Julie Hyde is the founder and director of Julie Hyde Consulting, where she works with business leaders to help them build and lead high performance teams.
1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
Growing up, I always wanted to be a vet. When that wasn’t to be, I joined the finance industry and enjoyed a successful 21-year career. I learnt a lot throughout my time, particularly in the leadership and team development space.
After climbing the corporate ladder I was feeling unfulfilled so I decided to start my own business. I believed I could do it and had a good understanding of business. I did find the transition hard at first; leaving a huge infrastructure that I took for granted and working with teams was something I missed.
Thankfully, that was a good decision as it’s still going strong fourteen years later. Looking back, I really had no idea what I was doing but worked it out along the way. I quickly worked out I needed to surround myself with like-minded and successful people; so that’s what I did.
With my business, I work with a diverse range of clients and no day is the same. I am always learning and challenging myself to be better. I feel very grateful to be the master of my own destiny.
2) What does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
My day always starts with exercise. Whether that is hitting the gym or going for a walk. I worked out a long time ago that exercise supports my mental and physical health and enables me to perform at my best.
I will then eat a healthy breakfast and have a coffee whilst doing my social posts and seeing what is happening in my network.
My days are then quite varied. Depending on whether I’m working with clients or working on my business, I might hit the road heading to meetings or try and do my focused tasks in the morning and allow the day to evolve as planned (hopefully). No day is ever the same and that’s what I love about what I do – the diversity.
I will generally try to switch off around 7pm and have dinner with my husband or catch up with a friend.
3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
I led a large team remotely in my corporate career so the remote working is quite normal for me. That was handy for me when COVID hit as I could support the leaders I was working with to successfully do this with their teams.
I have a remote team that I lead now. I am fortunate to be working for a great boss who allows flexible working! Seriously, though, I ensure I make my weeks work for me most of the time and plan ahead to ensure I am doing what makes me happy whilst also achieving my goals.
4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
Work-life balance means to me that we have ‘one life’ – make it work for you. That will look different to each individual. For me it is ensuring I am doing what I prioritise in the first instance – both professionally and personally.
This includes my self-care and ensuring I am getting lots of sleep. This doesn’t always go to plan and I have to be flexible but I would say 70% of the time, things will work out so I can ensure I am looking after myself and my business and team.
5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?
I have outsourced so many more tasks in the past 12 months. It has been a life changer! I have an amazing virtual team who are so much better at these tasks than I ever was. So you could say I have stopped being a control freak and let go of the reins.
My business and my sanity are so much better for it! I have also started to use Friday morning as my ‘knowledge’ morning where I will listen to an audiobook or podcasts. I find it very inspiring.
6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?
I have many!
- Linchpin by Seth Godin
- Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts. by Brené Brown
- Becoming by Michelle Obama
- Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg
7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?
I love Asana for delegating and managing tasks. I can’t live without my phone and my water bottle! And I am addicted to strawberries and blueberries – they are a must have!
8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?
I love reading about how highly successful people like Michelle Obama, Diane Von Furstenberg or Elon Musk take care of themselves. People who are totally different to me and who have had very different life experiences.
9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
I sometimes think that people are ‘looking’ for work-life balance when it needs to be created. It’s not something that is just going to show up.
It’s within your control, you need to establish your own balance in line with what is important to you and what works for you. I don’t think we can think about this generically, it’s a very individual thing.
I encourage all of my clients to work out how they fill their cup and then commit to doing this. I also encourage them to start communicating with their employer, their partner, their kids if they are having a problem being able to achieve their work-life balance to work towards a solution.
There is a magical two letter word that I think we all need to use a bit more in achieving our balance – no! Once I started using that word more my world changed. Know what your boundaries are and stick to them – it’s liberating and empowering.
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