Sarah Fritz is the Founder & CEO at Yes Queen, a company focused on future-proofing wellbeing at work by erasing bullying and supporting safe, positive and inclusive cultures.
This conversation is brought to you by HelloFresh, delivering delicious ingredients and simple recipes straight to your doorstep each week. Save 40% off your first HelloFresh box with Balance The Grind.
1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
After studying Fashion and Textiles at RMIT University I was very lucky to land a role on the advertising team at Pacific Magazines. I worked on the fashion and health titles with a keen interest to move to the Editorial department.
I had incredible opportunities working with the styling team of marie claire and assisting with events for InStyle. When I made the decision to stay in advertising, I spent eight years honing skills in brand strategy and creative concepting; working on large-scale partnerships for brands like Disney, Melbourne Fashion Week and Victorian Racing Club.
I loved corporate life – living off lattes and late nights, we worked hard and played hard, with “pinch-me” perks I’ll be forever grateful for. Working under influential Publishers, Editors and Leaders – and alongside inspiring, creative peers – has had a very positive impact on my professional and personal development.
Like many businesses and sectors, the offices I worked in weren’t always running on high-vibes; I unfortunately encountered some toxic people and environments.
As a person who is fiercely passionate about people, culture and good energy, I was motivated to start an initiative called Yes Queen, the revolution of kindness in the workplace. We are a not for profit company on a quest to future-proof wellness at work by abolishing bullying and creating spaces that are safe, positive and inclusive.
2) What does a typical day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
I am a ‘digital nomad’ – I currently live and work remotely in Da Nang, Vietnam. With perpetual sun, the ocean two streets away, a rooftop pool next to our room and a plethora of Melbourne-grade cafes (for 1/5 of the price) – we must set boundaries in order to stay focused.
I co-run two businesses with my husband Mike; we both ‘unplugged from the Matrix’ to begin a bohemian business life.
One business is St Dakota, a creative and brand agency, I am responsible for the strategy and marketing and Mike is on creative tools, coming up with concepts and executing them. And Yes Queen is our passion project, I lead the creative and communication strategy and Mike turns my vision into stand out assets and resources.
Each day begins with guided meditation and a gym session. From here it’s breakfast at a café where we usually have a WIP and talk about what we each need to achieve that day. St Dakota live projects include a strategy for a new leadership business, the launch of a hearing aid into the Australian market and a social campaign for a beauty brand.
In Yes Queen land I am working on commercial partnerships for 2020, an event in Melbourne this December and a self-care retreat in Byron next year.
3) Do you have any tips, tricks or shortcuts to help you manage your workload and schedule?
Know your body clock and use it to format your day. I am 100% a morning person, I spring out of bed at 5am with an ‘I am ready for today’ spirit.
Flexible work life has allowed me to capitalise on my morning energy, I work solidly for 5 hours, with good intention and good hustle. In some corporate offices you are bound by 9-5:30 – but we are not ‘always on’ in those 8 hours. Getting all my work done in hours that work for me leaves room for reading, researching and planning in the afternoon.
I live by my paper diary and use this to map out my week, to-do list and deadlines. It has a 7-day view when open so I can constantly check in and stay on top my weekly goals. It’s a ‘moon diary’ with weekly insights into moon cycles along with information on ancient cultures, symbolism and rituals.
4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
For me balance is nurturing my brain, body and spirit (or psyche). A perfect day consists of activities and rituals that serve all three. A good way to measure balance is observing thoughts if my mind is noisy or I am thinking of work, it’s a sign my wellbeing and personal development needs focus – I learnt this measure from Alison Rice on her podcast ‘Offline’.
I have a genuine love and passion for both businesses, which means working 7 days a week is no issue. I have had to bring a lot of attention to work-life balance, constantly reminding myself to work to my body clock and pre-plan activities and adventures.
If we don’t plan ahead we can fall into a laptop zone with blinders on which makes balance a challenge. We aim to do something outside of work everyday – whether that’s time in nature, a spa treatment or dinner out – sometimes it’s an unashamed Netflix in bed session.
5) What do you think are some of the best habits you’ve developed over the years to help you strive for success and balance?
Committing to healings, mindful practices and conscious events has been a game-changer for me in business. These rituals continue to open my heart and mind, have contributed to better communication and thought processing and helped me live a life with more compassion, joy and creativity.
I am a curious creature that gives anything a go – I have tried aerial yoga, expressive dance, (sober) morning raves, sound healings, guided meditation, crystal dreaming therapy, kundalini healing and energy readings – these have added a practical and personal benefit to my life and have upgraded my drive and motivation.
6) Are there any books that have helped you improve over the years?
I read Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment at a young age, which has had a huge impact on my life. He said “Accept – then act” By accepting what is in the present moment, and working with it not against it, we can positively transform any situation.
I learnt a beautiful lesson on individuality in Many Lives, Many Masters by Dr Brian Weiss. He used a diamond as a metaphor. He said we each have a brilliant shining diamond inside of us, but it is covered in dirt and tar.
It is the responsibility of each person to clean each facet of the diamond in order to beam a rainbow of colours. This has empowered me to keep developing personally – this work is a forever job.
7) What is the number one thing you do to make sure you get the most out of your day?
I set an intention every day. Setting an intention helps me operate with more meaning and purpose.
8) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
Beware of burnout. Exhaustion should be rare; your consistent state should be well and happy. Don’t be afraid to ask your boss or business for a mental health day – your brain is what powers your work self – this needs nurturing too.
If you’d like to support Balance the Grind’s mission to promote health work-life balance to a global audience, you can join our Patreon membership for as little as $1 a month.