Declan Short interview

This interview is someone I really admire, the focus, drive and passion around what he does and the lifestyle he lives. Declan has really helped me on my self growth journey where I have gained some valuable tips through his podcast and Instagram, the sobriety hour. Give it a read as I think you will gain some valuable tips too. 
  1. Tell us a bit about yourself

My name is Declan Short. I am 23 years old. I host a weekly podcast called 'The sobriety hour', which touches on minimalism, self-care, motivation, and personal finance. I have also grown a small community of about 13,000 followers on TikTok creating content around these topics. 

I was raised in Auckland, New Zealand and after high school, I chose not to go to university, mainly because my Mum was always plagued with debt when I was younger, and I never wanted to be in that position. I was pretty sick of the schooling system after 13 years anyway, and had only managed to pass Year 13 with University Entrance credentials by the skin of my teeth. 

Instead, I was kind of determined to find a creative field that I could work hard in and progress my career. Coming straight out of high school, I was working full-time at Farmers Department Store, and decided to start my own clothing brand. I called it 'Bittersweet.' I had no idea how to come up with a business plan, or run paid marketing campaigns, but I did have a brand name, and a cracked version of Photoshop that my best friend had downloaded for me on Pirate Bay a few years earlier.

The brand didn't take off right away, I spent the first year grinding my ass off to get exposure and sales. I learned the value of hard work, and soon also the power of momentum when people started to take notice. About 2 years in, the brand was selling out every release, hosting pop-up stores, and coordinating events with local artists, musicians, and other local streetwear brands.

My career was progressing too. I had moved on from Farmers to a Marketing Coordinator position for a startup on the North Shore, and in late 2018 was offered a 2-Year contractual position to go work as a Graphic Designer for a family friend's company in Toronto. I took the opportunity, packed my bags, and moved to the other side of the world.

In those two years, a lot changed. Things kind of fell-through with Bittersweet, I also learned that being a Graphic Designer was not my preferred Career path. I moved home back in March of 2021, but I returned with a wealth of life experience, and more importantly ;my partner Emily, who I had met and fell in love with while in Canada. We had moved in together about halfway through my stay in Canada, and had spent over 12 months living in the same room during the pandemic. There was no separating us, so when my Working Holiday Visa in Canada ended, she decided she was coming back to NZ with me. I couldn't be more grateful for that.

Moving back to NZ was a bit of an adjustment. It's not fun going back to live with your parents when you've spent two years on the other side of the world with the freedom to do whatever you want. Luckily though, after a couple months of job-hunting, I had found the perfect job match for me, and we were able to move back out.

Things have been pretty chill since then. It's been really nice to have a sense of stability again, and I like keeping busy so in typical Declan fashion I've been working extensively on my side-hustles outside of work. Most recently putting out motivational content on TikTok, as well as my podcast/YouTube channel; The sobriety hour.

Passive income and financial independence is a huge goal for me. Growing up with parents who both worked from 8am to 7pm almost every weekday instilled in me a good work ethic, but it also gave me the motivation to never be that parent. I would call this the main inspiration for my side hustles, and I am trying to incorporate more work/life balance as of late. 


  1. What does your week look like? 

My entire week is scheduled to a T in Google Calendar. This includes a consistent morning routine, work, quick walks, a workout, a winddown period and journaling. In my free time I hangout with my girlfriend, where we usually go on day trips out to pretty places. We drink a lot of coffee, and eat a lot of pizza on weekends, and I'll never miss a good UFC card. On Saturdays I forbid myself from doing any work, and on Sunday's almost my entire day is focused on work — Planning, recording, editing, and uploading the The sobriety hour.


  1. Do you have any daily habits

I used to have a lot more honestly. Currently the one thing I do every morning that I am proud of is Cold Showers. 1-3 minutes, fully cold the whole way through. It wakes me up, and leaves me with an increased level of dopamine for almost the entire day. The hardest part is getting in.


  1. What is your mission and what do you want to achieve

I want to achieve a lot of things, and my goals are constantly changing. My longest term goal currently is to invest $100,000 in the stock market by 2030. Other than that, I usually work on a 6 month goal-setting schedule where I set measurable & realistic goals for myself where I can hold myself accountable when the time comes — Stuff like: 'Be saving 50% of my post-tax income' or 'Working out 5 days a week.'


  1. What are some of you biggest learnings to date and knowing what you know now what advice would you give yourself

People just want to feel important. It's human nature. (I highly recommend the book 'How to Win Friends & Influence People)

If you ask the universe for something, you will only get one of three answers; "Yes", "Not right now", or "There is something even better coming."


  1. What’s next in your life’s chapter, any exciting ventures or goals for the future 

Just grinding, taking care of my mental & physical, putting out content, saving/investing, and trying to inspire others to do the same.