Rebecca Rynehart is the Founder of Hartisann, a personal and corporate development consultancy. She offers her expertise as a Personal Coach, Business Mentor and Marketing Consultant to individuals, teams and brands alike, assisting them to evolve and grow in line with their values and fulfil their highest potential.
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1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
My background is in marketing. I worked within creative agencies worldwide for almost two decades, eventually running one, before starting my own business two years ago.
I am a huge fan of the Irish author and Philosopher Charles Handy and was deeply stirred many years ago by the concept he coined ‘The Portfolio Life’. Creating a life filled with different activities to meet your needs.
So for example you do something for money, something for joy, something that feeds your soul, something for creativity etc. All the elements fit together to create balance and equilibrium in your life.
As an entrepreneur I am now able to live this portfolio life and activate my various passions through my work. This includes helping people and teams fulfill their potential through coaching, creativity through marketing consultancy and shared value and community through my conscious business mentoring.
2) What does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
Everyday is different and I love that! I am someone who craves stimulation and change, however, since starting my own business I have developed a deep respect for routine and the grounding and stability that it brings. It’s a bit of a balancing act for me to maintain structure whilst also remaining flexible and spontaneous.
So there is no typical day but one thing that is always guaranteed is that I am an early bird. I love the peace and tranquility that the predawn moment brings – just before the world wakes up. It is a magical time for me.
I will wake and meditate for twenty minutes usually before the sun rises. There is a sense of peace, calm and clarity that sets me up for the day ahead and I feel ready to take on whatever it may bring. I meditate again in the afternoon.
The only other thing that will be guaranteed is that I will drink at least three cups of English Breakfast Tea. Everything else is up for grabs.
Currently I am making a broadcast around hobbies. Discovering why people do them, the feelings they feel and how they enrich their lives. It’s fascinating! I’ve learnt so much and it gives me a buzz to discover new things to try.
The whole concept of hobbies does need a bit of a rebrand to be honest – often people associate it with crochet or something old skool but a hobby is essentially anything you do for pure enjoyment and play, which is cool. Many of us (myself included) struggle at times to let this into our lives.
3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
Yes, I do loads of work remotely and flexibly and I crave this. It is one of the reasons I choose to work for myself.
I am not a huge fan of the 9 – 5 office environment and find it a little constricting. Apart from the congestion it places on our infrastructure I think it’s an outdated concept. It does not take into account our individuality, idiosyncrasies and characteristics that make us all unique.
For example, I am very productive between 6am and 11am and then around 5pm onwards. Less so in the middle of the day. I also have my best ideas whilst doing something else like walking around, cooking or even cleaning. My best ideas do not come after sitting at a desk for 4 hours with the objective of being creative.
However, the opposite of this is the loneliness that can come with working for yourself and remotely. It also takes incredible self discipline. There is much to be said for the structure, support, creativity and camaraderie that a company culture brings.
Therefore flexible working hours with home days, core office hours, technology and structures that enable people to work remotely but maintain a feeling of being in a ‘team’ are, in my opinion, a healthy balance.
4) Do you have any tips, tricks or shortcuts to help you manage your workload and schedule?
Know who you are and what you need. In the past I was exceptionally good at over committing. Saying yes to everything and then either having to cancel plans and feel bad about it or run around being busy and essentially burning out.
Manage your life in a way that works for you. I now diarise everything electronically but also have a whiteboard at home with the month ahead showing key commitments. It helps me to see at a glance how busy my weeks are and plan accordingly.
I need to see lots of empty days to allow for spontaneity! I suffered from burnout in the past, essentially because I didn’t appreciate how much time alone I need in order to re-energise and I didn’t put the tools and systems in place to allow this.
It is important as an individual to understand yourself and what you need in order to design your life accordingly. I am someone who enjoys bursts of being with others however I also need loads of time in a quiet space in order to energise, reconnect with myself and fuel my creativity. Others may need less time alone than me.
We are all different and without truly knowing who we are we cannot look after ourselves. Unfortunately it took me to the age of 40 to fully understand this about myself, but hey that’s life! I now help people uncover themselves earlier and create a life in alignment with who they truly are and what they need in order to thrive.
5) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
I come back to understanding who you are, what makes you feel energised, calm, inspired, safe and alive. The concept of the portfolio life allows for a variety of things in your world which evoke various feelings and create balance.
So for example your job may bring you a sense of safety and energy whereas a hobby may bring a sense of calm and peace. Or you have many jobs and a few hobbies and feel whole as a result. Self reflection is the tool that I use to achieve this goal.
I observe how I am feeling, consider what has caused the feeling and then determine if I want to change it or not. We are all in control of our lives and we can all choose how we feel, I mean that is the simple truth isn’t it.
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?
Success is different for each person. Discovering what is important to me and what isn’t has been an enormous help. It’s not always easy to stand up and say ‘I don’t want that’ when many others perceive that as successful. And I haven’t always been able to do this.
When I haven’t stood in my truth I have felt out of alignment and inauthentic and I don’t enjoy feeling like that. Knowing who I am, what my true goals are and taking the time to think about this and plan accordingly is crucial for my personal success and balance.
I have multiple coaches and mentors who help me through this by listening, reflecting and guiding me through different aspects of my life. It’s hard to coach yourself because a core aspect of coaching is the feedback process that another person brings. One of the best habits I have developed is investing in myself and my development and realising that I don’t need to do it all alone.
7) Are there any books that have helped you improve over the years?
So many books! However Charles Handy stands out as being inspirational to me, he mostly writes about business however it was his autobiography Myself and Other More Important Matters which inspired me to look at life in a different way and make it happen.
8) What is the number one thing you do to make sure you get the most out of your day?
Meditate. I do it twice a day to cut through the clutter, find calm and then feel energised and focused. I’m quite new to meditation and only started practicing last year however it has changed my life for the better without question. I love it!
9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
Why not take the time to appreciate who you are as an individual and what you need to help you thrive because we are all beautifully unique. And make time for fun! One of my favourite quotes is from Plato “Life must be lived as play” an ancient reminder to not take ourselves too seriously and enjoy the process of this game that we call life.
If you’d like to have a conversation with us about how you balance the grind, get in touch with us!