Alex Adams AKA Ms Darlinghurst is the founder and editor of EAT DRINK PLAY and Secret Foodies. I have the pleasure of sharing a beautiful office space with Alex in the heart of Paddington, which keeps me very well fed with the constant deliveries of gourmet food (winning!)
Alex's story is so inspirational to me as she has had her thriving business for nearly 9 years now and it keeps going from strength to strength. I recently attended an infamous Secret Foodies event, where you receive a text two hours prior to tell you where you are going. The concept is so great and it is a way to interact and meet some fellow Sydney foodies, I cannot recommend it highly enough! With Alex being a successful entrepreneur for nearly a decade, I was dying to get her perspective on what it takes to build such a strong brand. So excited to share this interview with you and I hope you will get as much out of it as I did!
Tell us what you are up to today?
Today I’m working through a budget for a client’s Christmas party that Secret Foodies is organising. I’ve also got to update the Eat Drink Play homepage with our latest articles. I’m going for a cheeky surf around lunch time with my friend then heading back and work on the creative for Secret Foodies annual Christmas In July event.
What do you LOVE about Eat Drink Play & Secret Foodies?
I love that every day is different and I never get bored. Ok, that’s not true, I usually get bored when I need to reconcile my accounts each quarter for my BAS. But other than that I’m rarely bored. I think my business gives me the perfect balance to use my creative brain and my business brain.
What are your daily habits to keep you on track for world domination?
- Riding my bike to work every day while listening to music or podcasts to get my body and brain going.
- Keeping a to-do list that I work on throughout the day. It has two columns 1) Urgent/Important 2) Non-urgent Important I workflow my tasks between the two.
- Doing my most creative tasks earlier in the day and any menial tasks (hello reconciling credit card statements) around 3pm when I have a brain slump.
- Taking a break at lunch time to make food with my team and sit down away from my desk to eat and chat about non-work life.
- Working set hours to maintain a work life balance- unless we have events I try to stick to 9.30-6pm Mon – Fri and not take work home with me.
What has been your biggest business challenge to date and how have you overcome it?
Breaking into new cities and trusting other people with my business. I’m a bit of a perfectionist and found it hard to let go and open up to new ways of doing things. A friend once told me if your employee can do it 80% as well as you can let them go for it. It’s the only way you’re going to grow as a business and you can’t be everywhere at once.
If you could pick just one thing that has contributed to your success to date, what has it been?
Persaverence and not giving up when things get tough.
If you could only work 2 hours per week ‘on’ your business (ie growing the business, not client work) what would you do to get the most results?
Sales. Picking up the phone and speaking to new/exisiting clients, sending out emails, working on my marketing strategy to attract new business. In order to grow you need revenue and if I only had 2hrs a week to spend on the business it’d be spent selling.
What is your go-to for getting a dose of inspiration?
What is your favourite quote that gets you fired up?
“Just Do It”
If you could give budding entrepreneurs one piece of advice, what would it be?
Just as my quote before…just do it! You don’t know unless you try. And don’t put off what you can do today until tomorrow. Get out there, meet people, network, start talking about your business. Fake it till you make it if you need to.
Alex Adams, also known as Ms Darlinghurst, is a journalist, professional dinner party host, business owner and entrepreneur. At the age of 25 she quit her suit-wearing corporate life and pursued her dreams of connecting people through unique food experiences.
In 2009 Alex started Eat Drink Play a lifestyle website dedicated to the very best things to do in Sydney. In 2016 she expanded the publication to Melbourne.
Looking for new ways to connect fellow foodies offline she started Secret Foodies, a surprise dining experience in 2010. The concept was simple: buy a ticket to a themed dinner party and find out where you’re going just 2hrs before. Secret Foodies now host events across Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane working with some of the best chefs in Australia.
A natural born presenter, Alex studied TV presenting at NIDA in 2011. You’ll often find her in front of the camera hosting engaging video content in the food and lifestyle space for Eat Drink Play and various online publications.
A country girl originally, Alex is passionate about connecting people through food and unique experiences. When she’s not hosting events or writing stories you’ll find her hiking, travelling and exploring in the great outdoors.