Balancing the Grind with Therese Frangie, Chief Operating Officer at Mad Mex

Therese Frangie is the Chief Operating Officer at Mad Mex, where she is known for her exceptional leadership skills and driving a culture of excellence and la Familia.

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

My career began at the age of 14 when I started working on the restaurant floor at KFC. Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to work in various operational roles for several leading brands such as Starbucks, Oporto, and KFC.

Currently, I am the COO and Integrator at Mad Mex, where I work alongside the Founder CEO and lead the executive team to achieve our strategic goals. It’s an exciting and challenging role that requires me to leverage my skills and experience to drive the growth and success of the company.

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

My days are always varied and full of exciting challenges. A typical day for me involves meeting with my team to discuss our priorities and ensuring everyone is aligned with our strategic goals. From time to time, it includes visiting restaurants and chatting with our Franchisees and business managers, and I’m always on the search for feedback as to where we’re doing well and how we can improve. 

One of my favourite parts of the day is taking some time out to review our business performance, as it allows me to analyse our successes and identify areas for improvement. While each day presents new challenges, I thrive on the fast-paced nature of my role and the opportunity to work with a talented team to drive the growth of Mad Mex.

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

Work-life balance is a top priority for me, particularly as a busy mother of three with volunteer commitments outside of work. While I love Mad Mex and I am passionate about my career, I recognise the importance of maintaining a healthy balance between my personal and professional life.

To achieve this, I adopt a disciplined approach to time management, such as waking up at 5am, planning out my day, and sticking to a routine. I avoid decision fatigue by making certain aspects of my life automatic, such as choosing what to wear or what to cook for dinner.

I’ve found that this saves me a considerable amount of time. Ultimately, work-life balance is about understanding where your time is being spent, prioritising what’s important to you, and finding the right balance to achieve your personal and professional goals.

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

Yes, in the past 12 months, I have continued with the habit of waking up at 5am and going to bed early, as I find that this routine works well for me. As someone who understands the value of a good night’s sleep, I learned that every hour of sleep before midnight is worth two after midnight.

Waking up early not only gives me a head start on my day but also provides the mental clarity to tackle the day’s challenges. In addition to my sleep routine, I have also continued my meditation practice. I find that taking time to meditate, especially during my commute to work, helps me clear my mind and transition into a productive work mode. As I juggle multiple responsibilities, these routines help me be the best I can be in all aspects of my life.

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

I have an endless list of favourite books. I’m an avid reader (well audible listener!) and have a long list of favourite books that have inspired me throughout my career. I enjoy books that focus on leadership, running effective teams, and business strategies.

One of my favourite books is Principles by Ray Dalio, which provides valuable insights on how to build a successful organisation. I also follow Ray on social media, where he regularly shares useful tips and advice. Another author that I highly recommend is Simon Sinek, whose books are a must-read for anyone looking to inspire and motivate their team. 

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

There are many inspiring individuals that have been interviewed on work-life balance, though hearing from other working mums can be both empowering and inspiring for those of us who are also striving to balance our careers and kids. 

As a working mum, I believe that there’s a lot that only other working mums can truly understand about the juggle between work and personal life. 

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

My final thoughts for readers are that anything is achievable if you have the right mindset and prioritise your time effectively. With only 24 hours in a day, it’s important to be disciplined and focus on what matters most.

By keeping a time diary and identifying areas where time is being wasted on unimportant tasks, you can make the most of the 16 hours you have left after sleep. I recommend being disciplined, making lists, and applying concepts like decision fatigue to save time and increase productivity.

It’s also important to set realistic goals and prioritise your time accordingly, whether you’re striving for a successful career or a more balanced personal life. Whatever your definition of success may be, I encourage you to stay focused, work hard, and prioritise your time effectively.

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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.