Women across Canada are kicking butt in the workforce, all while maintaining their cool and doing the things in life they enjoy. “Motivation Monday: How she does it” is a news series where we profile notable women working in various fields to find out how they juggle work-life balance. For this installment, we chatted with Vicky Boudreau - general manager and founding partner of public relations company Bicom.
Can you describe what you do?
I cofounded the public relations agency Bicom about 10 years ago. On the daily, I’m responsible for everything that relates to business development like finding new contracts. I also take care of campaign strategies and client relations.
What does a typical day look like for you starting from the moment you wake up?
What I try to do is wake up before my husband and my daughter. That way, I have half an hour to take a coffee and read my emails before the state of the house erupts. Then, I’ll get ready to go to the gym. So I put my gym clothes on and I go drop my daughter off at daycare. Three to four times a week, I’ll go to the gym or I’ll go for a run. Then, I’ll take my shower at the gym and I’ll go straight to work, and I usually have a lunch meeting. Then, I’ll try to be at the daycare to pick up my daughter at 5 pm and I’ll spend some time with her until about 7:30 pm, and then I'll work a bit more for about another hour.
What are some of the ways that you juggle work-life balance? Do you have any tips?
My advice is to ask for help. I have a cleaning lady and now I also started asking her to run some errands for me too. I also use a service called COOK it. I get boxes delivered to my house with a recipe and ingredients ready inside. Even my daughter can help me make dinner so that’s really cute too. We eat really well and it relieves me from a certain stress. Another tip that I received from a very successful lawyer, is to always plan and ask for important dates in advance. For example, in September, I asked my daughter’s daycare what will be the date for their Christmas play. Now, it’s for sure that I’ll be able to make it. Also, sometimes on Sundays I’ll prepare my daughter’s outfits for the week. I’ll prepare five piles - a shirt, a pair of pants, her socks - like that, in the morning I know I'm not going to waste anytime trying to coordinate her outfits.
Ideally, my goal is to be 100 percent with my family when I’m with them, and 100 percent focused on work when I’m there.
How do you stay motivated?
I think you always have to set yourself realistic goals for yourself, be it in your professional or personal life. You have to take the time to savour your victories, but I always need new projects and goals.
And does it ever happen that you’re feeling less motivated or maybe you’re just tired?
Yes! I have the tendency to not take vacation or to take very little. When I’m tired, like this summer, it happened that I took a Wednesday off to go to the spa. I had just finished working on two big presentations and I was finally starting to feel relieved, so I took a day to myself in the middle of the week. But, it doesn’t happen often.
How do you like to unwind?
Working out for me isn’t a chore. I love the gym and to run, and it makes me feel really good. Besides that, I’m also a very social person. I love having friends over for supper and I like going out to see friends and family. It’s also important for me to see my mom and my sister. Spending time with the people who are important to me, that’s really my way of changing my thoughts and recharging my battery.
And when you go out do you choose wine or cocktails?
I am totally into wine. I’ll have a class during the week, even if there isn’t a special occasion. In general, everything that is gastronomy and wine interests me. It’s also another way that I unwind.
What is the best advice you have ever received?
It’s a piece of advice I got from my dad when I was younger. He told me how some athletes train their entire life for a performance that will last just 20 seconds. What he meant by that is that it’s important to work hard and it’s even more important to be patient to reach our goals. We have to take the time to do things and not get discouraged when we don’t see results right away. When we think about someone who trains for years for a run that just lasts 20 seconds, it paints a vivid image.
How do you define success?
I think that success is reaching the goals that you set for yourself and also that you do something that you love. Also, in a more global sense, I like to consider success on a week to week basis. We get good news, we launch a new campaign, we land a new contract - we celebrate - after, we have to keep working so that it continues. The danger with success is that if we’re too easily satisfied we might put our business and projects at risk. I can celebrate for a good 48 hours and then, it’s onto the next objective!
As a career woman, do you have any other advice?
I think you can’t be scared. Often, I have met women who already have kids and they think that it’s going to be complicated, but what’s important is to stay organized and to be well surrounded. You have to have different people around you who complete your strengths and weaknesses. I’m lucky enough to have an incredible colleague with whom I share my personal and professional life with for the last 10 years. We’re both very different, but we complete each other. We have to work with people who are complementary to really reach our goals.
Do you know someone we should feature in this segment? Send an email to [email protected]