador role, or a charitable thing.

I think that gets me bogged down, the amount I take on. It sounds simple in theory. My main charity is Melanoma New Zealand so I stick very firmly to that. I work with BMW, I’ve done that for years. I work with Nespresso, I’ve done that for years. I’ve just started working with Samsung. It doesn’t sound like there’s a lot, but a lot of the small things add up to a lot.

With so many things to juggle, how has the Samsung Galaxy Note10+ helped you become more efficient?

I love the fact that you can customise and play with different layouts of your screen. It’s the details. Once you get everything set up, you’ve got a home screen that has every little app in exactly the right place, in a font that you like and a colour that you like. You can really personalise it.

Even the little things like where you put the Google search or the time, from what time your alarm is set up in the world clock, which I often use because I make international phone calls; things like that are really important to me. Whether it’s time, currency, exchanges, locating things. It’s all the little things. If those things are hard, it makes things more difficult than they need to be.

With all of these moving parts, is it still important for you to have a very clear vision for where you’re going?

I want to work really hard for the next five or 10 years. I want to take on as much as I can possibly take on and really go at it. I’m not at the stage where I’m starting to slow down. I’m more along the lines of thinking that I’ve got until 55 or 60, so I can probably go really hard for the next nine years. I’ve got a lot to do and I don’t want to sit around and wait for things to happen.

And after that, do you think about legacy?

No, I think about enjoying my life and I think about making sure that the kids are well set up. I really enjoy my work. I really enjoy the satisfaction that it gives me, and most of that is hard work. I also think about having a lot of fun along the way. I don’t want to not do the great things that I enjoy doing, whether that’s going to music festivals or taking the time out with the kids, or going for a decent walk, or going on nice holidays. I definitely want to enjoy my life.

I see too many people who hit their 50s and they have health issues. Helen’s dad died at 55 from cancer. Mine died at 65 of cancer. I think both Helen and I are very conscious of living a very full life and enjoying everything. Making it count.