Danielle Williams is the founder and director of The Concierge Agency in Sydney where she works closely with prestige fashion and beauty brands to generate press, experiential send outs and events.
Let’s start with your background! Can you share with us your career journey and what you’re currently up to?
It’s a colourful one. I think it really started for me when I was a live-in au pair in Amsterdam during my gap year (an Australian right of passage back then!). I lived with a couple and their children who both worked executive-level roles in marketing and I remember watching them thinking that their careers looked like something I could see myself doing.
I started an International Business Degree in Holland but never finished as I decided to move back to Australia and landed my first role working in-house for a fashion house as a PR and Social Media Manager; which I loved!
From there I moved to the agency side and quickly knew this is what I was built for. So after a 4.5-year tenure at a Sydney-based agency, I decided to design my own version of what I thought a modern-day communications agency should look like and here we are four years later with a team of five, a multi-service business and a HQ we can call our own.
We’d love to know what a typical day is like for you. Could you describe a recent workday?
Typically I do try to have an early start around 5am and I spend the first few hours at home with a slow coffee and a great morning playlist. I’d be lying if I said to you I wasn’t also checking social media and emails the moment I opened my eyes.
When I get to the office, I always start my day by blocking my calendar. This is something I have taught myself over the years and it’s a bit of a game changer when you’re in an agency environment. It really streamlines your day and helps clarify what’s urgent, what’s important but not urgent, and what can move to later in the week.
Can you define work-life balance for yourself and share with us your approach in maintaining it?
This was something I really had to work on, it didn’t just come naturally to me with time or experience.
I was really able to achieve this when we streamlined all our systems and processes and onboard team members. This means I was able to share the load whilst still allowing myself to be across all client activity.
Being in an agency environment often means that the feeling of ‘nothing is ever finished’ is very heightened. So I had to do a lot of work to separate my day job from my personal life and this was just practice and setting boundaries between myself and the many professional spaces I am across.
Practically speaking it was avoiding checking or sending any emails after 6 pm (ish) and really trying to put down my phone a few hours before I sleep; this one is still a work in progress I admit.
Change is constant, and it’s essential for growth. Have you made any lifestyle changes in the past year to improve your work-life balance?
I actually have and a big one for me was being more active in two ways. I have been the most consistent I have ever been with going to a great reformer pilates class, going for a walk, or a mid-week PT session, mentally this has really allowed me to feel like I have more balance and control of the fast-paced nature of my brain.
Secondly, I have been making more of an effort to give myself breaks throughout the day. In the past, I would often not move and eat lunch at my desk.
Now I try to walk to grab a coffee, take the dog for a walk or simply stand in the sunshine; this is now a super important part of my day.
We’re always on the lookout for new resources! Can you recommend any books, podcasts, or newsletters that have helped you in your journey towards balance?
I really enjoyed reading The Lean Startup by Eric Reis. It helped me understand that not every idea needed to be fully formed before you market-test it; a bit of a game-changer for a Virgo brain.
I also love to read posts from Female Founder World, there’s always a feel-good story there.
Recently, I have deep-dived on Cody Sanchez’s TikTok content. Cody is super intelligent and I enjoy her perspective on the business world.
Before we wrap up, do you have any final words of wisdom or insights on work, life, or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
I don’t know how insightful this is, but for me, the best advice I can impart based on my own personal experiences is to embrace the ever-evolving nature of you as an individual. Change is inevitable, enjoy it and do what feels right for you at that moment to feel like you have balance.
I started doing this a lot more over 30, so I hope to only get better with practice.
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