Chelsea Healey is the Head of Brand & Community at travel website, Luxury Escapes, where she is working on developing the brand and engaging with the community.
1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
My career began after my mother (of all people) convinced me I should have a gap year. At the time I was convinced my calling was dietetics, I was eager to get in and get it done.
Being the smart woman she is, she knew I wasn’t exactly the traditional academic – my most common report card comment reading ‘Chelsea would excel if she focused less on socialising and more on applying herself in class’.
Instead at just 18, following in her footsteps, mum encouraged me to start a small business in our quaint Tasmanian hometown. On theme, I decided there was a gap in the market for healthy take-away and the The Green Room was born.
18 months, 22 staff and two uni-degree deferrals later I was totally hooked on everything that came with starting and running a business.
The venture exposed my love for brand creation and marketing, and when faced with franchising or selling I decided that it wasn’t exactly the lean green smoothies that were my calling but instead I would sell up, move to Sydney and start a creative agency.
Raw Street was focused on startups looking for big impact with little budget, both domestically and internationally. This was my version of university – the mission was to expose myself to as many different categories and verticals marketing had to offer in a short space of time.
This is where I met Adam Schwab who convinced me to come and help build Australia’s fastest growing travel company – Luxury Escapes.
As anyone in the start-up world would relate to, I’ve worn a lot of hats over the last four and a half years and have had the pleasure to be a part of some incredible projects including:
- producing our TV show
- opening concept stores
- initiating loyalty programs
- forming collaborations with brands like American Express, Qantas & Nikon, and
- launching countless campaigns.
I currently occupy Head of Brand and Community, where my core job is to help develop and amplify the Luxury Escapes brand and engage our community to be the ultimate ambassadors.
2) What does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
A typical day on the job kicks-off with an early Pilates session before jumping into our 9am team check-in going over top priorities for the day.
The rest of the day is normally a balance (continued effort to be anyway) of external meetings with partners or agencies and working with our internal teams to develop new strategies and plans for world domination.
A taste of today – I met with Veuve Clicquot to discuss an exciting collaboration, worked with our Social Media Manager to plan our communities and groups strategy for FY21 and touched base with our concierge team who look after our top spenders to plan out how we might spoil them this month.
3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
We’re lucky to be part of a modern culture which has always allowed a level of flexibility. Working in the travel industry also means there’s a certain expectation that you’re going to be away a lot and the business needs to be set up to support that.
Outside of working while travelling (which is amazing but testing) I must admit I never really took up the offer or saw benefit until being forced to WFH this year.
It’s been an eye opener and has really helped me to re-integrate the things I often put last or took for granted – the simple things like going for a long walk in the middle of the day.
I don’t think the need for offices or physical collaboration spaces is gone, especially in start-up world where some of my favourite (and hair pulling) memories were coming up with ideas over lunch and executing by end of day, but I do hope, if anything this awful year has given people a taste of better self-care.
4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
For me work-life balance lies with the work you’re doing – as cliché as it sounds if you’re doing what you love, and what you love serves you back in spades of experiences and fulfilment, the need to ‘clock in and out’ becomes less prevalent and more integrated.
However, this year has also taught me how powerful it is to keep some of you, just for you. No matter how much your work fills you – jobs, cultures and business – can be gone in a flash and who you are without that and to the people in your life is equally as rewarding.
5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?
2020 is certainly the year for reflection and pivoting.
I’ve started working out daily again – 45 minutes seemed hard when there’s a million things on at work but it’s not and it’s never not worth it. Total refocus tool, no excuses.
I’ve stopped feeling the need to be so reactive with emails – the world is not in your hands as much as sometimes you think it is and taking time to respond in a valuable considered way is much more effective / better for your mental health.
I’ve changed the way I wake up – no longer straight on my phone to check emails and scrolling aimlessly through Instagram. Instead a quick walk around the block for some air and a coffee, some form of exercise that makes you sweat and a cooked breakfast. Run your day, don’t let it run you.
6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?
- The Daily by NYT
- Brand New World Podcast with Russell Howcraft
- Cult Status by Tim Duggan – only halfway but it’s structured well, less wishy washy, more action oriented if you’re into that.
- Untamed by Glennon Doyle – wasn’t entirely sure it was going to be for me but it was powerful.
7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?
LIFX smart lights paired with Google Home has me nerding out right now. Waking up to timed lighting that reflects the deepest sunrise with The Beatles “Here Comes the Sun” makes it literally impossible to start the day off in a bad mood. Corny but oh so smile worthy!
8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?
No judgement BUT I would love to read how the hell Kris Jenner balances it (if at all). You’ve got to give it to the woman, she’s built an empire out of a scandal or two and now runs some of the most influential brands and women in the world.
9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
Self-awareness really is key to making your work life as big, bold and beautiful as you want it. Work out as fast as you can how you thrive best by being a yes-man and throwing yourself into all types of adventures. Then you can design your JD, team and days around that.
Don’t waste your time fitting anyone else’s mould or at a company that doesn’t align with yours. Everyone has different ways to give their magic, the power is knowing yours.
Before you go…
If you’d like to sponsor or advertise with Balance the Grind, let’s talk here.
Join our community and never miss a conversation about work, life & balance – subscribe to our newsletter.