Julie Medeiros is the Founder & Owner of the women’s fashion online store Via Provincia based in Melbourne, Australia.
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1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
I grew up in Russia and ten years ago I decided to change my career from teaching to business administration. So I moved to Australia in pursuit of postgraduate business education.
My professional journey continued in large pharmaceutical companies in Melbourne where I successfully performed in a variety of sales and marketing roles. It was fantastic experience as I could apply my knowledge, learn about customer behaviour and how to develop effective marketing tools to build strong brands.
When my elder daughter was born, I decided to pursue my long standing interest in digital marketing and I spent my maternity leave on learning about e-commerce and starting my online business.
Since then I knew it was my passion and I feel blessed to have an opportunity to look after my young family without compromising my professional growth.
2) What does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
My morning starts with getting my two little kids ready for school and childcare, preparing lunch boxes and having breakfast followed by practicing reading with my preppy daughter. I’ve learnt to invest time in valuable activities with my children, so cleaning and screentime are off my agenda.
After a drop off, I stop in a nearby park for a half-an-our walk and meditation. It is a massive lift of my energy that creates focus for the day ahead and helps connect with myself.
The next four hours are highly intense business time. As a sole trader, there is no lack in tasks to do. Everything from online marketing to customer service and order processing gets attention in this short time frame. And since it is so limited, my efficiency is at its maximum.
I always plan my time wisely, including downtime. When I feel my productivity is low, I utilise this time for self-learning, reading articles and analysing the market. My breaks are short and involve stretching to give rest to the eyes and help with the posture.
No matter how little time I may have on hand, I always look for ways to optimise it and create value for my business.
3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
I am a home-based entrepreneur and I feel lucky I do not have to waste my time on the commute. I’ve learnt to appreciate time – the resource we all want the most and use the worst. I do have meetings in the city from time to time however at the moment I find work from home gives me enough flexibility to attend the needs of the young family.
4) Do you have any tips, tricks or shortcuts to help you manage your workload and schedule?
Planning, planning, planning. I am a big believer that anything that gets planned gets done. My day ends with a list of tasks for day ahead hand written on a white sheet of paper (yes, I’m an old-school type who likes to write things instead of using a gadget).
Ticking off the boxes gives me immense pleasure knowing I’ve created value for my business.
5) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
For me work-life balance is about being happy with myself. It is not about activities in a day, it is about feeling in control, inner peace and fulfilment. It is true that my day is packed with high intensity work for my business and care of my two little children.
To balance things up, I include me-time on my plan. I intentionally create this time for myself because if I don’t, it will be spent on anything else but myself. So I make time to go jogging, reading, writing my new book and staying connected with my family from Russia.
This is the time to relax, re-charge and unwind. Time to keep the focus and priorities right. Only when we feel good about ourselves, physically and emotionally, we can be valuable contributors to the business and share positive vibes with the people around us.
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?
I am not scared of the unknown and I learnt to re-frame “fear” with “curiosity”. As Eleanor Roosevelt said “Do one thing everyday that scares you.”
I am a big believer that passion and persistence can overcome anything. This is how I’ve learnt the art of copywriting, digital marketing, social media and even design. I take steps every day to learn what I do not know. I am confident that if you put your mindset towards anything, you can achieve it through persistence.
7) Are there any books that have helped you improve over the years?
My favourite book is Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser. I am moved by her obsession with her dream and agree that every person can create life they want if they are prepared to work for it.
8) What is the number one thing you do to make sure you get the most out of your day?
In addition to planning, I meditate. This helps me keep the focus and priorities right, find answers to my questions and fill up with positive energy. This way I am able to stay in control no matter how my day goes.
9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
My advice is prioritise yourself. Only when you are well rested and happy you can embrace all challenges life may bring and make a positive impact on those around you. So keep your identity and be true to yourself.
If you’d like to have a conversation with us about how you balance the grind, get in touch with us!