Ella George – Uduku – Managing Partner at Hillbridge Consulting opens up to us on her strategies for balancing work and life in order to live a deeply satisfying life both personally and professionally.
Tell us a little about yourself and why you started HillBridge Consulting?
I grew up in an entrepreneurial family and always had an interest in what makes successful businesses so. After studying Management Information System for my first degree, the same curiosity carried through my career in corporate and retail banking. That curiosity gradually developed into a passion for consulting and I decided to take the leap and go for an MBA to support my transition into a consulting career. During my MBA, I was opportuned to work with a world class innovation consulting firm and found myself home at last…lol. I haven’t looked back from consulting ever since. It’s where I thrive and what I do best.
I am currently the managing Partner at HillBridge Consulting, a company I started to change the way we think and do business in Africa. We exist to help SMEs and entrepreneurs build legacy businesses. We help them maximize their potentials and take their organizations to greater heights by putting the right strategies in place, and most importantly, executing their business processes in the most effective and efficient way.
What is your typical day like?
On a typical day, I wake up before dawn, pray and think about the things I must do for the day. I spend some time with my son, prepare for work and get started on my tasks about 9am.
Usually I start with the toughest ones so I can get them out of the way and then move on to my client meetings and/or strategy sessions.
My day officially closes about dusk to allow me attend to the family for a few hours. After my son has gone to sleep, I consciously try to relax by watching TV and reviewing the day with hubby. The last hours before I go to bed are spent working ON my business (big picture issues). I think, strategize, write, read, develop, plan and generally do activities that contribute to the growth of my business.
What is your secret/strategy to balancing work and family? Is there a balance?
As much as I strive to achieve work-life balance because I truly believe it is possible (though extremely difficult), I do not think I have achieved it yet. I try very hard each day is to give consideration to the different roles I must play as a mother, consultant, wife, coach, daughter, business owner, sister, friend (in no particular order). I prioritize my time and effort depending on which role needs the most attention at a time. What that means is that I often pay little attention to myself especially with getting a good night sleep. Guess I still have more work to do with balance.
Share an experience that helped you become a better parent and/or better at your job.
Interestingly, some of the experiences that have helped me become a better parent and consultant have come from watching my son and his dad. The level of attention and patience my husband pays to my son has enabled them to build a very trusting and loving relationship, so admirable that I have carried the same attitudes and values into my personal and professional life.
I have applied the same soft skills and built strong relationships with my clients that have enabled me to become, not just a business consultant but a trusted advisor in many areas of their lives. In addition, being intentional about expanding my circle of association to include people from different sectors, industries, functional roles, and facing different challenges have enabled me to become skilled at pattern recognition. This, in addition to sensitivity in my spirit has helped me develop a strong gut feeling and intuition that I can reliably apply to different business situations and get great results.
What has been your biggest challenge and/or greatest reward in the struggle for work-life balance?
The greatest challenge in my quest for work-life balance is having to give up a goodnight sleep because I choose to spend a minimum amount of time with my son especially for his bedtime routine which means getting very little sleep especially when I have a busy project pipeline.
The greatest reward for me has been the privilege of watching my son grow into a happy and confident little boy, and knowing that he will grow up to value family time.
What is one thing you wish you knew before you had kids?
I wish I had known how fast they grow.
I wish I had known how many memory cards we would need, to capture all the wonderful moments we share as he grows.
What is your favorite children’s book?
Chike and the River by Chinua Achebe. I hope it is still available.
What is your favorite thing to do with your family on weekends?
Movies on Box office. I like to lie on the same couch with hubby and just chill.
What is your favorite “ME” moment?
Spa treatments especially getting a massage, I’m always up for one. The ‘truer’ answer might be shopping for new shoes….lol.
If you could give other moms one piece of advice what would it be?
Have a clear vision, break it into smaller goals, courageously take the first step and don’t be shy to ask for help. With determination, proper planning and action, you can live the life you really want.
Crown Musings | Become The Best Version of YOU.