Emily Boult is the co-founder and director of Premium Pilates & Fitness, which she started 8 years ago to help her lower back pain.
1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
Sure! I actually started Pilates years ago when I was ten years old and struggling with bad lower back pain whilst swimming competitively. I loved Pilates so much that I continued it as I went through a university and a number of careers, including working in a law firm and in hotels.
I knew I really loved fitness and Pilates, so I made a big change in 2011 and did my Pilates training, just to learn more about the discipline and improve my practice. Very organically I ended up working full time teaching Pilates and leaving my corporate job.
My husband Chris and I started Premium Pilates & Fitness (PPF) in September 2012. We’ve managed to grow PPF extensively over those years and my role has changed from purely instructing and admin work to more of a managerial role, as well as solely running my instructor training courses, training staff and still instructing regular classes every week.
2) What does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
Every single day is different, which I love so much. I’m not a fan of doing the same thing every day, so I’m really lucky with the job I have!
Often, I’m up at 4:45am to teach 2-4 Barre, Reformer or Mat Pilates classes in the morning at one of the studios. Then I’ll do some ‘pottering’ at the studios, looking at our stock, tidying, seeing if we need any extra equipment etc.
I then race home to see my little 2-year-old Atticus and Chris. Chris and I will talk about what tasks we have to do for the business that day over a coffee and cuddles with Atticus.
Chris and I will take turns playing with Atticus during the day whilst the other works their laptop, answering emails, bookkeeping, communicating with our staff, ordering stock, thinking of ways to improve the business or streamline our communication with clients and our team.
At the moment a lot of my time is spent working on my instructor training program, which I created to teach students to become Pilates instructors and form a passionate community of like-minded individuals. I spend a couple of hours most days answering course enquiries, marking tests, talking to my current students and thinking of ways to better my training.
As I’m due to have my second bub in May this year, a lot of my time is currently spent looking into hiring instructors new to PPF and getting them all trained up and feeling part of the team.
I also try to spend a little amount of time everyday checking in with my staff to see how they are going. That’s my favourite part of the job, tied with instructing! I’ll fit in a 30-minute Pilates mat or reformer or HIIT circuit workout or 50-minute walk in as well, often involving my son jumping on me!
3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
My current role does allow for more flexible working, in that I can work on my tasks from home instead of always having to be at the studio teaching. It fits into my life and routine quite well, as Chris and I can tag-team our working from home tasks so one person is always watching our son.
The QLD Covid lockdown in 2020 allowed Chris, myself and our team to build a platform of online classes that greatly assisted us to work more remotely. We are still working on this platform months later, as it allowed our remote clients to keep their Pilates up!
4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
Work-life balance to me means having time every day to purely laugh and play with my son without trying to fit in work whilst interacting with him. It also means taking a few minutes every day to enjoy my hobbies, such as reading, cooking or exercise.
My husband actually helps me a lot to achieve this work-life balance. He reminds me to take a break, go have a nap, go spend time with Atticus, as I often get very focused on work!
5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?
It sounds so small, but I’ve learnt to put a timer on for 25 minutes whenever I sit at a computer. Once that timer goes off, I must give myself a break, to get up and walk around for a few minutes before going back to the computer for another 25-minute sitting.
It has saved me from spending an hour in a row at a computer, becoming less productive every minute. It has almost improved my mental state and saved my lower back!
I also stopped posting on social media (my amazing marketing team post for me), which has changed my life! I no longer spend time stressing about what to post, what time to post or trying to come up with something on the spot that isn’t ‘from the heart’.
My marketing ladies from The 152 Project design the month of posts ahead, I approve them and provide what I need to and that’s it! I feel so much better mentally with this change and this change has greatly contributed to my work-life balance.
6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?
I’m so late to the podcast game; I rarely listen to them! Saying that I’ve been really enjoying A Promised Land by Barack Obama. It’s a great way to switch off from my life in the car and I’m learning a lot!
I’m a huge reader and a book I keep going back to is The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. I take away something different from it every time I read it. She explains ways to boost your happiness in such simple but effective ways; I’ve found it really helpful throughout the years.
7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?
I’m also not a hip person in the slightest when it comes to apps or technology gadgets! An app I use a lot to motivate me through my home circuit workouts is the Interval Timer app. I also cannot live without my amazing skincare products from Spaceuticals; I’ve always had problem skin and these have changed my life!
8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?
I’d love to read interviews from women who own companies and juggle that with raising children. I feel like I have so much I could learn from them!
9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
Just to not beat yourself up when you don’t achieve work-life balance every day. I remind myself that tomorrow is a new day and that you can start fresh. Maybe you weren’t very productive with work today, but I bet you needed that day to be more inspired the next day.
I feel that work-life balance takes time, mindfulness and changes over time, as your life changes. Just being aware of creating a work-life balance is a step in the right direction!
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