Shelia Butler is a productivity and lifestyle expert who helps women entrepreneurs streamline their business in order to live harmoniously aligned lives through simple productivity, leveraged technology, and mastery of their most valuable resource – time.
“I spent my early career in healthcare, later transitioning into education. In 2002 I started on a path that changed my life when I made the decision to diversify my skills sets by earning an MBA program. I graduated in 2004 and within a few weeks, a classmate and I started our first business.”
“After seven years my business partner and I decided to part ways and I ventured out on my own. This is when I found myself and my true calling in life. My greatest passion is helping women find their way, realising they are enough and they can have both a family and career/business. It’s all about integration and aligned living. I started Successful Women Talk so we can all learn by the example other amazing women are setting.”
What do you credit most to your success?
I credit most of my success to attitude and work ethic. I’m a true believer in mind over matter and the fact that you can do anything you want to do if you set your mind on it. Life is about choices and once you define your Why (Core Governing Values), How (Goals), and What (Daily Choices) no one can stop you.
What is your new year’s career resolution?
I’m not a big fan of New Year’s resolutions because I believe you can make changes anytime you set your mind to it, but if I had pick something I would say my resolution is to be kinder to myself. We are our own worst critics and it can be defeating. I want to celebrate the small wins more often and change my mindset about bumps in the road.
Could you recommend one great career resolution for 2014 to us?
If you want to have the biggest impact on your life, stop trying to manage time — you can’t do it and it sets you up for stress and failure. Instead, learn to manage your choices.
Time freedom is about choices. We all get the same number of hours and minutes in a day. Spend them trying to manage time and you’ll wind up feel stressed out and defeated. Instead, spend them managing your choices and you’ll feel empowered. It puts you back in control of the situation. You need to decide what’s most important for you to accomplish and you take action on it. Time is free, but it’s priceless, so choose wisely.
How can we juggle being mums and career women?
This is a big one for me and again, I think it all comes back to choices and defining your core/governing values. A great exercise is to get a piece of paper and write down the things that are most important to you… the things you would walk on fire for. These are different for everyone. My five core governing values are: family, financial security, flexibility, freedom, and fun — in this order. This simplifies things for me because if an opportunity arises, but doesn’t meet my governing values… I say no.
Another important thing is to stop trying to achieve work-life balance. Just like time management, it sets you up for failure. Your greatest achievement will come from a more integrated and aligned approach to living. Here are a few tips:
- Define your Core Governing Values: This is where it all starts – your values are the centre piece to the puzzle.
- Organize, Simplify, and Schedule: Get everything out of your head, get rid of what doesn’t need to be done, and get the most important things on your schedule – for both work and family.
- Prioritise and Be Realistic: Know what’s most important and be realistic about what you can and can’t do. You can do it all if you clearly and realistically define what YOUR all is.
- Learn to say “NO”: You have a limited amount of hours in your day, use them wisely. You can’t say YES to the right things if you’re saying YES to the wrong things.
- Celebrate the Small Wins: You will have good and bad days, so don’t beat yourself up too badly and celebrate the small wins when they happen. Remember you work to live, not live to work. Alignment is key.
Is personal presentation important in the work place?
As I said earlier, I’m a big believer in mind over matter and I find that when I dress better, I feel better. I currently work from home, so this one can be tricky, but when I’m presenting myself professionally I always try and look my best — it always helps with confidence.
My work dress pick: The giraffe pattern wrap dress.
Alix Soame has moulded herself a very unique and glamorous career – she is the founder and owner of Vanity Van, a mobile beauty salon that has worked a range of UK events such as Glastonbury, X Factor and The Big Reunion.
As the founder of Vanity Van, do you have any career changing tips for New Years?
Find something you love doing and build a career or a business around it – come up with a fantastic idea and go for it. Never think that just because you haven’t done something before or don’t have the right background that you can’t do something – nothing is impossible in this world visualise your goal and things will come into your path to help make it happen. Work hard and no one will stand in your path – also do not give up at the first sign of things getting tough – if at first you don’t succeed try, try again!
Your career takes you on fun and exciting adventures to different events and festivals – do you have any advice for someone wanting to take on something fun and exciting in their day to day life?
Do not hesitate, life is for living as they say – why lead a boring dull life if you can lead a fun exciting one it’s a no brainer! Seize every opportunity and live life to the full
What’s your ultimate highlight of your career so far?
Meeting and performing a massage on Lady Gaga. We stepped in to her rescue just minutes before her set and it was the first ever event we had worked in the backstage on an official basis with the BBC so to experience working with such a huge international star was mind blowing. Watching her and her entourage warming up and preparing backstage for her set was incredibly surreal we felt very lucky.
Lastly! What is your 2014 New Year’s resolution?
I would like to develop our PR agency arm of the business further this year and take our event beauty services for corporate clients, brands and marketing companies to the next level, to expanding on our offerings, packages and client list.
I also want to look at further expansion for my concept abroad.
Whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur or struggling on the career ladder, here’s some New Year’s Career Resolutions we should all be following.
- Socialise. ‘Networking’ is a cold, intimidating word. But if you socialise with work colleagues, your friend’s work colleagues, your work colleagues friends, and at industry events, you’ll build new contacts without even realising. Aim to do this at least five times a year, and you may just have five new business contacts and five newly opened doors by 2015.
- Resolve to be more open with your manager. Be an open book to your manager, and if you want something, tell them exactly what it is. If you’re not happy, make it known. Unless you make your goals and intentions crystal clear to your superiors, you won’t achieve them.
- Breathe deeper – inhale and exhale slowly whenever you remember. It will relax you from stress and focus your mind.