Balancing the Grind with Jenny Austin, Founder of Image Concepts

Jenny Austin is the founder of Image Concepts, where she helps professionals maximise their personal presence through dressing, grooming, body language and personal messaging.

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

I’m the founder of Image Concepts, where I use my understanding of clothing psychology, perceptions, communication and the importance of first impressions to advise CEOs, business owners and senior executives to create a powerful image and enhance their personal brand.

I also work with anyone who wants to feel more confident and become more authentic in the way they present themselves.

My passion for the fashion industry and image management has been built over 20 years since being an international model. Seven years ago I decided to open a hobby business helping women and men improve their style, and it’s since evolved into the company I run today.

Over the years I’ve acted as a business consultant working with corporates and their teams to improve their influencing and leadership skills, I’ve lectured and coached at a number of colleges and fashion schools, and I am Head of Operations Australia for one of the newest and fastest growing fashion festivals; Orange County Fashion Week.

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

Up at 5:30am for meditation and journaling. Mornings are pretty hectic for me as I have to get my daughter ready for school. After the drop off, I head to the gym.

Mid-morning will be checking emails, followed by a Zoom consultation with a sales client to work out key outcomes and location for a First Impressions team workshop.

Lunch meeting with a client to get feedback on a one-on-one coaching session.

After lunch, Zoom meeting with a new client to plan the next few weeks of coaching sessions, followed by a face-to-face personal shopping session with a health & fitness client.

After picking up my daughter from school I’ll fit in another Zoom consult with a prospect looking for colour analysis coaching, before finishing work around 6pm and start cooking dinner for the family.

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

Yes, my work has to be flexible with my daughter – I do the morning drop off and afternoon pick-ups

Working remotely really helps me manage my time better as I have to work within the school hours. And working with international clients means a lot of my consulting is done virtually.

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

Work life balance can be a challenge as there only so many hours in a day. Trying to fit in work, family and personal care can be a balancing act. But it’s important to make it work! In the morning I go to the gym, and having meals with family, especially dinners, is important.

Taking time out away from work is critical – whether it’s going to the beach on the weekend, going for walks in nature, and taking regular holidays. I find reading my favourite book before I go to bed is really important for balance.

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5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?

I like trying out new things, and this year has been a big one! During COVID I started meditating every day to keep my mindset positive and manage my stress better.

To help me focus more throughout the day I’ve started drinking less and have become more conscious about how much nutrition is packed into every meal. I’ve also become more disciplined in going to bed by 10pm so I have enough sleep to wake up at 5:30am.

And I took on a business coach, which has helped turn my business around and manage the COVID crisis.

6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?

12 Rules for Life by Jordan B Peterson, Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill and 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven Covey is an oldie that I read from time to time. I love listening to podcasts by Jay Shetty, Tim Ferris and Lewis Homes.

7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?

Zoom! How did we live without it? It’s great for meetings and webinars and I love the fact that you can take your meetings anywhere on your phone.

I’m a big note taker, so I use the humble Notes app on my iPhone a lot to capture ideas and useful information that I want to follow up. And a coffee drinker, I can’t live without my Nespresso machine!

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

Michelle Obama. I heard her in one of her interviews how she talked about her simple trick for work life balance, as we all know she is probably one of the busiest women on earth.

Starting every year before she booked anything or agreed to meetings she would look at her family lives first. Then she would schedule date nights, workouts and vacation in the calendar. Once that’s planned then she can plan her work schedule.

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

Life is short, embrace the trials and tribulations of life. Nothing is perfect, so be the best person you can be and stay humble.

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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.