Company: Great Play – Cherry Creek
Professional Industry: Youth Enrichment
Job Title: Owner
WIXII-ISM™ FROM LAURA L’HERAULT: “Take charge of your life and make those changes you have always dreamt about doing — Sing Loud, Jump High and Dream Big!!!”
Meet our featured Wixii™, Laura LHerault. She is in her early 40s, and she is the mother to a 6 year old son. Laura studied English and Sociology at the University of Vermont. Laura encourages each of us not to be afraid to make changes in your life if you are not happy. “I left NYC 15 years ago to start a new chapter in my life. I left a “big” job, friends, family and a 6 month old niece and nephew. I moved to Denver with no job, one sort of friend and never looked back. Take charge of your life and make those changes you have always dreamt about doing.”
LAURA’S CAREER PATH:
I graduated from college having no idea of what I wanted my career path to be. After traveling to Israel and working on an army base after graduation, my step father suggested I look into being a recruiter within the temporary help service. He had followed this industry for many years. After a few interviews, I started as a temporary coordinator with Manpower Temporary Services and never looked back. After 5 years in the temp help business, I met with an agency recruiter so they could help me find a new job, in a corporate setting. Sure enough, they hired me in house and I started placing consultants on 6 months+ projects in the HR industry. I worked in the HR industry in the late 90’s when the dot com world was just beginning and exploding. It was amazing. In 1999, I was on the subway with my stepfather and he asked me how my day was. I said great and that I was moving to Colorado. He said, does your mom know. I said no, I just decided….after 6 months of planning I moved to Colorado in 2000 and continued to work in the recruiting industry, this time placing consultants in the IT field. I moved into placing IT professionals in the Healthcare industry and worked in that environment for 6 years. I was always the top producer and a leader wherever I worked. After getting married and having my son, I realized that work is not everything, two weeks of vacation after working 19 years in the same industry and making a lot of money for someone else was just not working for me and my family. I met with a career coach and we started talking about starting my own business or buying a franchise. I did some research and found Great Play. After several meetings, phone calls and playing around with a financial model, my husband and I decided to become part of the Great Play team.
LAURA’S MINDSET AND WORK-LIFE MIX:
I am passionate about life, my family and work. I have made some big changes in my life to better myself and my family. I found that having my own business allows me to create a schedule that works for all of us. I am able to pick up my son at school, go on spring break and work and play each week! I am back to being the fun, silly, goofy and happy person that I was years ago. My work-life mix is something that I have created and something I am proud of. I am in control of how I spend my time and I love that.
Work: how do you “think outside the box” with respect to your work-life potential and opportunities?
Wow, this is a great question for me. I was sitting behind a desk for 19 years, doing a job that I was really good at, but, I was bored and not happy about how my time was spent (too much time at work). I thought/think outside the box by taking charge of my work situation, talking to people and creating a plan to change my work life balance. I thought long and hard about what I wanted and found owning my own business was the balance I was looking for in my life.
House: how do you maintain order/status quo and/or how do you “manage it all” just a bit better?
I really try not to sweat the small stuff. I make sure there is food in the refrigerator, clothes are clean and the house is generally tidy. I manage it all by keeping lists of things I have to get done during the week.
My days are filled with laughter which is super important to me. I have a regular routine in the morning from getting up, making breakfast and taking my son to school. From there, I go right to work to start checking emails and phone calls. I work out 3 times a week, mid-morning, which is a great way to clear my mind for the rest of the day. Most of my time is spent at Great Play, until school pick up at 3:10. I pick up my son 3 days a week and have a sitter who helps on the other two days. I have a sitter so I can have some alone time which is a change I made 2 years ago. I had never made time for myself after getting married and having a child. Late afternoon is busy with after school activities and just being with my son. We go on a lot of adventures; from riding our bicycles, to playing in the park to having quiet time together at home. I am typically the person who makes dinner and I am not afraid to admit that I spend a lot of time at Whole Foods and Tony’s Market. One of my personal l goals is to cook a home cooked meal 2 more times during the week. My husband and I are very involved with our son at the end of the day. You will find us building Legos, throwing balls, reading and overall spending time together. Our afternoon dinner is routine during the week where we all go upstairs for some quiet time, then reading as a family in my son’s room. An L’Herault family tradition is for one of us to lie down with our son and tell a story, make believe or true. My husband and I switch off every other day. We have some awesome stories tucked away! After bedtime for my son around 7:30 or so, I clean up a bit and get bags and “stuff” ready for the next day. I end my day sitting on the couch with my husband, watching a bit of TV, reading etc. I love my work life balance!
Please share your favorite efficiencies and timesavers.
My favorite efficiencies and timesavers is preparing for the day, the night before. I like to have bags packed, dishes put away, and toys put away (part of my son’s responsibilities) shoes and clothes put away. I like my house to be neat and orderly. Doing all this the night before gets me out of the house on time, armed with everything I need to make a successful day for myself and family.
What do you currently find most challenging/concerning about your work-life mix? What areas do you most needs support?
My husband and I need to spend more time together without our son. When we have a date night or go out with friends we ALWAYS say we should do this more often! I think having an only child has something to do with this, I know I feel “bad” when I leave him with a babysitter and I should not.
What advice would you give an earlier version of yourself?
Slow down, have more fun; don’t worry about what other people are doing and how they view me. Trust my instincts and believe in yourself. Smile more and trust that everything is going to be okay – because it is!!