Sally-Anne emigrated to Australia from the UK in 2004. In addition to running Nourish Coaching she manages the career development website www.myambition.com and coaches individuals to reach new heights in their career. Having recently had a baby and purchasing a house on the South Coast in the same week, Sally-Anne is known to not do things by halves! She is now trying to juggle the (big) balls of work, family and home.
Originally written for lifestylecareers.com.au January 2010
What kind of environment did you grow up in?
I grew up in Hong Kong and the UK. My father was in the army which meant I moved around a lot over the years and attended over 6 schools during my education, following my dad’s postings. The upside of this was that I got to experience so many new things, got used to change really quickly and made friends easily and became a confident young girl, the downside was I said goodbye to friends every 2 years or so, wasn’t’ a Grade ‘A’ student at school and with all the changes I can now get bored easily!
What ‘normal’ jobs have you done?
What defines normal these days? Does that mean some roles are abnormal?! My ‘normal’ is helping people, in whatever role, financial adviser, recruitment consultant and now as a coach. In my previous roles I felt like I was DOING a job– now I am BEING the job.
Were you ever tempted to get a ‘real job’?
All jobs are real jobs if you are passionate about what you do? When I realised I wanted to get into coaching it was like a ‘can’t see the wood for the trees moment’ – it had been staring at me for a while and I just was not in the zone to see it! Working in the online space www.myambition.com has been a huge learning curve.
Do you see your life as a balance between ‘life’ and ‘work’, or are they well blended?
I cannot switch off very easily so find that I can be catching up with friends and absorbing new ideas for work at the same time. It’s a weakness and strength of mine!
How do you balance ‘life’ with ‘work’ from a time point of view? What routines do you have?
I am lucky enough to have an office space in my house. I am a list person and have a crib sheet by my desk that dictates things I have to do each week – work related. So if I see a tick I have completed that task – if there is a gap – I need to get on with it. Bit old school but it works.
What do you see as the essentials for a happy existence?
Laughter, family, friends, sunshine, coffee and Twix chocolate bars..
What are some of the challenges you’ve faced in growing your business?
Coaching – learning to be present and really listen.
For the website – Understanding the world of online and at a rapid pace. I have a fantastic team around me that prop me up in the areas I do not consider myself an expert. I am learning all the time.
How many hours do you work in a typical working day and do you work weekends?
I work 3 days per week. I chunk this into morning blocks between 7am and 12 and then on a Friday I go into the office. I have been known to be blogging at 2am, coaching over the phone during my son’s naps mid morning or writing articles while having coffee at my local café. I do work weekends but only when it does not impact on family time.
Can you describe a typical day?
6am start – which is a lie-in compared to some mums! I start work before my son wakes so I wade through to do list and any emails and dive in to the chunkier tasks during his mid morning nap. If I have a project that requires absolute undivided attention I will work in the evenings once the little man is dreaming from 7pm. Managing an online business means I can work at anytime. My coaching requires more organisation and structure. I coach face to face on a Friday and over the phone anytime. As I am writing this I am amazed at how far my energy goes.
What qualities do you respect and value in people you work with? Why are these qualities important to you?
Commitment, integrity and passion. I like people who are passionate about what they do and can see things through.
What do you do in your spare time?
Enjoy my family and catching up with friends, love pottering around my new home, I recently moved to the South Coast to be out of the city and nearer ‘true’ Australia, with the bush and beaches on my doorstep. I also enjoy some time out for me and this can be anything from a yoga session, glass of wine, walk on the beach or reading gossip mags!
Who or what other businesses or business people inspire you?
There is a magazine called Mindfood – its a NZ publication but they are across everything. It’s probably one of the best mags out there. I look forward to receiving my subscription each month as I often come away with ideas. People who work in the role of coaching inspire me. We are a huge movement of people helping others to make positive changes in their life.
Name your three favourite websites – the ones you visit regularly?
www.Facebook.com – being an expat its such a great way to keep in touch with friends all around the world. I feel closer to many people I had not spoken to in years because of limited time!
www.myambition.com – I am always on there – trying to look at through the eyes of the audience we are trying to reach.
www.fivebigquestions.com I keep going back to this site at the moment as it really is stirring something up inside. Something is burning away at me at the moment and I need to keep looking at the questions and make time to think about answers to make the connection. Take a look.
Do you Twitter? I twy to tweet – but often can go days without!
Do you blog? Yes I do.
If you were able to invite any three people to dinner, who would they be and why?
Right now? Any three of my friends in the UK who could make it! It would be different next week!
If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be?
Be able to have a transporter machine so I could zip all over the world and see my friends and family more often.
What community involvement so you have?
I was involved in my local chamber of commerce. I am helping a few local businesses with business performance coaching which is really interesting for me to come away from the corporate career-coaching piece. I also offer free 6 month mentoring or coaching program to one individual each year – as development for me as well as them! In previous years I have done this through the Network Central mentor program and Business Chicks group.
Do you have a favourite saying? If so, what is it?
Growing old is mandatory- growing up is optional! I prefer the latter.