WORK HARD. PLAY HARD: Lucie England-Duce

 

This is the first feature of our new blog sequence: Work Hard Play Hard. These posts will be short interviews with budding business people who are pushing work-life balance to the extreme and winning!

Entrepreneurship and startup projects are a big talking point at the moment with a move away from faceless corporate jobs towards the dream of ‘making your stamp on your industry’. With the female political conversation blossoming over the recent Conservative PM and female women in power making waves in the growing areas of e-commerce, sports business, and technology, we want to know more about what the new recruits are thinking!

That is why we came up with Woman Crush Wednesdays for our W.H.P.H blog posts!

yada says is hitting things off with a feature on Lucie, a Health Coach who, when not pushing her clients to succeed in their goals, juggles her many creative interests and talents.

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What is your role now and what are the main responsibilities for you?

I’m a Health Coach, I run my own Fit Club, and through both of these things I support my clients and team members nutritionally, emotionally, physically, and often personally too. I’m also a photographer and filmmaker, and I occasionally make cameos on the other side of the lens. Less frequently I’m a DJ, illustrator and gardener. So I think Professional Juggler/Multitasking Extraordinaire is what I’d call myself, but there’s not often a tick-box for that on forms.

How long have you been doing this for and what did you do before?

I’ve always been a fingers-in-pies kinda gal! However this chapter has been my life for the last year. Prior to this I was a student at Leeds Uni studying Spanish and World Cinemas (never could just pick one thing)

For you, what was the turning point that lead you to move into your current career?

For me, being self-employed using my skills and passions was always my plan. Both my parents are self-employed, after both having a history of jobs they disliked working for bosses they disliked. So I grew up in a house where working from home and doing what you love is now celebrated, and I experienced the freedom it gave to my parents first hand. I recognize that that’s why I went straight into self-employment after university. And I’m forever grateful for that.

Can you think of any key challenges you had to overcome and how did you battle them to get to where you are?

Yes. Lots! When graduation day arrived, almost every one of my friends had a graduate placement lined up already, with a guaranteed salary and they could tell me exactly where they were going to be in a couple of months. I had none of that, which was absolutely fine, but it still felt like I had much less of a ‘plan’. I think the biggest challenge when starting your own businesses is adapting to the fact that after 30 days of hard work there isn’t a pay-cheque, and it can be tough to remember each day that you’re working towards something bigger than that. Fortune comes with consistency, with personal growth, and after making many mistakes. So getting through those first few months of perpetually thinking “Am I doing enough? Is this working? When do I know I’ve made it?” is a big challenge. My advice is to keep the faith, and do more than you think you’ll need to. You can always do more. You can always be more. Work harder on yourself than you do on your job. I’m currently listening to The 10x Rule by Grant Thornton and it’s incredible.

Do you think these challenges are gendered, or that there are always slightly different battles to win for women compared to men in business?

Being a businesswoman will always be different to being a businessman. But so far I haven’t experienced much inequality. I am treated differently, of course, but not with less respect. And if I ever am, I won’t be for long! Sure I have met a couple of creeps during my time, but I just smile, give nothing back, and stay professional. They soon get the message. I like dressing up to look professional and elegant. This does lead to heckles and men eyeballing when walking down the street, but that will never stop me dressing how I want to. Modern day feminism can be confusing, and confused me for some time as I was finding my feet as a businesswoman. Women hate being objectified and treated ‘differently’, understandably. We have fought for generations for equal rights, and so it’s inherent in us to keep fighting for it. Yet at the same time as protecting our equal rights, many of us still love chivalrous traditions, like guys opening doors for us and receiving a bouquet of flowers. I used to think this was a contradiction, but I’ve learned that it’s not. Gender equality is to do with being respected equally, not being treated identically.

Where would you like to see yourself in five or ten years?

In five years, on a boat in the Balearics, using the superfast free Wi-Fi that covers the entire globe, maintaining my businesses and planning my investments. In ten years, with my husband and children, being able to spend every minute with them. (Can you tell I dream big?)

What needs to change in order to get you there?

I know that I can get there in the line of business that I’m currently in. I’ve got a plan and I will get there. The only thing that needs to change is me – by constantly and never-endingly improving – to grow into the person that can handle that level of responsibility – to become more confident, better at time management, and to give fewer f**ks about what people think.

How do you find balancing your lifestyle with your job?

It’s a juggling act for sure! It used to overwhelm me and still does sometimes, when Friday evening comes along and my ambitious to-do list is unfinished. But as a general rule, I take the weekends off. What I need to work on is dedicating more time to my creative hobbies, like playing the piano, drums and drawing. Although I feel like I don’t have time, they can be very therapeutic, and that’s invaluable.

It will probably always will be a struggle to balance a life like this. Just imagining how people juggle all those things PLUS KIDS? I’m curious about that challenge and in no rush to give it a go just yet!

If you could give one piece of advice to a young woman looking to start her career or a business, what would that be?

“Those who matter don’t mind, and those who mind don’t matter.”

And finally, what do you think is the best part about being a young business woman right now?

It is the ultimate girl-power feeling. You are able to stretch and push your full potential, connect with people intellectually and be your own brand.

 

Are you a young entrepreneur juggling life and work? Do you have any tips or advice on how to overcome challenges in the working world? Let us know by talking to us on Twitter! www.twitter.com/yada_events

Why not email the author about featuring on the blog or getting in touch with yada Events app. abi.browning@yada.events

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