From a traditional beginning, all the right boxes were ticked; private school, great grades, law school, commerce degree major, topping her class in Business Law, dabbling in marketing and management, but with an entrepreneur for a father, the traditional never quite stuck for Liv Jones.
Liv along with her husband, Travis Jones, are the Founder’s and CEO’s of multiple businesses including RBT Gyms, Attain Digital, Think Tank Australia and more…
The pair also have 2 sons, so it goes without saying that Liv is one busy lady! She spoke recently with She Does This about striking a healthy work/life balance...
1. What does work/life balance mean to you?
IT'S A MYTH!! Haha. Really, it’s such a personal definition, but for me it’s certainly the choice to be flexible with my work. I love working, I love what I do, I love who I work with, and for all our companies we have huge goals that constantly shift, so the ability to be able to do that, and create somewhat of a division between my family life and my work life is important.
That said, it’s very intertwined and so it’s certainly blurred. My husband and I have a non-negotiable date night every week, inevitably we talk about work, but it’s more about time for the two of us as adults
without the chaos of toddlers, it’s time we get to connect and talk. I get a blow wave every week, timed for date night, I guess that’s “me time”, to make an effort to be a grown up for our night out. But I work during my blow wave too. I don’t need an escape from work, I love it… except for the head massage, that is sacred!
We restrict phones as much as we can around the kids not because I am against screen time, but rather so we are all engaged when we are spending time together. We are always looking for activities and entertainment for the kids, so we have special memories in our family time. If there is a Wiggles concert at 4pm, I have the work life balance to be able to go. That’s what it means to me, I never want to miss the moments in my kids’ lives: Sports Days, Swimming Carnivals, Excursions, Family Holidays.
Work Life balance means I am “Liv Jones” but also the crazy squealing cheering Mum on the sidelines with orange quarters. I don’t need to choose one or the other.
2. Why is work/life balance important for mental wellbeing?
I think this is such an interesting ideal, and I think burn out is a very real thing, but I think it comes from a feeling of chaos, a lack of control, rather than the existence of “work”. So, I think if you have set goals and
outcomes for a day / week / month / year and you know the things you are doing are working towards, those bigger goals, you know each day is under control, each outcome if a positive one, there is less pressure to squeeze every ounce out of the day. You can make more effective decisions.
If I need to be there for the kids, I can be, and for the most part, without stress or guilt.
Working in a fresh environment, be it a café, a beach, or from the couch at home, sometimes the environment is the most important element for me for wellbeing. That and great hair every Friday.
Fitness obviously plays a huge role in our lives so routine around the gym as a physical outlet is also very important for me. It’s not as regular as it once was, but I certainly love the balance it brings to my life.
3. Why do you think so many women struggle with finding a balance between their professional and personal lives?
Because we are different to men, fundamentally, and I don’t think we give ourselves permission to be different. Our roles as women are varied, we wear so many hats, and the roles society has asked in the past, and continues to expect from us, despite new and evolving roles, are for the most part extremely unrealistic. I think women, much more than men, experience less certainty as to the right path most of the time.
As one of the most primary human needs, a lack of certainty definitely impacts our level of fulfilment. Add in family, motherhood, marriage, and women naturally struggle to balance their instincts with the need to perform, “succeed” in what society has deemed success, and often that means we feel the need to try and compete with men in their realm.
As a female, we are, and I generalise, driven by the need to nurture, to protect and to please. It’s just evolution. So put us in a work environment, and often this is at odds with the much more aggressive energy of men, the hunter vs the gatherer.
The need for significance as another key human need, when in our personal life, particularly as a Mum, you typically put yourself last. I think this is the crux of why women struggle. Because we are never really sure what comes first. Your personal life, your work life? Then society tells us, children, marriage, immaculate house, cooking, and we glorify these as feminine attributes, and women who are perhaps more dominant in a work environment, with demands on their time, struggle with how to separate their two identities.
4. Can you list your top tips on managing work/life balance as a female entrepreneur?
Screw what everyone else thinks, you do you. The only person in life you can control is you, so focus on what you need to do every day to find YOUR success, set goals, set timelines, and stop being afraid to fail, stop worrying what other people think. Their fear is a reflection of their limitations not your capabilities. So, you do you.
As a working Mum I learnt very early on to block out the opinions of others.
I love the Focus Planner, get a coach or mentor and surround yourself with people who are striving for the same success as you.