Leigh White is a Transformational Coach at Soultopia, where she helps clients with personal & career development, improving confidence, relationships, mindfulness techniques, and more.
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1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
My background is branding and writing, with a large amount of media/PR and mentoring, which evolved into coaching, speaking and training today.
2) What does a typical day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
I’m a morning person and typically, I start the day with something that gives me a lot of energy like exercise (walk or ocean swimming) or meditation. When things get hectic this routine is even more important.
A work day can include a mix of coaching sessions (often in career or personal coaching or speaker training), marketing planning for the business, meeting stakeholders and partners, and team. I love meeting new people who are at a turning point and deciding what type of support they want to choose.
I aim to be wrapping up work tasks around 5 in the evening, and have family time or pursue my own creative outlets. There can be evening sport with our teens, or sitting down with my husband and/or son or daughter, all of which is key for me to feel a sense of balancing it all.
Although I work flexibly, the boundaries are important and it’s so simple to switch off the phone or shut the door.
3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
I chose to embrace remote work and consulting after working in marketing for a decade or so. The workplace wasn’t as flexible back then, and although I was enjoying a corporate high-tech (brand manager) role in entertainment, involving travel and mainly onsite work, when I started a family, I wanted a change.
This turning point was when I started my flexible work from anywhere marketing/media consultancy.
The clients that chose me were experienced with engaging consultants and never questioned my choice to work externally/ remotely, which gave me the balance I valued personally. The online world makes it easy and I’ve always had a dedicated home-office with staff working onsite or remotely.
Location-wise, it depends on the project, but I’m fortunate to have the opportunity to deliver teaching/ speaking or coaching at client’s office or location (sometimes it’s at a luxury resort which I enjoy a lot!) or I can be working in on my coaching client projects from my dedicated home-office.
4) Do you have any tips, tricks or shortcuts to help you manage your workload and schedule?
This is so individual – some people like to be very guided by their creative urges (flow) and others are more ‘thinkers’ who tend to use lists. I am actually both creative and process-oriented, so a suggestion for others is to try a morning meditation or exercise which clears the busy mind chatter and allows focus.
Every week often on Sunday night, I write out a focus sheet, which is the most important 15 minutes in my week. That roadmap guides me and takes any distractions out of the picture.
I suggest not scheduling every minute, so you allow time for the unexpected. Mindset is absolutely key to achieving your goals and this is particularly important for people who work alone or lead teams.
Notice how you respond when things are cancelled or moved around and you have space open up in the diary – don’t freak out about free time as it’s not lost time but an opportunity to recharge yourself.
5) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
Balancing work-life is very personal and your identity is linked in with how you choose to spend most of your time. I have mostly loved my jobs (in book publishing, design, high-tech publishing and coaching) so for me it is about work/life integration.
Focus on getting work done in 4-6 hours rather than permitting long meetings or unnecessary tasks. I outsource everything that I’d rather not be doing, and the outsourcing options here are pretty wide these days.
By starting each day with something I enjoy, the sense of feeling trapped doesn’t exist and for me. My work projects inspire me a lot and I’m very motivated by the difference I can make in people’s lives, so I could be found writing it out at unexpected times, like on a weekend.
6) What do you think are some of the best habits you’ve developed over the years to help you strive for success and balance?
Prioritising your big vision and saying ‘no’ to enable more freedom to choose.
7) Are there any books that have helped you improve over the years?
It’s hard to choose from them all! What has improved things for me has been life-long learning about mindset, intentions, self-responsibility, and how they affect what you experience in your life. There are SO many books on these topics.
8) What is the number one thing you do to make sure you get the most out of your day?
That is easy to answer, meditate and be conscious of what I allow into my day (food, drink, people, places).
9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
When you take a look at the people you respect and look up to, very few will have had an easy path to creating their impact on others, or making their mark. Just by taking time to notice what you’d love to do more of and then weave it into your life, without feeling you need to be hustling like crazy.
Don’t wait for permission – just allow it and as the saying goes, “Life is what you make of it.”
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