CEOs / Founders / Interviews

Balancing the Grind with Katrin Sturm, Founder & CEO of The Best Possible You Ltd

Katrin Sturm is the founder & CEO of The Best Possible You, a company empowering women in the highly dynamic and fast-paced male-dominated industries like tech to thrive professionally and personally.

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

I am the founder & CEO of The Best Possible You Ltd. We help driven professionals & female leaders in the highly dynamic and fast-paced male-dominated industries, like tech, to thrive on a professional and personal level. We achieve this by making a positive impact with personal and leadership development, career progression and business growth on a 360 degree holistic level.

Before starting my company in 2108, I successfully climbed the corporate ladder for almost 10 years working for companies like Airbus, DHL, Oracle and mainly Salesforce where I have led business development and sales teams in the past.

I now combine my strengths, passion and experience to scale the company further and also advise B2B SaaS companies with their sales, people and business growth.

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

No day is the same, that’s what I like about it!

However, I tend to get up no later than 6.30 am and plan my day ahead – not only with daily goals and priorities to keep me on track and thus work smarter, not harder, but also including a gratitude list, productivity rewards and time for self-care and wellbeing.

I might have two early client-facing sessions in the morning, an alignment call with my Executive Assistant, work on content planning and the new website project before hopping on a networking call with other founders.

This could be followed by an introductory call for a potential new client collaboration after replying to some LinkedIn messages and publishing a new post in the afternoon after a walk with my dog or an energising session in the gym.

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

Absolutely. I have created the lifestyle I have always wanted over the last years ‘despite’ running my own business.

The pandemic was a silver lining for me as it helped me to take a step back and reflect on what I truly wanted to further achieve with the business. It also gave me the chance to adjust my lifestyle further after being stuck in an ’employee mindset’ at the beginning of my founder journey.

I now have fixed days and time slots for client facing work, allow myself to take any time off needed and push back on or say no to requests or collaborations that I truly don’t feel aligned with based on my values and vision.

Hiring a small and reliable team definitely helped me to focus on my strengths, passions and value adding tasks like serving our clients and I use the remaining time to work ‘on’ the business or recharging by winding down, exercising or spending time with others.

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

For me, this means moving away from this fixed 9 to 5 corporate thinking ‘I have to be at my desk right now’ limitation despite maybe not being productive. 

It took me a while to overcome this, but I found that taking longer breaks in nature, taking care of myself or simply saying no to more and more things that don’t truly serve you has helped in creating a fulfilling balance for me.

Knowing your values and how you personally define success is also very important in this journey.

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

I try to avoid switching on my phone within the first 15 minutes of the day to not get soaked up immediately with social media, e-mails or Slack messages.

I aim to do morning stretching, yoga and meditation – if not exercising that morning – as you start with a grounded ‘mindset’ and calmness into the day, which helps me to be at my best and be as productive as possible.

I also started blocking out Monday morning and Friday afternoon slots for my dog agility passion and to make sure I always start and especially end the week with something I am truly excited about outside of work. This helps me to disconnect as well.

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

  • Mindset by Carol Dweck
  • The Secret Language of Your Body by Inna Segal
  • Mindvalley podcast by Vishen Lakhiani

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

I try to reduce technology and screen time as much as possible due to the fact that I am running an online business, but Insight Timer for my meditation practice has been one of my favourites.

My Lumie alarm clock helps me to start those dark autumn / winter mornings with natural daylight and allows me a more gentle wake up phase (not a big fan of abrupt alarm clocks that only want to make you snooze forever).

Also, I love candles and like to create cosy home (office) environments. And our clients tend to joke about my big cups of herbal tea during our sessions.

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

Good question. I don’t necessarily have anybody I look up to in that sense as everybody is unique and works differently. However, I might potentially look for names like Tim Ferris or Robin Sharma.

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

You DO have a choice! Although you might not see or believe it at the moment, but in the end it all starts with you and you DO have the power to change things in the long run that might not serve you currently.

It’s all about how you look at things and focusing on your circle of influence instead of becoming the victim of your circumstances.

One of my favourite quotes to finish off: “The way you treat yourself is the way you teach others to treat you”.

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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.