What's It Like to Be Top Dog in A Publshing Empire

  • March 19, 2014
  • By VetShopAustralia.com.au

Continuing our Pets At Work series of exlusive interviews, we talk to Benny Messenger, Top Dog at The Renegade Collective, an amazing magazine described as "The Vanity Fair of business magazines". 

Q:  It might seem like a meteoritic rise to top dog at Australia’s leading magazine for entrepreneurs but I’m sure it was a long hard road - when did you get your "first big break"?

Benny: It was March in 2013 and Lisa asked me to write a column for the magazine. It had always been a dream of mine so I was thrilled I could do whatever I wanted.

Q: Could you please briefly describe your "typical" day at the Renegade Collective? – do you still get to run and frolic or is it all paperwork and staff management now that the mag has over 300 people working for it?

Benny: I’m very blessed Lisa and I spend our mornings running on the beach before a day at the office. I usually tag along for coffee runs, hang out under everyone’s desks (depending on who gives the most cuddles or has the best lunch), and there’s a couch for me to snooze away on when the serious meetings are happening. I consider myself quite good at staff management, and try to remind everyone that they’ve got to take a break, have a laugh and not take themselves too seriously (and they’ve got to play with me of course).

Q: Now that your publication has moved in to its second year and a monthly format – How does it feel? Is achieving such goal really more satisfying than a roll in something smelly while walking in the park?

Benny: A lot of the staff have been with Lisa since the beginning (some since I was a puppy), so it’s been exciting to see the magazine and the team grow, particularly over the last year. I remember the first time we had the printed proofs scattered across the floor, checking every last minute detail on deadline. Or the time Lisa first announced she had this brilliant idea to create a magazine that would one day be called Renegade Collective. Achieving this goal has really made everyone here proud which of course creates a great environment for me. 

Q: What do you think is likely to be your biggest challenge for the Renegade Collective in the next 12 months?

Benny: Now that the magazine is monthly, there are more deadlines, twice the amount of work and more pressure to continue creating the same level of content at the same calibre. The challenge will be to make sure we can achieve this all the while maintaining our office culture and sanity. I have faith this won’t be a problem though.

Q: Your person, Lisa, seems like a lovely lady, and she’s obviously very passionate about what she does. How do the three of you “stay connected” after a hard day at work together?

Benny: Some days we escape early and head to Bondi for a run and swim. This is an important ritual because Lisa is very busy. I go to work with her every single day so when she has an event to attend after hours, I’m very lucky one of the other team members will walk me home with them. 

Q: Every successful dog has his “itch”. What’s your itch and how do you scratch it?

Benny: I’ve always had an itch to be a journalist and Renegade Collective has given me this opportunity to scratch. Every now and then, you can read my column “Benny’s Space” where I interview other cool pets around the world, such as Tillman (the skate boarding dog) and Bodhi (the fashion model dog).

Q: And finally, do you have any words of advice for the young pets (and their people) out there who are just starting their careers as working animals?

Benny: Be patient with your family and remember you’re always the most important friend to them.

To read more from Benny and the fabulous team at The Renegade Collective, pick up a copy of their magazine for interviews with the people making the greatest impact on the business world, in any given industry; the game changers, the thought leaders, the rule breakers, the style makers from news agencies,Coles supermarkets, 44 Newslink stores, Magshop, stationery store Kikki K and online via iSubscribe.

If you know a working pet (or a pet who goes  to work!) who has an amazing story to tell, please let us know by emailing petsatwork@vetshoponline.com 

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