Manon Beauchamp-Tardieu is the Founder & CEO at Little Green Panda, a plant-based drinking straw start-up based in Melbourne, Australia.
Let’s start with your background! Can you share with us your career journey and what you’re currently up to?
Bonjour! I’m a French entrepreneur who traded the bustling streets of France for the sunny shores of Australia 9 years ago. Armed with a double degree in Business Management and Communication Design, I quickly made my mark in the world of international fashion, designing for some of the biggest names in the industry. But my true passion lay in sustainability, and I soon launched Little Green Panda, an innovative start-up that turns food waste into eco-friendly packaging. What started as a side hustle soon became a full-blown success story, and I left my job to focus on building my dream business. Fast forward 4 years, and we’ve prevented over 20 million plastic straws from polluting our planet. We’ve even created the world’s first coffee cutlery and launched a home compostable cup that disappears like a piece of fruit in just 90 days. Despite the pandemic and recession, we continue to innovate and inspire change since 2019 by being at the forefront of sustainable innovation, offering home compostable solutions that help tackle the issue of plastic waste and make a real difference in the world.
We’d love to know what a typical day is like for you. Could you describe a recent workday?
As a young female entrepreneur, my days are jam-packed with activity and excitement. Each day presents a new set of challenges and opportunities that keep me on my toes and engaged in my work. I have found that incorporating structure and organisation into my day helps me stay on track and maximise my productivity.
I always start my day by journaling to energise myself and get in the right mindset for the day ahead. After that, I typically divide my day into different blocks of time, focusing on specific tasks during each block. This helps me avoid distractions and ensures that I make progress on multiple fronts throughout the day.
My work days typically involve a mix of activities, from pitching new business to meeting with partners and advisors, to working on growth strategies and internal meetings. Recently, for example, I spent the morning working on a pitch for a new client, followed by a lunch meeting with one of our key partners to discuss upcoming initiatives. In the afternoon, I had a catch-up call with one of our advisors to discuss long-term growth opportunities, and then spent some time strategizing with my team on how to best execute our plans shortly followed by creating some content for our social media channels.
Throughout the day, I try to stay focused and prioritise my most important tasks. At the same time, I am always open to unexpected opportunities and challenges that may arise, which is part of what makes being an entrepreneur so exciting. Despite the unpredictability of each day, I remain motivated and energised by the opportunity to build something meaningful and impactful.
Can you define work-life balance for yourself and share with us your approach in maintaining it?
As a female entrepreneur building a business, I’ve come to realise that having a healthy work-life balance is not always possible, especially in the early days of running a business. When you’re building a business from the ground up, it can feel like you’re working 24/7 to make it a success.
Despite the challenges, I still strive to achieve some level of balance. I set boundaries and try to take breaks when I can, but there are times when work demands my full attention, and I have to put other things on hold. It’s not ideal, but it’s a reality that comes with building a business!
That said, as my business grows and becomes more established, I’m working towards finding a better balance. I’m hiring more people to take on tasks and delegating responsibilities so that I can have more time for myself and my personal life. It’s a work in progress, but I believe that it’s possible to have a healthy work-life balance, even as a busy entrepreneur.
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?
When I’m busy with warehouse duties and fulfilling online orders, I find that podcasts are a great way to keep me entertained. I have a few personal favourites that I would recommend, including The Mindset Mentor, The Daily Aus, Female Startup Club, and the Bossbabe Podcast to name a few.
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?
Absolutely! As an entrepreneur, I’ve learned that balance isn’t just important for our wellbeing, but it can also help us be more productive and creative in our work. One way to achieve balance is to make time for activities that bring us joy and recharge our energy. Whether it’s going for a hike, trying a new recipe, or dancing to our favourite songs, finding ways to incorporate fun into our daily routine can help us stay motivated and engaged. Another key to balance is setting boundaries and learning to say no to commitments that don’t align with our priorities. By doing so, we can focus our time and energy on the things that matter most to us. Remember, finding balance is an ongoing journey, and it’s okay to make mistakes and pivot as we go. So let’s embrace the process and make time for the things that make us feel alive!
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