Q&A with Business Chicks CEO, Emma Isaacs


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You know how you come across those ‘super people’ who seem to do so much on a daily basis that you are left wondering where they get their energy from? Well, Emma Isaacs, CEO at Business Chicks (www.businesschicks.com.au) is one of those people so we thought we would find out what makes her tick – Welcome to our guest today – Emma Isaacs -

Emma, you juggle children, a thriving business and career and yet you seem to always look energised, slim and amazing. Do you have any health, diet or lifestyle secrets to keep you looking your best?

That’s lovely of you! I certainly don’t always feel that way, but I find that if you have a great attitude toward life, and always wear a smile, then you can pretty much get away with anything. I work on my mindset and self-talk a lot. I’m fascinated with neuroplasticity and love how a thought can literally change how you feel and look and the results you get from life. So there are no big secrets, apart from really studying how you talk to yourself and the language you use. Try it, it works!

And what would a day on a plate look like for you?

It probably doesn’t always paint the picture of health and nutrition that you’d hope! I’m really interested in how food fuels us, and admire people who have made it their life’s work to educate others about the importance of nutrition and food. I’m more interested in it now that I have three daughters aged five and under and do all I can to instill good habits in them, but admit that they’re my priority, and I come in a solid second to their needs.

Do you have any special meals or snacks you recommend or always carry with you?

I’m pregnant with my fourth child at the moment and always find it difficult not to succumb to the weird cravings that accompany my pregnancies. When pregnant I really struggle with getting enough protein – I could live off bread rolls! – but do my best to get nutrients in in other ways. I have a private chef come into the Business Chicks office each week and he cooks up the most incredible meals for the team which helps somewhat.

Do you find any time to exercise?

I used to be an exercise nut, working out with a personal trainer at least four or five times per week and supplementing that with other gym sessions. These days I travel interstate every single week for work trips, and am up early for hair and make up on breakfast TV regularly, plus a lot of other speaking and media engagements, not to mention running the business. I’m struggling to get enough sleep so I’m exhausted and for the first time in my life, I struggle to get motivated to exercise. I find there’s a lot of incidental exercise though with parenting and we try and get out and get active on the weekends.

You travel a lot which can be hard for a single person let alone a pregnant mum with three small children, what are your best tips for travelling yet maintaining your best physical health?

Turn down absolutely non-essential travel as a start. Flying and different time zones mess with your serotonin, so it’s important you protect yourself as much as possible. Can meetings be done over Skype? Can a colleague go for you? Secondly, travel only with carry on luggage so the waiting time at either side is reduced. Drink loads of water. Spend a bit more to get a comfy room. Make travel special – I do things like draw a bath or watch TV while I’m away (neither of which I ever do at home) so that I look at my travel like a mini-holiday.

Business Chicks is known for being a very healthy balanced work environment – what are some of the initiatives you have built into the culture to ensure your staff maintain their well being?

We have a chef come in to our headquarters to cook amazing food for us; a yoga instructor to facilitate classes; and a massage therapist each week (the best!!). We’ve held meditation classes before and every Friday, the team work half days (but still get paid for the full five days.) Everyone leaves at 1pm and ever since we implemented this policy years ago we’ve never seen a drop in productivity so it makes sense for everyone.

What would be your best tips for busy working mums when it comes to self-care?

Be kind to yourself and know that these days will pass. Just attempt little moments to yourself – I have a massage therapist come to the house every week, but take just as much joy in brushing my teeth for one minute longer when I’m alone and the whole family are waiting for me in the car downstairs. You take what you can get!

If there was one tip you would share with women trying to do it all, what would it be?

Don’t. Just try and do a couple of things well. All I do well is grow my business and be an ace mama. I don’t do anything else well at the moment and I’m totally cool with that!

Your favourite way to relax

Huh?!?

What does 2015 have in store for you and for Business Chicks?

It’s shaping up to be massive. 2014 was already big – we bought a whole floor of an office building in the Sydney CBD and moved the business in after a huge refurb; I travelled to India with 20 members of Business Chicks for our Leadership & Immersion Program in support of The Hunger Project; I spent a week on Necker Island with Sir Richard Branson for a leadership gathering; we produced massive events with Arianna Huffington, Seth Godin, Rachel Zoe, Julia Gillard, and many more; doubled our team and near doubled our gross revenues plus loads more! 2015 is set to be even bigger with more of the same plus our launch into North America. Oh, and I’ll deliver my fourth baby.

About Emma Isaacs

At 35, Emma Isaacs has achieved more than most twice her age. She’s the CEO of Business Chicks, Australasia’s largest network for women with almost 33,000 members. Emma has spent one on one time with Bill Gates and Sir Richard Branson; is a serial property investor, has raised over $10million for various charities, and is mother to three girls five and under.

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