Being a mum and a career woman may at times feel like a juggling act; in comes work boundaries! In order to keep a sane life that is moving forward, boundaries at work are truly important. Check out this segment from an interview between Dale Beaumont and Kim McGuinness and find out more on the importance of boundaries at work.
Kim was a finalist in the Sydney Business Review’s Businesswoman of the Year Award in 2003 and was nominated for the Telstra Businesswoman of the Year in 2004, 2005 and 2006. She is the founder of Network Central.
How important are boundaries when balancing a career and raising children? What are some things you have implemented?
Boundaries are supposed to be firm walls not open gates so it is important to stick to those you put in place. They should be designed to maximise your productivity, creativity and life in general.
Learning to say ‘no’ is the most obvious boundary and also the hardest one to learn. I have learnt to value my own time and the investment of quality time spent with the kids and family. Saying ‘no’ is not something that comes easily but practise really does make perfect. If I say ‘yes’ to everything I won’t be able to give my best to each project. This is not only hard to take personally but is also detrimental to business. Clients really do understand this if you level with them. Most of the time it is not a flat out ‘no’, just a ‘not now’.
I am also particularly selective with meetings. Most things these days can be arranged via phone or email and, although face-to-face is fantastic and how real business is done, it is difficult for me to get to meetings while the kids are at home. For me to attend a meeting requires a babysitter, travel time, parking fees and time away from my children, whereas it may be just a quick cup of coffee for the other person. When meetings are essential I usually plan them for just after our monthly breakfast in the city and do them all at once.
I also invite clients and suppliers to networking meetings which is a great cost-effective way to entertain. Business associates really do understand my situation, which is certainly not unique, and have been fantastic throughout this period. When both kids are at school the situation will be easier, but for now this is the solution. You just do what you have to do.
Find more of this incredible interview check out Dale Beaumont’s book “Secrets of Inspiring Women Exposed!“.