Alison Goodger is the Founder of Alkira Skincare, a natural skin care range, that she launched with her brother Simon. She was also the original co-founder and CEO of natural skin care company Sukin.
1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
I was the original co-founder and CEO of Sukin, a natural skin care company. The Sukin brand grew to become the market leader in the natural beauty and personal care market here is Australia. We also launched Sukin into multiple exports markets before selling the business to BWX in 2015.
I now own and run a brand building company specialising in beauty and targeted topical applications. Current projects include our new Australian native extract brand, Alkira Skincare and a joint venture working on CBD consumer goods.
2) What does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
A snapshot into my recent workday is a far cry from my old workdays.
I have a three year old who likes to wake up before the sun so my days start early. At some point in the AM hours I aim to exercise.
Now that we’re in isolation my work schedule is scattered throughout the day between home schooling and running after a toddler.
When I do get a chance to sit, I live by my to do list so this is the first thing I create each day.
Working on brands means my tasks vary each day from new product development, branding, marketing, sales strategies, zoom calls, admin, sales pitches and lots of travel (pre Covid-9).
3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
As I run my own business, I set my own agenda so yes, remote working and flexibility are options for me. My workday revolves around school hours which for the most part works however there are times when I’m super busy and 3.30 seems to come around so quickly.
When we had Sukin, I found I was at the office everyday. Working remotely wasn’t really an option for me then as I found I performed better when I was surrounded by my team. I like to discuss, collaborate, laugh and sit with people.
As the business grew so did my hours. I would start work before the sun came up which enabled me to finish in time to collect the girls from school.
When we sold Sukin, I decided that long hours at the office were a thing of the past so now I’m committed to flexibility and reduced working hours. I’m also at start up phase again, so I don’t have a team yet so working to my own schedule works for now.
4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
As a woman in business, I have always worn two hats, mum and business owner. At times this balancing act can be a challenge because there is always a task I can be doing for work but then there is always someone that’s hungry!
When I’m at work, I’m focused and super-efficient. I don’t waste time with meetings if they don’t have a clear objective and conclude with a result.
I plough through my to do list and if I think my emails will serve as a distraction, I turn them off. I put my head down and I work.
When I’m not at work, there are two non-negotiables for me. I collect my girls from school each day and am home with them after school hours and each night we sit down and eat dinner as a family.
5) What do you think are some of the best habits or routines that you’ve developed over the years to help you achieve success in your life?
Goal setting has always been important for me. If I set a goal then I consciously or sometimes subconsciously work toward achieving it.
Short term goals keep me motivated and when achieved offer a great sense of accomplishment. Long terms goals are just as important as they drive direction and define my long term vision.
I’ve also learnt to push myself to do things that make me uncomfortable and take me outside of my comfort zone. It took me a while to gain the confidence to do this and always gave me anxiety prior, but once I get through the task, I feel an enormous sense of achievement and the growth and confidence that comes with this is invaluable.
6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?
I love reading. Novels work best for me as I aim to switch off at night. I’ve just finished Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens which was a great read.
Each day, I listen to Coronacast for daily updates on the virus. It’s delivered by physician and journalist, Norman Swan and health reporter Tegan Taylor who both offer an easy to understand and comprehensive podcast on this pandemic.
7) What is the number one thing you do to make sure you get the most out of your day?
Sleep. I’m typically in bed by 9.30pm as I need at least 7 hours before my youngest starts her day. If I’m tired, my brain is foggy, I eat badly and I drink far too much caffeine.
8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?
My favourite entrepreneur is Sara Blakley – inventor of Spanx. She has created an extraordinary business that is still privately owned whilst juggling four children. I love hearing about her journey and the grass root sales and marketing strategies she implemented in the early days.
She was always visiting stores and taking it upon herself to redesign their merchandising so that Spanz was front and centre. It’s simple strategies like this at the start that help build awareness. You just have to be prepared to pound the pavement to make it work.
9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
I survived cancer a few years ago so for me finding balance and fulfilment is always top of mind. Confronting an uncertain future really puts things into perspective. Life is so short. Find enjoyment in the smallest things each day and take time to reflect on all of your blessings.
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