Tory Archbold is the Founder & Director of Powerful Steps, a platform which allows others to step into their true power and potential.
She also founded Torstar, a brand communications agency that has worked alongside international and local fashion, beauty and lifestyle brands.
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1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
I started TORSTAR almost 20 years ago and it grew into a globally recognised brand communication agency partnering with the world’s top performing retail brands.
A few years ago I downsized the agency in favour of a work-life balance and haven’t looked back. Downsizing taught me that you can still attract the world’s best brands if you have the passion, right team and deliver. In 2019 my passion shifted and I started Powerful Steps, a platform to inspire, encourage and empower others.
Like TORSTAR, it started with my gut instinct and a desire that the business I would be stepping into would deliver a positive impact on others. Instead of driving a brand’s impact through customer experience and sales driven strategies, I now impact others through transformational leadership with a series of corporate workshops, keynote speaking and retreats.
I love the raw, authenticity of sharing my personal and professional journey to switch people’s thinking and allowing them to understand that anything is possible when you look at challenges as possibilities.
2) What does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
My work days are planned in advance. I believe in the power of personally connecting with others and will share a coffee for an hour with someone within my network, a business referral or potential partnership every day.
The Powerful Steps business model is set up so that we work with the right people on a project or freelance basis, time is spent ensuring that each person understands and is invested in the company game plan – communication is constant and the key to everyone’s success.
We scale up and down depending on deliverables. I am a woman of action which means we all work at a fast pace – we create, attract and deliver. Technology plays a large role in how my day flows – scheduling is key along with a CBD location so that each meeting is within walking distance from my office at WeWork.
Days are jam packed and based on my core values – passion, integrity and delivery.
3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
I always invested in a fixed office space with my first business TORSTAR as we had a team of 22+ freelancers. In the last few years working with U.S.-based businesses, I noticed a growing trend with my clients moving into shared workspaces.
I would often be invited to meetings at WeWork in Soho, New York, and I absolutely loved the energy. I also saw how businesses of all scales were collaborating with each other to save time and reduce costs.
If a $100 million cosmetics brand could run a business from a private office at WeWork, with staff offered true flexibility, whether headquartered in New York or working remotely from around the world, surely in Australia we could do the same.
With Powerful Steps I wanted to establish a different business structure from the start – building and empowering a team to work from anywhere, hiring the best people to drive the brand’s success.
WeWork allows us to access a diverse community of members within a creative environment where we can tap into others’ expertise and where I am able to have coffee dates in a variety of office locations around the country (and overseas!) when I want to switch things up.
4) Do you have any tips, tricks or shortcuts to help you manage your workload and schedule?
Surround yourself with the right tribe – challenges become possibilities with a team in place who are 100% aligned with your values and goals. Invest in good technology as it will save time and money.
There are so many great systems available for businesses that actually free up your day to invest more time in meeting and connecting with others – don’t underestimate the value of personalising your relationships vs hiding behind technology to do business. It will build your reputation and network.
5) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
For many years my life was ruled by business commitments and a tricky personal life. I had a near-death experience in 2013 and it changed my mindset. Your health is your wealth and it is my #1 priority.
I believe in the power of investing in yourself – for me this is daily meditation and a non-negotiable weekly mentor session to keep me focused and on track to achieve personal and professional goals.
Weekends are for family – they are our most precious commodity and we want to enjoy them. We switch off from work until Monday so we can enjoy this time together and be present.
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?
You are the only one responsible for giving yourself the life you want. To build that momentum and attract what you truly deserve, you need to constantly check in with yourself to ensure the people you surround yourself with are aligned with your values, life goals and are there to support you when you step outside of your comfort zone or face a challenging situation.
These people are my accountability tribe and are a mix of personal, professional and family connections. They have my back and I have theirs meaning we live in flow with an understanding that when doors open with new opportunities we walk through them, and when doors gently shut, that opportunity is meant for another. Your tribe will always evolve and self edit as you grow.
7) Are there any books that have helped you improve over the years?
I love reading and evolving and have six books on rotation at any given moment. I am currently writing a book that will be published in 2020 and spending a lot of time with publishers and in-store observing what people are talking about and purchasing.
My years of partnering with the world’s top brands taught me to dig deep and understand the customer journey as there will always be one ‘gold nugget’ of joy that comes from a brand experience or story told.
My golden nugget for today is the book The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down by Haemin Sunim which shows us how to be calm in a busy world in the simplest form. He is brilliant and this is my current go-to while I am building the Powerful Steps brand.
8) What is the number one thing you do to make sure you get the most out of your day?
Wake up with a smile on my face – thankfully my husband agrees and does the same.
9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
Believe in yourself. Life is full of possibilities and you are here to make them reality. Don’t wait for things to happen – go out there and make them happen. We are all capable of great things and unless you step outside of your comfort zone you will never grow.
If you found the above conversation about work-life balance helpful, be sure to check out Balance the Grind’s 42 tips for achieving & maintaining a healthy work-life balance.