Welcome to a journey of self-discovery and empowerment, where we shatter the myth of perfect balance and embrace the beautiful chaos of life. Delve into the nuances of managing personal life and work as an online business manager.

Let’s embark on an empowering journey, exploring not just the equilibrium between work and life, but a more dynamic and personal approach to juggling our multifaceted lives.


This episode shares:  

  • Unraveling Self-Understanding: It’s essential to know who you are. What lights up your world? What drains your energy? This understanding is the foundation of managing life’s various elements.
  • Defining Personal and Professional Desires: Clearly articulate what you want from both life and business. Your willingness to compromise and prioritise shapes your daily decisions.
  • The Dance of Flexibility: Life is fluid, not static. Prioritise based on what each day demands, understanding that the scales will tip differently on different days.
  • Planning for the Unexpected: Life is full of surprises. Having a strategy for emergencies ensures you’re prepared for life’s curveballs.
  • Identify Your Backups: List out potential support systems and tools that can help balance your commitments.
  • Monitor Your Vital Signs: Pay close attention to personal indicators, such as patience levels, stress levels, and overall well-being, to recognise when adjustments are necessary in managing personal and work responsibilities.
  • Be Flexible and Adaptable: Recognise the importance of being flexible and willing to adjust on a daily basis, as different situations may require different levels of attention and prioritisation. 


Unraveling Self-Understanding

In my life, filled with six kids, a cavoodle, hobbies, and a thriving business, understanding myself has been the cornerstone. I realised that without this self-awareness, managing life feels like a losing battle. It’s not just about listing hobbies or responsibilities; it’s about diving deep into what makes you, you.

Tip:💡Reflect on what brings you joy and what tires you. This self-discovery is the first step toward creating a life that aligns with your true self.


Defining Personal and Professional Desires

Understanding what you desire from both personal and professional realms shapes your daily decisions and long-term goals. For me, it’s about being a present mum, a supportive friend, and running a successful business. But what about you? Do you crave professional growth, family time, or personal development? Comprehending these longings influences your everyday choices.

Tip:💡Be honest about your willingness to sacrifice and what you hold non-negotiable.


The Dance of Flexibility

Life’s unpredictability demands a triage approach. There are days when the business, takes precedence, while other times, family or self-care is paramount. This adaptability is key to managing life’s ever-changing demands.

Tip:💡Instead of seeking a rigid balance, prioritise based on immediate needs and long-term aspirations.


Planning for the Unexpected

Unexpected events are a staple of life. Whether it’s a business crisis or a family emergency, having a plan helps. It’s about anticipating potential disruptions and preparing accordingly.

Tip:💡 Identify reliable support systems and alternate strategies to mitigate stress during unforeseen events.


Identify Your Backups

List out potential support systems in your personal and professional life. In managing a bustling household and a business, a lesson learned is the value of backups. They can be people, like family and friends, or resources, like after-school care or business automation tools.

Tip:💡 Don’t overlook the power of small aids like lunchbox notes or team members who can step up in a crisis.


Monitor Your Vital Signs

I know when I’m not very happy, or I’m not behaving the way I normally would, my vital signs are different.
If one of my different compartments in my one being is taking too much, I will be able to tell because I will run out of patience faster than I normally would. I will have less breath, I’ll breathe faster, and feel like I’m running at a thousand miles an hour.

Tip:💡 List out potential support systems in your personal and professional life. In managing a bustling household and a business, a lesson learned is the value of backups. They can be people, like family and friends, or resources, like after-school care or business automation tools.


Be Flexible and Adaptable

Recognise the importance of being flexible and willing to adjust on a daily basis, as different situations may require different levels of attention and prioritisation. Flexibility isn’t about being aimless or whimsical. It’s a strategic tool. It empowers you to make the most of every situation, turning potential setbacks into stepping stones. When you’re flexible, you’re prepared to pivot, to give priority to what’s most important at the moment, ensuring that your time and energy are always invested in the best possible way.

Tip:💡 Next time something unexpected occurs, identify how you can flex or adapt to accommodate to it. Within reason. 


And… that’s a wrap!

Moral of the story, really think about what you want things to look like and really think about what’s important to you and those around you.



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Follow along with the transcript

E25 How to manage your personal life and work life as an Online Business Manager

Leanne Woff: ​Hello, hello, hello. Welcome to this week’s episode of the Audacious OBM. Today, I’m  going to talk to you all about how to balance your personal life and your work life as an online business manager. Now, do you want to know my secret? Of course you want to know my secret. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be listening to me right now.

All right, so how do, how do I balance my work life and my personal life? The answer, quite simply, is that I don’t. I don’t believe you can. I don’t believe that it’s actually something that’s possible or something that you should be trying to achieve. Balance insinuates some kind of evenness. And in my opinion, that doesn’t exist.

Last time I checked, life is not linear or controllable. Business? Not linear or controllable. Anything that has people involved, not linear or controllable. So, why do we keep trying to achieve this mystical balance? And  what’s the impact of that? What rules does that put on us? What stress does that put on us?

But, there is the need to be able to have a life, and a business, and a family, and a hobby. And sometimes it can be hard to manage all the different things in your world. What I’m going to give you, instead of telling you how to achieve balance, I’m going to tell you how I manage my day to day and all the things that we do.

So to give you context, I have six kids. I have parents, I’m a sister, I’m a wife, I have a very needy cavoodle, I like to do cross stitch, and I like to do jigsaw puzzles, and I am an extreme extrovert, being that if I don’t connect genuinely with people on a regular basis, I’m very cranky, I’m very sad, you know, I like jokes, and I like [00:03:00] hanging out with people, I, have to run my children around to different sporting activities, and I am an avid learner.

And I own Audacious Empires, which is my OBM agency. It is my baby. And I run OBM Academy, which is where I mentor and guide other OBMs to create wildly profitable OBM businesses. All of this stuff is important to me. And I’m pretty certain I’ve probably left out a whole bunch of things. So, when I say to you, I’m going to walk you through the things, how I manage everything.

I say that knowing there’s a lot of things in, my life. This isn’t just one thing and therefore the tips kind of fall flat. Number one, number one tip, know you. [00:04:00] And sometimes this is the bit that we find the hardest. We haven’t actually thought about What makes us up. So just like what I explained to you of me, do that for yourself.

What brings you joy? What keeps you alive? What drains you and makes you tired? What makes you want to poke yourself in the eye? What are all those things? Because… If you don’t predefine some of that stuff, you’re never going to be able to manage all these things. It will always feel like a complete tug of war that you’re losing, and no one wants that.

So, get to know you. Have a little think. Number two, think about what you want from life, your personal life, and what you want from business. What actually is it? What in life do you look at and you think, yeah, I’m really glad I’m [00:05:00] able to do this. I’m really glad I’m able to drop my kids off at school. Or I’m really glad I’m able to have international clients and be on, be in international meetings at seven o’clock in the morning.

 What is it that you want from life and from business? I want a business that makes me lots of money, and these are the things that I’m okay to do to get that, or that gives me flexibility, or that lets me learn and spend 20 hours a week learning, whatever it might be. Then, once you’ve kind of mapped out these things, so from life, I want to be a mum that is present as much as I can be, without compromising all the things that are important to me.

 I want to be a, what do I want to be? I want to be a good friend. And I want to be [00:06:00] someone who is known as being kind and who is supportive and who if somebody, one of my friends needs my help, they know they’ll ring me and I’ll answer. That’s what I want to be. I want to have time for people and I want to be doing life with people, with my family.

I want to know what’s going on in your world. I want to be connected. These are the things I want in life. Now that I know what I want from life and what I want from business, what I want you to do is ask how much you’re willing to give for each of those things. So, okay, I want a business that makes lots of money.

Well, how much am I willing to give to get that? Am I willing to work a hundred hours a week? Am I willing to compromise on business ethics? Am I willing to miss my [00:07:00] kid’s school performance? Am I willing to let somebody else run my kids around to their different extra-curricular activities or do the nighttime story, like what is it that I’m willing to give to get that?

And then in terms of life, am I willing to make less money if it means I can put my kids to bed every night. Am I willing to, have a smaller brand if it means that, , I’m not able to make 7am meetings internationally? Am I willing to do 10 hours of learning every week if it means that I can go to every sport?

 What actually matters here? Because what you might find is the things that you thought mattered, don’t, and the things that you , don’t think mattered, do. But without thinking about it, how are you going to know? And it doesn’t have to be even. That’s what I want to really impress here. It is give and take, but in all different ways, and sometimes it’s take a lot, give a little, and sometimes it’s give a lot, take a little.

 I’ve always called it triage. I triage my life, my business, my everything. I don’t believe you can separate them. Both are so important and, I don’t know about you, but I have this theory that if the CEO walks in today, and he’s got a big decision to make, but he’s just had a massive fight with his partner.

The decision that he makes might not be the one he made on a day where he walked in and felt incredible. People are people and we cannot disconnect who we are from what we do. Not 100 percent and not in that manner. We can be logical and we can, do the best that we can, but at the end of the day, we’re one human.[00:09:00]

We’re not just fragmented pieces that kind of co exist together. We’re all in one body here. So stop trying to fight that and start trying to accept and then use it to your advantage. You know that that’s what it is, so how can we manage based on that knowledge? Thing number four. Think about what happens in an emergency.

What is your backup plan? And this can be a big emergency or this can be a little emergency. The little emergency could be usually, your partner takes the kids to school and that’s normal. Now, let’s say one day your partner can’t. All of a sudden, are you on school duty? Is that what the swap is going to be?

Or, is it, no, in that case I’ll have to ring grandma and she will have to help, because I know she said she will before, because I really can’t miss the 7am meetings. Like, it’s too important to me and I know that the kids don’t really mind who drops them off. Or, let’s say there’s been a project that you are working on and it’s gone live and all of a sudden all the links don’t work.

Okay, this is a big deal. So I’m needed and I’m needed to fix this. And that means I can’t put all the kids to bed tonight. Well, can my partner put the kids to bed? Hey, partner, this is the book I would have read. Like, I just need to be able to go and fix this and then I can put the kids to bed as normal tomorrow, but tonight I just can’t and that’s how it has to be.

And is that acceptable to me? Because if it’s not acceptable to me, I have to change something. If my business needs me and that’s something that I’m not willing to compromise, now I have to be the bedtime person because of the stability it gives my family, then I have to work out what my other options are.

And that might be, [00:11:00] okay, I have someone on my team who is the crisis manager. And if this happens, they will get a phone call at 7 o’clock at night and it’s pre arranged. They’re the go to for this because it’s not something I can do. So there are always other options. You just have to think about them and plan for them first and be okay with what those scenarios might look like.

So number five is what are your backups?  I want you to list out all the possible backups in your life. So it could be your family. It could be after school care. It could be, a list of friends. So it can be people and it can be things. It could be, okay, I’m not going to be able to drop my kids off at school, so I’m going to write a note and leave it in their lunchbox every single day.

Whatever it is, write all of the lists so that you can still fill the different parts that you want in either family or business. I’m going to have a team, I’m going to have this kind of person who does this, or I’m going to set up an automation so that I don’t have to spend an hour a week on emails.

Whatever it might be, think about your backups. Things you can put in place to back up what you want to achieve in business and in life. Six, monitor your vital signs. , it’s a bit odd Leanne, we’re not in medical school. No, we’re not. But, I know when I’m not very happy, or I’m not behaving the way I normally would, my vital signs are different.

Like, where’s my patience at? If one of my, different compartments in my one being is taking too much, I will be able to tell because I will run out of patience faster than I normally would. Whether that’s in life, or in business. I will have less breath, I’ll breathe faster, and feel like I’m running at a thousand miles an hour.

I will have a higher stress level and notice that my shoulders and my neck are all tensed up and, , all like I’m playing Mario Kart and my hands are like gripping that steering wheel like there is no tomorrow. I know that my whole sensory levels will be off the charts. Little noise will trigger a big reaction because my senses are overloaded.

Like, what are my vital signs? Am I reacting to different things the way that I wouldn’t normally? Is my breathing even and calm? Am I laughing a lot? Am I smiling? Am I giving people the time and space they need to talk?  or am I just ranting? Like these are the things that will tell you something has to change and you need to go to one of those backups or you need to change the level of give and take for right now for whatever reason it is.

Because here’s the other thing. Things will not always be the same. You need to be able to shift and change dependent on what’s happening. What are the critical points? Because there are days when business-land will need you more than personal land. And there are days when personal land, if you’re not there, the whole thing will crumple.

So be there and work out how you can be. I’m not saying that, you know, it’s as black and white as you can have everything and that’s all cool. I’m saying that you need to be flexible in terms of what every day looks like and know that different things require different levels of you and it changes  and that’s okay.

And then the last thing, the last tip for managing business, life, and you, your whole world, is to monitor your stakeholder’s vital signs. Now, stakeholders, that’s a fancy corporate word that I actually don’t really like. But, in this case, I’m going to use it. Mostly because I can mock it. You know, so the stakeholders, the business, how’s that going?

What are the vital signs like of that? Is it healthy? Is it growing? Is it, humming along the way it should? Is it giving you the learning outlet that you need? What are the vital signs here? Clients, how are they going? Are they happy? Is your relationship with them good? Can they see the impact you’re having?

What are the vital signs? Your partner, your dog, your kids. Are they happy? Are they healthy? Are they laughing a lot? Or are they crying in the corner? Do they look really hungry? Do they feel neglected? What are the vital signs? And then make plans. Adjust your give and take based on those. Sometimes we don’t realise the things that need to change unless we actually look out, outside of us.

Look at all those things that really matter to us and go, Hey, this is actually going okay. And it’s not that you need to be everyone’s everything or meet every expectation. It’s that for the important things, there are indicators you can look at that will help you manage the tug of war, so that nobody really has to lose. In summary, I don’t think balance exists. And I think that some days being all about business is okay. And some days being all about you is okay. And some days being all about your kids is okay. Or your dog. Or the fact that you just really need to read a book. Making life work for you is more important.

And knowing what you’re willing to do and give to have that. That’s how you manage it. But if you’re not willing to give anything, then it’s never going to work. If you’re constantly just looking for that, no, I want the mathematical equation here, or I want the 100 percent of everything. You’re never going to find that level of managing things with ease that you’re looking for.

The moral of the story, really think about what you want things to look like and really think about what’s important to you and those around you. Stop trying to get this magical balance and just be a practical and emotional person. Thanks, everybody. Have a great week