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Work Life Balance: Is It Really Possible?

Work Life Balance – this is at the forefront of nearly every business person’s mind. The great, seemingly unsolved life mystery, of how to balance life and work in such a way to enjoy each aspect of it is important to all around success. In this segment from an interview with Dale Beaumont and Kim McGuinness, Kim speaks on her personal philosophy on this great mystery.

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.

What is your philosophy on work/life balance and does it really exist?

My entire business is about balance – the various areas of the network are designed to address each area in our busy lives. The idea for Network Central came about when I was actually in labour with my second child, Juliet, who was early and threw all my carefully laid out plans into chaos!

The best balancing trick for me is to be 100 per cent present in whatever I am doing without feeling guilty for the other things I am not doing. If I am with the children then I am with them 100 per cent without feeling guilty about the business. On the other hand if I am working, I arrange this around preschool and sleep times so that I can concentrate completely on what I am doing – this way I am a lot more focused and a million times more efficient.

I am a full-time mother and have structured my business around my children. For example, when my son was a baby it was easy to work longer hours as all he did was sleep. As he got older and the second one came along I outsourced various aspects and scaled back projects to allow for more time with them. Next year my son will start primary school and Juliet will go to preschool two days a week so I will have more time again to increase my programs. This year has been about planning and tweaking programs to roll out the next year. In the pursuit of balance I have also learnt to say ‘no!’

Playing with my kids or taking time out is not only therapeutic, it’s grounding and helps me to realise what is truly valuable in my life. It also allows the mind to clear and to think – some of my best creative ideas have been in the cubbyhouse over a cup of pretend tea!

Check out “Secrets of Inspiring Women Exposed!” for more of this interview.