Danielle Pinkus is the Brand & Partnerships Director at Future Women, a business events and membership networking platform helping women connect, learn and lead.
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1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your background and career?
My first ‘real’ job was working at ACP’s teen publication Dolly Magazine while I was at university. From there I moved into a role as a features writer across Dolly and Cleo Magazines, before joining Nine’s digital editorial team as an editor on one of the 9Honey verticals.
After a few years I was thinking about my next move, when in a stroke of luck, the digital Content Director at the time, Helen McCabe announced her plans to launch Future Women (FW) to the editorial team.
By the end of the meeting I was completely sold, asked for a job and started the next day. In the two years I’ve been on FW, I’ve worked across concept launch, product, content, podcast production, event direction and production, marketing, PR and brand partnerships.
It’s been a wild ride.
2) What is your current role and what does it entail on a day to day basis?
I’m the Brand and Partnerships Director at Future Women and lead the events arm of the business.
Partnerships involves working with clients, developing creative briefs and finding new ways to partner with other businesses. On the events front, I’m focused on delivering meaningful and memorable event experiences for our community.
There’s a fair bit of travel between Sydney and Melbourne for our fortnightly member events. I’m well-suited to a slashy position, and enjoy working across creative, business strategy and relationship building.
3) What does a typical day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
I’m a stickler for routine so my day almost always starts with a gym session (HIIT, Pilates, boxing etc), followed by a 20-minute meditation, and arriving at the office by 8.30am.
Working on a start-up and in a small team means my days and weeks are varied. I could be launching a podcast one day and working on an event line-up the next.
One of the perks of working on FW is our agility to launch new concepts at breakneck speed by comparison to larger organisations. It’s refreshing and I’m constantly learning as I go.
4) Do you have any tips, tricks or shortcuts to help you manage your workload and schedule?
Because I’m often being pulled in multiple directions, I’m conscious of managing my time and energy expenditure effectively throughout the day. I’m most creative and productive in the morning, so I do the meat of my concept-driven work then. I’ll always go into the day with one or two key tasks that are must dos.
I like to strike while the iron is hot, collaborate and keep communication lines open so we can pivot and resolve barriers quickly. As Michael Jordan famously said, “Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.”
5) In between your job, life and all your other responsibilities, how do you ensure you find some sort of balance in your life?
I’ve never ascribed to the idea that the person in the office the earliest and out last is working the hardest. It’s about what you do with those hours and working smart. However, I love what I do, so I’m relaxed about dipping in and out of emails and time-sensitive projects out of hours.
When I’m feeling good mentally and physically, my family, friends and colleagues’ benefit, and I perform at a higher level than if I’m completely burnt out. I make time to check out new restaurants and bars, travel, visit art galleries, read and hang with my partner, family and friends.
This both makes me happy and sparks new work-related ideas. I allow these ideas to flow rather than attempting to compartmentalise work time and free time.
6) What does work life balance mean to you?
It’s accepting the fluid nature of my day-to-day responsibilities. Some days my work will take over and that’s okay, if I balance it out in other ways.
I try to regularly remind myself of Hillary Clinton’s quote, “Don’t confuse having a career with having a life” when I feel the balance is out of sync.
7) What do you think are some of the best habits you’ve developed over the years to help you strive for success and balance?
Hands down my morning routine. It sets up my entire day. In a broader sense, staying open to new opportunities and not holding on too tightly to ‘the plan’ whether that be on a project at work, in my career or personal life.
8) Are there any books on work life balance that have helped you over the years?
- The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do, and How to Change by Charles Duhigg
- The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle
9) What is the number one thing you do to make sure you get the most out of your day?
I’m repeating myself, but setting up my day with exercise, meditation and a clear idea of what I want to achieve by the end of that day.
10) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
I read a Forbes article a few years back on success, and one point has always stuck with me. Remember that you are a consultant and the CEO of your own career.
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.