WORK HARD. PLAY HARD: Gianni Clifford

These are a few interview style questions that we put to Gianni from Fillit, an online platform that connects people and spaces, about how he fits in much-needed downtime between working in a fast-paced start-up, and the promotional parties he attends with the team in Ireland. 

Start-up projects and entrepreneurship are a big talking point right now with a move away from faceless corporate jobs towards the dream of ‘making your stamp on your industry’. But what is it really like for the ambitious individuals trying to make their way in an ever-condensing market of brands and influencers? Read Gianni’s answers to find out.

(Gianni is on the right, wearing the fillit lanyard and with the fabulous moustache)

What is your role now and what are the main responsibilities for you?

Hi, I’m Gianni and I am Creative and Digital Director at Fillit. Currently Fillit is a small team so jobs and responsibilities are plentiful. All team members tend to have an input across the full business, but my core responsibilities focus around the product itself. From design to development – I oversee all product changes and work closely with our CX Manager to make sure we are listening to what our users are saying.

How long have you been doing this for and what did you do before?

I have been in this role for about 18 months, prior to this my background was in both Creative Agencies and Design Studios, having occupied various creative roles in each.

Can you think of any key challenges you had to overcome and how did you battle them to get to where you are?

In the start-up world every day is a challenge. As soon as one challenge is met, another two rise from its ashes, but this is what makes this environment so exciting, problem solving.

What is the dream, or where would you like to see yourself in five or ten years?

Five or ten years? Wow. I’m doing well if I can decide what to have for lunch today! Fillit is only at the start of its (hopefully) long journey, so by five years I’d hope we have a strong foot hold in a few markets and by ten years, maybe we will have our first Fillit space listed on Mars for rental!

How do you find balancing lifestyle and downtime with your job?

It is not the easiest thing in the world to balance but it is essential. Without family, friends and socialising there really is no point. So it is extremely important in my eyes to make time for doing things you love, doing things that help clear your head. Never under estimate these little things, because while you’re doing them, you are recharging. Maybe you enjoy; partying with friends or date nights with your partner, playing LEGO or watching your favourite sports team, DJing or watching Columbo re-runs, these things may seem small and easy to dump out of a hectic week but don’t. These things are what make you happy (or me happy with those examples). Your mental health is priceless, protect it and enjoy what you enjoy.

If you could give one piece of advice to a young spark looking to start their business, what would that be?

Trial it. As soon as you have an idea bash it out as an MVP, maybe it’s good, maybe it’s awful, but you’ll always learn from it and you have nothing to lose. Ideas are the most valuable thing but if you don’t act on them quickly there are 7.4 billion others who may.

And finally, what do you think is the best part about being an upcoming, self-employed business owner right now?

A toughie to wrap it up. I guess the freedom to create, the variety in the working day and the exciting potential for success.


Thank you so much for talking to us and telling us about your experiences! We can’t wait to hear all about what you get up to with FillIt in the future, keep in touch!

Do you have any tips or advice on how to overcome challenges in the working world? Let us know by talking to us on Twitter

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