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How I achieved work–life balance

By  Monty Dimond

This piece is brought to you by AAMI but is 100% my own experience and words. Promise.

After losing my job and being in the thick of motherhood, I decided I wanted to start my own business, be my own boss and answer to no one (besides my needy one year old). I had the idea of interviewing well-known women in a really relaxed conversational style and I wanted to take on this project with my mate Brooke, who had recently finished up her producing role on the Channel Ten show, The Circle.

We originally thought we would try and pitch our idea as a TV show, but the more research we did and the more brains we picked, we realised that creating a website was the right path to take. We wanted to fill the site with things that we loved talking about. We roped in my best mate Stace to join as well and the three of us made grand plans but literally had no clue what we were doing. We were so naive and I still credit that to a lot of our success. We backed ourselves when others probably thought we were bonkers. We often made unreasonable requests of our friends and family and we put in lots of hours, blood, sweat and tears – and still do.

For the first two years of running Show + Tell it was all consuming, I didn’t know how to separate work time and home time (made all the more difficult since I work from home). I checked my emails like a maniac and if I had an idea at 11pm at night, I would jump up and write about it. The bigger our plans got the more I would stress.

My health suffered because of this. I had no balance in my life at all, even when I was physically somewhere, my mind was thinking about what I needed to do for Show + Tell.

After suffering with relentless migraines, chronic fatigue and bouts of serious weight loss from the stress, I finally had to flick the switch and learn to chill out.

I brought some ‘non-negotiables’ into my life, like Pilates, meditation and not making any work commitments on Fridays so I can spend the full day uninterrupted with my kids, and I moved my phone out of my bedroom.

I still try to stick to these little rules I have made for myself, because I know that if I don’t I suffer big time – which means my family suffers and so does my work.

I also realised that NOTHING really matters that much. If an email doesn’t get sent, no one is going to die, and I also finally realised that I can still be really passionate about everything without it being so stressful.

It’s far from easy running a small business, we often chug along off the smell of an oily rag, but I get to be creative every day and work with my mates, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I chatted to Rachael Finch on Show + Tell radio this week about the launch of her new small business, B.O.D. Activewear, and the importance of achieving work–life balance. You can listen to that here.

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