Balancing the Grind with Amye Saunders, Vice President Operations at Noble Five

Amye Saunders is a digital marketing & search specialist, and the the Vice President of Operations and Senior Consultant at data-driven marketing agency Noble Five.

1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?

The last 12 months have seen seismic shifts in my career, going from an agency owner to freelancing and contracting. I am now settling in this new world and the way we work sharing my time between several projects and landing a role as Vice President of Operations.

My background has prepared me for this journey through technology and digital starting with a data role in the United States Navy, followed by web development and search.

It’s in my blood as I followed in my mother’s footsteps with her being a gun Fortran and Cobol programmer for Toyota in Los Angeles in the late 70’s, early 80’s.

2) What does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?

I am relishing the work from home situation which I thought I would not. I am flexible and super focused. I review my calendars (there are a few) the night before to help plan the following day.

I start rather early by reviewing emails that will likely shift some of my priorities. I check-in with my teams over Slack and ensure we are all working towards a common goal. The better part of the morning is spent on comms while the rest of the day is execution of specific tasks.

I do take time for self-care, stopping for moments of meditation and nourishment. Have you ever had a day when you realise at 5PM you haven’t left your desk? I aim to avoid that!

3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?

Yes, as in most cases we were all forced into this due to COVID and the associated restrictions. Once I got used to it, I felt quite settled and embraced the change. I do hope that this continues post COVID.

What it taught was that we can trust each other to get sh*t done. We are more flexible and more productive. The new way of working didn’t cause everything to fall over and I believe in some cases it has enriched people’s lives, although I can understand the lack of social interaction in the workplace is difficult for others.

4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?

This is what I have learned over the years. Work-life balance was and is so important, but I do not feel I effectively attained that in the past. Being a single mom with lofty career aspirations is a big ask.

I have learned some lessons about real priorities and seeking out what I really wanted to accomplish with work and life in general. It is a work in progress. To achieve that? I am a realist.

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5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?

I live in an amazing area of Sydney and have made it a point to spend as much time in or near the ocean as I can. I try to ensure I at least see it every day, make a point to at least get my feet wet, smell it and hear the waves crash. I am researching new ideas and trying to learn to meditate. Another work in progress.

6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?

A few books I really like are The Lean Startup, Eat That Frog, Hacking Growth, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck and loads of fiction as well as classics such as To Kill a Mockingbird and The Divine Comedy.

I follow Humans of New York on Instagram as he shows content to inspire appreciation and gratefulness. I also like to listen to podcasts such as Off the Gram, How to Fail, The Joe Rogan Experience, Stuff You Should Know and Armchair Expert.

7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?

No. Sometimes I think I’d like to be off the grid, but I’d probably feel like I need a phone, with wi-fi. One day I may try it.

8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?

Definitely Mike Cannon-Brookes, Scott Farquhar and maybe the older version of Bill Gates.

9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?

Stay true to yourself and maintain your passion, values, and vision. Make a point to really nurture your relationships. Learn to say no and live your best life.

Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.

Maya Angelou

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About Author

Hey there! I'm Hao, the Editor-in-Chief at Balance the Grind. We’re on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.