Kimberley Grabas is a Canadian writer and entrepreneur, and the founder of Your Writer Platform, helping writers build their platforms, engage their fans and sell more books.
1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
I have been an avid reader all my life, but only in the last few years have I had the audacity to call myself a writer.
I had always thought that “one day” I would write a book or two – particularly for children – but it can be surprisingly easy to let life talk you out of the things you really want.
That “one day” finally came. Contemplating being a writer was no longer enough for me, so I started to take action.
But with my extensive experience in sales and marketing, I couldn’t help but bring a bit of my old world into my relatively new writing career. That’s how the concept for Your Writer Platform was born.
For three years, I devoured everything I could on how to market and promote my work, build community engagement and develop a presence online.
Since 2013 I have been the owner and head writer at YourWriterPlatform.com – a site where I provide writers with the resources, tools and inspiration they need to build their platforms, engage their fans and sell more books.
With degrees in both Business and Psychology, as well as over 14 years in sales and marketing, I use my unique mix of skills and experience to help writers build their brand, launch and promote their projects, and develop their author business in a genuine and meaningful way.
And seven years after starting this project, I still love what I do!
2) What does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
I do my best each day to focus on high impact activities for my business, like content creation, writing, networking with other authors and influencers, launching, and strategizing.
A typical day actually starts the night before, where I take 15 minutes or so to plan for the next day. I start work at 9am and focus on the more creative or strategic projects first. I also tend to time block, so that I’m using the time I have most efficiently.
I block off sections of time for video recording, so I don’t have to set up and take down lighting and recording equipment repeatedly. And I schedule consulting calls and meetings only on Thursdays and Fridays.
I take a break around 10:30am then work through to lunch. After lunch is when I’ll have a look at email and social media to see if there are things that I need to address or respond to. As we all know, email and social media have the tendency to alter time, so I will often set a timer on my phone to ensure the rest of the workday isn’t lost.
Most days I finish work around 2:30pm so I can pick up my kids from school, but depending on the week or line up of projects, I may have to do another hour or two of work in the evening.
In a monthly context, I look at the major items I need to accomplish that month and how I can break them down into my weekly and daily plans for the best results. I also consider how my monthly plans accommodate my quarterly and yearly objectives.
3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
I work out of my home office, and it allows me the flexibility to plan my work and career around family responsibilities and personal activities.
I’ve been working from home for years, so this is the norm for me and I’m extremely grateful that I have this option.
4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
For me, work-life balance is achieved over time, not daily. I don’t expect each day to be super productive at work AND meet all the needs, wants and desires of my family. But I do hope to achieve certain objectives and goals over a specific period of time.
To do this, I set very clear goals and priorities, so that I know exactly what is most important to me and what I want to accomplish. I set boundaries for when I work and make sure my family understands and respects these boundaries. And I stay flexible, so that I can adjust the schedule as needed to account for the unplanned and unpredictable.
5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?
COVID-19 and the subsequent fallout has thrown a wrench into my well-laid plans and established routines, so there has definitely been changes over the last several months.
I’ve had to adjust to homeschooling, changes or cancellations of conferences, meetings and other in-person business activities.
But some changes I have chosen to implement include adding more exercise and movement throughout my day and creative pursuits to feed my soul outside of work, like photography and gardening.
6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?
It’s hard for me to recommend resources unless I understand the needs and objectives of the person I’d be recommending them to. That said, here are a few that I love or that have impacted me personally:
- Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek
- Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
- 12 Rules for Life by Jordan B. Peterson
- Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! by Mo Willems
Favourite Podcasts: The Self-Publishing Show, The Creative Penn, The School of Greatness, Smart Passive Income.
Newsletters: James Clear.
7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?
I’d be lost without my laptop, Canva, a password manager, Nespresso coffee, Unsplash, a beautiful but functional journal or planner, and my digital camera.
8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?
Mike Rowe of the mikeroweWORKS Foundation
9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
I think the most important first step in achieving ‘balance’ is getting very clear on your priorities. What do you truly value, what are your non-negotiables, and what MUST happen for you to feel that you are successfully navigating your life?
Then start acting in alignment with those values and priorities.
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