Bahar Etminan is a leader in the lifestyle space as the founder of women’s lifestyle site Rescu and founder of eLearning platform RescuMe Academy.
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1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
I’m the founder and editor of women’s lifestyle site Rescu and also an online education spin off RescuMe Academy where we have partnered with experts to deliver video led, online education on our most popular content areas such as relationship therapy and make up skills.
As part of this business, I also consult to brands and am a mentor, business advisor and speaker. I completed an MBA at Bond University when I was 21 and since then have had an exciting and varied career.
I have worked in Property Marketing and Events for McGrath, I was GM of Gucci Timepieces, Brand GM Of two Estée Lauder brands Bobbi Brown and Origins, CEO of my first business, Brandmakers, importing and distributing 30+ cosmetic, fragrance and skincare brands and then I moved into online publishing with the launch of RESCU in 2008.
2) What does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
The world just turned upside down so my typical day is very different to attending events, product briefings, client meetings and wips. Now most of what I do is via Zoom meetings, email and phone calls. I work from home and my daughter does her school lessons from our home office.
3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
Absolutely yes. I run a digital business so unless I was attending launches, briefings, showings and client meetings, everything is online and remote. I used to have a big office for all of us. Four years ago I moved to a co-working space.
This year it’s all remote from home and I haven’t skipped a beat. I do miss the meetings and events, it’s a really tight knit community particularly the Beauty Industry, but I’ve always worked remotely with our Expert contributors and tech teams. It’s working out just fine.
My daughter is now home with the rest of the nation. She has the main office space and I am at the other end of the house at my desk overlooking the harbour. It’s beautiful and filled with light. I am really happy here!
4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
I have created a good work life balance over the past four years. I had a baby right after the global financial crisis and spent the first three years of her life working myself to the bone. I had a huge debt to repay the bank having nearly gone bankrupt and I was building a new business from scratch.
After a divorce and turning 40, I realised that human capital, namely my own life force, was a finite resource and without me, there is no business and without me there is no reason to work like I was doing.
So I started slowly and made changes. No more emails after 7pm. No business calls or emails on the weekend. I reconnected with my business coach and I started reading again. I booked longer and more frequent holidays and I incorporated self care into the culture of the office.
When we were all in the office together, we got off our chairs and we did planks on the hour, we made lunches together, we giggled over dating stories and we had our beauty expert come to the office for spray tans. Creating space for fun and reducing the intensity of the days really changed how I showed up in real life.
A lot of people actually commented that I looked a good ten years younger once I had cracked the work life balance code.
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?
I believe in getting expert advice for what I don’t know, and I am happy to outsource things that are low dollar productive activities.
I have a business coach whom I’ve worked on and off with for over 20 years. Dr Fred Grosse teaches that anything that costs you less than what you can earn in an hour, can and should be outsourced so you can focus on your own area of excellence and focus on task that generate high dollar productive value.
For example, I have a great book keeper and accountant. I would spend infinitely more hours than I should trying to do my BAS or payroll or invoices than handing it over to the experts. It’s a waste of my time to learn bookkeeping. It’s more dollar productive for me to brief content, connect with clients and come up with creative business ideas and sales.
6) Are there any books that have helped you improve over the years?
You Inc. by my mentor and friend John McGrath is excellent and clear. Think and Grow Rich By Napoleon Hill is a classic and I really do believe in the magic of setting goals and manifesting the life you want.
Black Belt of the Mind by my business and life Coach Dr Fred Grosse is also wonderful and super super practical. His advice changed my life and I can read this book again and again and still find things to do to tweak and improve my day.
I wrote a book four years ago, published by Harlequin, a division of Harper Collins, called RESCU Me! A Makeover Guide for The Life More Fabulous. It featured leading experts from RESCU and I refer to many of the chapters in this book when I need to polish up the magic in certain areas of my life.
The book is like a choose your own adventure manual for all the pillars that make up your life. So if your health or finances need a make-over, you read and use the advice in those chapters. I recently did a wardrobe make over using my own book as inspiration.
7) What is the number one thing you do to make sure you get the most out of your day?
I listen to Audible audiobooks at least 30 mins a day. I try to listen to business or self development titles and I read novels and biographies.
I am also really committed to getting in at least 30 mins of exercise a day. I try to do Pilates three times a week (now online), and I walk for 5-7 km at least 3 times a week too. Both these practices clear my head and help me switch gears.
8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?
I am so impressed by Richard Branson’s ability to create and lead and run multiple businesses, always in a joyful and gracious spirit. He always appears energised and genuinely in the moment.
9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
This pandemic has completely changed how we view work in the context of our real lives. The ability to work remotely, be ensconced with our children and partners around the clock and to be forced to face our worst business nightmares is the stuff that makes us evolve.
I feel we are all students in the art of living again and we are going through a huge burst of pain and creativity. Necessity is the mother of invention and we are all on our knees. It’s a level playing field and new leaders will start to emerge from the rubble. I love this.
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