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Balancing the Grind With Emmaline Raggatt, Co-Founder at Mirrored Horizons

Emmaline Raggatt is the Co-Founder at Mirrored Horizons, a Melbourne-based professional training & coaching company offering personal development workshops, individualised coaching and more.

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1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?

I have a background in Psychology with a focus on coaching and human analysis. I have worked in a number of different industries whereby my positions have evolved into becoming a trusted advisor to the business. It is through these strong connections that I have been able to bring about positive change, add value and empower those key decision makers to uphold the businesses strategy.

It was through my previous place of employment that I was fortunate enough to meet Julia, who is now Co-Founder with myself of Mirrored Horizons, which was born out of a place out of having a genuine care for people. We’re about empowering people to find ultimate fulfilment, in whatever that is and whatever that looks like.

Developing a business name that reflected who we were as individuals, business partners and captured what we offer was no easy feat! We wanted to develop a name that paid homage to our country heritages whilst being memorable for its uniqueness. We wanted to demonstrate that we appreciated self-reflection was important but was no more, or no less important than looking to the future.

Mirrored Horizons is about living in the present whilst balancing intimately knowing who you are (self-reflection) and looking to what is on the horizon (future planning). There is no one horizon, the possibilities and opportunities are infinite.

2) What does a typical day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?

Jules and I have been so very mindful when setting up Mirrored Horizons that we authentically create an environment where we “practice what we preach!”

Meaning, we start our working day at 9:00am to allow Jules to get her children off to childcare without the mad morning rush she once felt and for me to head to Pilates or a fitness class of some sort which for so long, I neglected to do.

We are huge believers of in order to get the most out of your days, you need to be the best version of yourself. For us that means doing things in the morning that energisers us for the day ahead.

Once we get into the office, Jules and I often spend the first 30 mins over coffee going through our “to do’s” and having a general chit chat.

Regardless of how busy we are, Jules and I always make sure we break for lunch and often get outside and go for a walk. Fresh air and taking a moment to think outside the office always helps our creativity and productivity.

We finish our working day at 3:30/4:00pm to allow for childcare pickups and life admin time.

We are continually finding throughout our business ownership journey that the more our lives outside work are allowed to be supported by work, the more we achieve in the time allocated to productivity and achievement for Mirrored Horizons. We work smarter, not harder.

3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?

Absolutely! It is something so incredibly important to both Jules and I. Creating a business based on trust and the knowledge that people are genuinely trying to do the best they know how to do is paramount to us.

I recently got married to my now husband Zach and my business partner Julia took on all my responsibilities for 2 weeks to allow for complete “switch off” time in the lead up to our wedding. This allowed me to be completely present for my special day, something I am incredibly grateful for.

Our flexible working arrangement means that we are incredibly transparent around our deadlines. We allow one another the autonomy to get our work done within those deadlines and expectations however we wish. This can mean taking half days off to fit in personal commitments and then working into the night.

We are not each other’s time keepers and know that it is the quality of work we produce that matters, not the quantity of time we spend with our face glued to our computer screens.

4) Do you have any tips, tricks or shortcuts to help you manage your workload and schedule?

Never take short cuts, they ironically always end up wasting your time. Figuring out how to do something “quicker” often means you sacrifice doing it well. We’d always rather take longer and produce something we’re proud to have our brand on.

Open communication is key. Be transparent with your workload and plan well in advance where you can. Being realistic in our expectations of one another has always allowed us to plan effectively and get the work done in a collaborative approach.

5) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?

Work-life balance is everything to both Julia, myself and the Mirrored Horizons brand.

“Don’t confuse having a career with having a life.” – Hilary Clinton

Finding your purpose in life and work breeds balance organically.

6) What do you think are some of the best habits you’ve developed over the years to help you strive for success and balance?

Embracing who I am, being clear on my purpose and understanding what I stand. I am a confident young woman now that I have direction and clarity on those three things. I am able to acknowledge and remove what no longer serves me any good far easier than I ever use to.

With this grounded sense of self comes the ability to say “no”. This is something I have battled with my entire life. I often found myself in situations where I have felt depleted, taken advantage of and burnt out because I was unable to push back on those around me and say “no.” Knowing your worth and the value you add is such an important tool to mastering the art of saying “no”.

7) Are there any books that have helped you improve over the years?

I could possibly short list 100 but I won’t bore you. I have whittled my list down to my favorites;

  • Good to Great by Jim Collins
  • Start with Why by Simon Sinek
  • You Win in the Locker Room First: The 7 C’s to Build a Winning Team in Business, Sports, and Life by Jon Gordon, Michael J. Smith, and Mike Smith
  • 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
  • The Power of Vulnerability by Brene Brown

When it comes to my personal growth, I connect with the writings of Tim Winton. His ability to weave people’s inner emotions and often turmoils with nature is beautiful to read. Highly recommend reading Breath by Tim Winton.

8) What is the number one thing you do to make sure you get the most out of your day?

I am by practice and nature, a list maker. The only problem with list making is that, dependent on your workload, it can often become overwhelming.

I have learnt over the years (and thanks to my incredibly practical and insightful business partner Jules) that it is ok to have your list of “everything” you have to do as long as you break it down each day to only encompass your top 3 priorities.

Having this clarity on your daily priorities helps sets realistic targets and expectations to others and yourself. You’ll be amazed what you can achieve in a day when you begin to break your end goal down!

9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?

I would like to leave readers with this little gem that has changed my life (thankfully for the better).

The power of choice.

I sacrificed having a work life balance for such a long time that I began to be a shell of the person I once was. I was utterly miserable and every aspect of my life began to show it.

It was such a confronting and liberating moment when I finally realised that I was the only one who had the power to change it. I had the power of choice. I had the power of how I wanted to create and live my life.

It sounds idiotically simple, but when you are trapped in the confines of your own misery (that you have created), it is often hard to see any way out.

It is ok if you don’t have balance in your life at this point in time, I didn’t once too, but know that you have the power to change it. The sooner you empower yourself with this realisation, the sooner achieving balance isn’t so foreign.

If work life balance is something you want in your life, why not complete a cost benefit analysis of the changes you would have to make to create that a reality for yourself? Understanding the impacts your choices have on various areas of your life is critical.

Once I understood that my own choice to stay in a working environment that didn’t value my own values was ultimately making me miserable, the path forward became clear.

If seeking change is something you believe will bring you closer to work life balance, try putting key milestones or success factors in place to measure your own progress. These things take time so breaking down the end goal and ensuring you ‘stay on track’ is a sure way to move towards achieving your desired change.

Lastly, having the right people on “your team” is essential. When Jules and I made the move into business ownership it was a decision we needed support from those around us.

For us, getting our husbands on board was the biggest pitch we’ve had to do in business ownership to date. Having the support and backing of those who we spend the most time with was and still is critical to Mirrored Horizons continued success. Thanks husbands!

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About Author

Balance The Grind gives me a platform to talk to these people about how they're achieving their ideal lifestyle. I'm inspired by the passion, the work ethic, the hustle; and these conversations motivate me to live life the way I want to live it.