Yolande Woods has crafted a life that beautifully blends her diverse passions of farming and design, taking her from the rustic cattle yards of her childhood, to the heights of the cockpit and the world of captivating color consultations.
Let’s start with your background! Can you share with us your career journey and what you’re currently up to?
Born and raised as a 5th generation beef producer on the land with a simple but hard-working ethic instilled in us. I left the school that I attended as a boarder from Year 6 to Year 11. Even though I finished school early, I have been learning and open to new experiences at every turn.
I first had the opportunity to own and run a gift shop at an early age of 17, then helped run our family-owned farm and feed-lot on the Western Downs. Owned and operated a butcher shop, started interior decorating, and purchased a cattle property out here at Goondiwindi, QLD.
All the while, I was learning to fly and started creating Aerohart. Now it’s all about Aerohart, Cattle & Flying. You could say I’ve fitted quite a lot in!
We’d love to know what a typical day is like for you. Could you describe a recent workday?
My daily life entails life with my husband and 4 children, flying, fixing stock water pipes and fences, tending to cattle, creating the Aerohart business and designing the products.
I try to start my day with an early morning Pilates class or a run followed by a coffee. After my youngest is dropped off to school, I come back to our garden to turn the hoses on. We have a large garden and I shift 15 hoses constantly to water it. My office is in my garden, so I stop in and check emails and get parcels ready to post to customers.
Then I hop in my work ute with my kelpie Rocky and head 30 minutes out of town to check on our cattle and do whatever is needed like cleaning troughs or working the mob or fixing fences.
Back home in time to pick up my son from school. Then the afternoon flies by with errands, house work and preparing dinner. I love to cook.
Can you define work-life balance for yourself and share with us your approach in maintaining it?
Life is so dynamic and I am definitely at my best when I am busy. I don’t think it’s hard for me personally to have the balance as I love all the parts of my day — the feeding and nurturing of my family, the quietness of the property and having my hands in the soil tending to our garden. I try to keep life pretty simple.
Change is constant, and it’s essential for growth. Have you made any lifestyle changes in the past year to improve your work-life balance?
One thing that I am working harder on is saying yes to travelling away for a few days with our good friends at least twice a year. It is always so revitalising and makes you actually stop and connect and have fun and a good laugh. We all need to laugh more.
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?
Because of Aerohart, I now find my day is so full of interesting conversations with a wide range of people from different businesses that I am constantly listening and learning.
I find it hard to get into books as I struggle to put them down if they are really good.
A couple of podcasts that I sometimes listen to are: Secret Leaders Podcast & Graziher Life on the Land Podcast
As I am out in my work ute during the day, I do love to listen to the fascinating stories on ABC radio Conversation Hour. Such an interesting mix of stories and I sometimes find myself sitting at a gate and don’t want to hop out to open it as I want to hear the end of the interview.
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?
I believe that everyone needs to step away from the noise as much as possible. I am so fortunate to be able to connect to the land and have the opportunity for quiet time like simply sitting and watching cattle.
When you stop you notice the beautiful moments like a cow licking her calf’s coat and the calf standing close enjoying every long sweep of the tongue. Also sitting on the ride on a mower and appreciating the garden that we have created for our family to enjoy and retreat to. Also, find a bloody good partner in life to share it all with!
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