Woman 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 Natasha Gargiulo - Radio and TV Host at Virgin Radio, TV personality at ET Canada and Partner and Co-Founder of Maddy K Inspires Luxury Women’s Retreat.
Can you describe what you do?
I am a radio and TV host so basically what I do is I entertain, I inform and I provide people access to stories that they wouldn't normally have access to.
What does a typical day look like for you starting from the moment you wake up?
Every day is different, I rarely have a day that is the same. I guess I have a couple of jobs. Number one, I’m a mother and I’m a single mom. My daughter has always been my priority. My day starts really early, from a quarter to four in the morning and sometimes until ten at night. I host the morning show at the radio station and from there I’ll end up taking my daughter to daycare or to school. If I’m doing something for ET Canada, I’ll have a shoot during the day and if I’m not doing a shoot for ET Canada, I’m working on an empowering retreat for women with my partner Maddy K. I’m also working on a couple of other projects and trying to pitch a TV show for women. I’m constantly working on something.
What are some challenges you face as a career woman - personal or professional?
The challenge I face is always balance and I guess dealing with “mommy guilt”. You want to try and be the best you can, be in every job that you have, and we all want to be this super woman, and don't want to fail at anything. I think the number one thing you have to remind yourself of is that you’re doing this for yourself because you want to be a great role model for your child, but you also don't want to disappoint your child at the same time. That’s my biggest challenge. Realizing that I need to do this in order to be a good mom to her and to be a happy woman. I’m fulfilled as a mother, but I feel really fulfilled in being this working mom and doing the things I really want.
How do you overcome these challenges?
I really feel it’s important to have a great support system. I’m surrounded by some really empowering and really successful women in my field. I consider myself really lucky. When you do have a challenge or you do feel guilty or at a crossroads in your life, I talk to them and we rally with each other and support each other. That’s one way to get over it, is to surround yourself with really great people, and that can be women and men, and family too. And I guess sometimes just stop and breathe (laughing) and realize that it’s going to be okay.
When it comes to finding a balance between work demands and family demands, do you have any routines or tricks that help you juggle that work-life balance?
Let’s say I know I’m travelling or have an event I have to attend and perhaps I won’t get to spend as much time as I want to with my daughter, I always make sure there will be a day or the weekend, or something where it’s all dedicated to her. I try to plan outings and events and be out of the house with her as much as I can so we can both enjoy the city and do things together. I find that’s really important. She understands that mommy works at night because she considers that me leaving the house at 4:30 am in the morning is night time (laughing), and she knows I travel for work. I try and always be honest with her with everything I’m doing because I really want her to know exactly what mommy does. For example if I’m away, I’ll let her know exactly my day-to-day schedule and send her pictures so she’s kind of a part of it. I also don’t want her to think that my job takes me away from her, I just want her to know what I’m doing all the time so that she understands it, so she knows that mommy needs to work in order for us to be happy and have the things that we want.
With your busy schedule and travelling, how do you like to unwind?
Well I love wine, I don’t know any woman who doesn’t. I like to be at home and I love to entertain, I really do. Maybe a lot of people would say ‘why do you want to entertain after you’ve been traveling’ or whatever but I really like spending quality time with my friends and catching up. We’re all so busy in our lives and we don’t have a lot of time like we used to to just come on over and chat. I mean no one picks up the phone anymore, we’re always texting each other. So just face to face time, catching up with my good friends over many….perhaps, many, many bottles of wine. I also like reading and walking, and really just spending time with my daughter and doing fun things.
Well my next question was wine or cocktails and why, but I think we covered that.
You got it! Wine, wine, wine. I’m not a girl who likes any mixed drinks or any strong type of alcohol, so I love wine. My wine choice is red, although in the summer, I won’t say no to a nice rosé or a Chardonnay. I’m really a red wine drinker, I love reading about it and I love going to the SAQ, and talking to the guys, and them showing me their new wines - I love that.
What is the best advice you have ever received?
Leap before you look. I’m pretty good friends with Debbie Travis, she’s been a great influence in my life, and the first time that she did a retreat we went on assignment with ET Canada to cover it. During that retreat we met Frances Mayes, who’s the author of Under the Tuscan Sun. We went out for lunch with her and she’s married to a phenomenal man who’s also a writer, and he was asking me what I wanted to do in life. And I remember, I had so many fears and so many uncertainties. I knew what I wanted, but I didn’t know how to get it. And he looked at me and he said, “Natasha, leap before you look. Don't overthink it, just do it. Because if you don’t leap now there might not be any water for you to fall in”. And he’s right. What’s the worst that can happen? Just do it and if it doesn’t work out, you try again. But if you look before you leap, you’re constantly overthinking it, you’re constantly going to let your doubts and fears interfere. Ever since he’s said that to me, I promise you that’s how I live my life. If you just do it, it’s going to happen for you.
How do you define success?
Success to me is about being happy. I don’t define success as monetary or financial at all. I find in order to be successful you really need to love what you do. If you love what you do and you wake up every morning and you look forward to doing it, and you look forward to going to work, and you look forward to paying it forward, and helping people out, and maybe encouraging, and inspiring others who want to do the same thing as you - that’s being successful. I find there are a lot of people who I’ve spoken to who probably on the outside you think ‘my goodness, they’re so successful’ because of everything they have on the outside, but on the inside they’re doing stuff that they don’t even want to do, but they’re making an amazing paycheck. To me I think success is based on being happy and having people look at you and be inspired in a certain way, that’s a successful person.
Do you know someone we should feature in this segment? Send an email to Jennifer@picoum.com