Balancing the Grind with Petrina Baker, Founder of Baker and Frost

Petrina Baker is the founder of Baker and Frost, a brand commercialisation and business development consultancy she founded in 2014.

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

I began my career in marketing in magazines and from there jumped the publishing ship to work for Donna Hay as her business manager, which was a really exciting six years.

I then went to Endemol Shine to commercialise their television slate, primarily MasterChef Australia, before setting up my consultancy, Baker & Frost, back in 2014.

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

No day is ever the same! I’m fortunate to work with some incredible founders and businesses in a brand and business development capacity.

My day usually starts after school drop off just before 8am, then it’s non-stop with meetings, fielding calls and working on various projects. I then take a break to collect the kids and help with homework before getting back into it for the afternoon and into the evening sometimes, if required.

At this very moment, we’re in lockdown so it’s back-to-back Zooms most days. Like many, we’re juggling homeschooling at the same time which adds a whole new level of distraction so doing my best to stay on top of it all and take each day as it comes.

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

Yes, completely. That’s why I do it and why I love it. Family comes first, because if it doesn’t, all the wheels come off. I manage my work commitments around that and I’m lucky to have the flexibility to work from pretty much anywhere. As long as I can block out some uninterrupted time a few hours each day, then I can stay on top of everything.

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

I think you’re asking the wrong person! I’m not a huge fan of the word ‘balance’, as I feel it can add a lot of pressure. Projects I tend to work on are cyclical and require more manpower at different junctures, so I try to predict and manage that as I go.

I won’t lie, sometimes it’s borderline chaos, but that’s all part of it and, in recent years, I’ve found that I just get on with it and don’t worry as much as I would have in previous years.

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

I’ve just reintroduced more regular exercise into my life and I’m feeling so much better for it. I’d become one of those typical working mum cliches of late – all work and all kids – but it’s so great to do something for me each day again. Long may it reign!

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

I’m loving podcasts at the moment. Currently I have The Mentor by Mark Bouris, Deep in the Weeds with Anthony Huckstep, and Powerful Steps by Tory Archbold on high rotation. 

I also just read The Happiest Man on Earth by Eddie Jaku. I saw him a few years back at TedEx and he moved everyone to tears. I’ve really enjoyed reading his story – he’s such an incredible human with a harrowing young life and his outlook on life is so positive. I’d encourage everyone to read it, it gave me the perspective I needed.

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

My office is literally in my handbag, so it would be that, including my laptop and phone, of course.

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

Just get on with it. The most paralysing thing is stressing about having too much on. The ability to dive in and get a project done and, just as importantly, dropping it to focus on other priorities is the key for me at the moment.

I’m sure this will change as my family grows and my business evolves, but I’m finding that being hyper organised and honest with everyone in my business fold means I’m at my most productive and, if something goes awry, then everyone is supportive.

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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.