Coaches / Interviews

Balancing the Grind With Sonia Motum, Mindset Coach & Mentor

Sonia Motum is a mindset coach and mentor, with a corporate background in HR spanning more than 20 years across multiple industries and all levels, including as a HR Director.

This conversation is sponsored by graphic design platform Canva. Empowering millions of people around the world to design.

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

I started my career in Human Resources and initially worked in HR Consulting, then HR Manufacturing before moving into Commercial HR roles.

I wanted to work in Human Resources because I loved working with people and I have always been passionate about self development. The longer I worked in HR and the more senior roles I held, the more strategic my job became and regrettably with a focus on organisational restructures and cost cutting.

I didn’t enjoy leading organisational restructures and the one part of my last corporate role that I really loved, was the opportunity to regularly Coach and mentor others.

Before leaving the Corporate world to start my own business. I invested heavily in my own self development, culminating in me studying various energy healing modalities. I had always been intuitive but what unfolded for me in this space was nothing short of incredible.

I understand that for many people, energy healing is something they may not be open to, as humans we tend to have a fear of anything we can’t clearly define or haven’t experienced ourselves.

As I always say to my healing clients, all you have to be is open to see what unfolds for you in a session, and what unfolds is always for the client’s highest and greatest good. Magical transformations definitely unfold in this space and the biggest sceptics often become the most loyal clients.

Studying to be a meditation teacher seemed like a natural extension to what I was already offering my clients, as well as being a wonderful gift to myself.

I took my passion and strength in coaching and mentoring others and started my own practice called Energy Coaching in 2014. I have never looked back.

I offer quite a diverse and yet complimentary range of support to my clients, including:

  • One-on-one coaching and mentoring, specialising in behavioural and mindset change, career and purpose, leadership, personal branding and all things related to being your best self.
  • Group mentoring programs and all different types of corporate and personal workshops, as well as wellness retreats.
  • Teaching people to meditate and facilitating beautiful healing meditation circles, as well as corporate meditation classes and individual intuitive healing sessions.

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

I am a creature of structure and rituals. Because I go to bed and wake around the same time each day, I generally wake up naturally and not to the sound of an alarm clock and I always start my day with meditation, movement and setting up my energy, before meeting with any of my clients.

I usually have an acai bowl including WelleCo super greens, protein powder and coconut yogurt for breakfast. I love it and some days I make a bowl and other days when I am on the run, I add a little extra coconut water and make a smoothie to go.

My work is varied, and no two days are ever the same. I usually start my one on one sessions mid morning, unless there is a specific reason to start earlier and a typical day would have me see clients well into the evening, as many clients come to my practice after their workday finishes.

The beauty about my work is that I never know what I’ll be doing or where I’ll be any given week, until of course now with the COVID-19 restrictions. Whilst I predominantly work from home, I travel around the world too facilitating training and workshops for my clients.

As an example, I was coaching about 50 people each quarter for one of my main clients. Because I knew their people and their culture so well, they asked me to develop a proposal to facilitate their Women in Leadership program, which I did, and they accepted.

This was a twelve month program, with me facilitating a workshop every quarter followed by one on one coaching to ensure the participants embedded the learning. I tracked the participants wellbeing throughout the program, and every single one of them consistently improved their wellbeing.

In addition, many if not the majority of these Women were promoted within twelve months of completing the program. It was so successful that the Asia region also adopted the Program and it has been consistently rated by participants as 9.8 out of 10 for its impact and effectiveness.

I am really thankful that my work has organically grown through referral and the trusted relationships I have built with my clients.

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

Yes, it absolutely does. When running your own business, you decide when you work, who you want to work with, as well as how you work.

I can facilitate most of my work remotely, and I guess the Coronavirus is giving us the opportunity to do this more than ever. However, many of my clients prefer to be in the same room as me when having their sessions.

Having no choice but to have a virtual session at present, definitely gives my clients the option moving forward to have remote sessions when they can’t make a face to face session work.

I have always done virtual sessions with clients who are based in regions outside of where I live, as well as Internationally and it works exactly the same as if they were in the room with me.

I receive the same positive feedback from these clients as my face to face sessions and I have held both Coaching and healing sessions from my hotel room in China, Hawaii and Costa Rica and because energy has no boundaries the clients always get what they need.

This ability to work flexibly means that when I travel, I can choose to work particularly with clients who already do virtual sessions.

I think the key to successfully working flexibly is to have a daily routine that supports you to stay focussed and productive, whilst meeting your own personal needs too.

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

Work life balance means working in a joyful and sustainable way that meets the needs of my clients, as well as my own personal needs.

To do this I am conscious of how much work I take on at one time. I also practice having strong unwavering boundaries that support my overall wellbeing and I fill my own cup up before guiding others in how to fill theirs.

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?

Having morning and evening rituals helps you to be the best version of yourself. This starts with prioritising time for myself in the morning before I start working with clients. Regardless of how early my day starts, I commit to setting the clock an hour earlier to make time to prioritise my morning rituals.

My morning rituals involve meditation, setting up my energy for the day ahead, physical exercise and a healthy breakfast. I also like to write, so I try and write as often as I can in the mornings. My evening ritual involves another meditation and cleansing my energy of anything I might have taken on from the day.

Another commitment I have is to constantly evolve myself and do regular inner development. Not only does this feel good for me and equips me with new ways of working with my clients, but it also stops any transference of my “stuff” onto my clients.

Regardless of what job you have, it is important to be conscious of your personal brand and to treat people kindly. Every person is a potential customer even when they are a colleague, as you never know when you may need a job from them or their Company in the future.

What helps me achieve success is a focus on the bigger reason for why I do what I do. I love the fact that I help people evolve to live joyful, fulfilling, abundant lives. I love when clients look at me with tears of gratitude in their eyes, sharing their stories of change and positive evolvement. I am so grateful to do work that I love and that comes naturally to me and also fills my cup.

6. Are there any books that have helped you improve over the years?

My favourite book of all time because of the impact it had on my life when I was in my early twenties living in Paris, was the book titled, Feel The Fear and Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers.

Most humans are driven by fear, so I think this is a helpful book for everyone. It is about getting outside of your comfort zone, facing your fears and despite having them, taking action anyway.

7. What is the number one thing you do to make sure you get the most out of your day?

Morning meditation and the setup of my energy for the day ahead.

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

With the risk of sounding biased, I would read an interview about myself, as I embody what I teach my clients and what I know to work. To be authentic in what I do, I need to role model what I espouse to others and I absolutely do.

I know what is important to me, what I value, what my priorities are, and I make sure I live in alignment with all of these. I do this by regularly taking stock of how I am showing up for myself and others in my life.

As an example, if I feel I have taken on a little too much, then I consciously choose not to take on anymore, before I rest, rejuvenate and reset myself.

It is so important to make time to care for yourself and to honour your own needs, as well as meet all the other demands of your life. Make no mistake, you will never feel balanced if you don’t do this.

There is no best fit recipe for achieving work life balance, as we all have different lifestyles, values and personal needs. Having said this, the key to achieving any type of balance in life is having strong unwavering boundaries and non-negotiable self care rituals.

It is also about course correcting. If we have given one area of our lives too much of our energy at the detriment of other areas, we need to pull back and redirect our energy to the areas needing our attention.

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

Work life balance doesn’t mean achieving balance in all aspects of your life simultaneously. It means moving between the different needs in your life at different times depending on what the priority is in any given moment.


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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.