We had the good fortune of connecting with Kristin Burke and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kristin, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
In graduate school, I authored my thesis on the topic of women and work-life balance. Through my research, I concluded that the way we talk about balance communicates an unrealistic reality for many working women. At the time, I purposed we shift the discussion away from balance and instead strive for work-life management. Now, as a mom and a business woman I think in terms of work-life integration. I am integrating my two worlds as I think through my response to this question while waiting for my daughter at the dentist. As a goal achievement coach, I serve ambitious women who want to accelerate the growth of their businesses or advance their careers while living a fulfilling life outside of work. My clients are constantly figuring out how to excel professionally while balancing their other responsibilities and interests. My view of balance today is that it doesn’t exist long-term. Life might feel balanced one day or one week, and then a large project is due or schools are closed due to a global pandemic and the balance scales are shifted. My recommendation for women seeking balance is to stop striving for balance. For many of us, we are hard-wired for perfectionism so balance is one more thing we don’t get right. This desire for balance sets us up for unrealistic expectations. Instead, I recommend to my clients that they strive for clarity and intentionality. I define clarity as knowing what you want and why you want it. Some women want more work success, some women want more family involvement and some women want more personal time. If you are extremely clear on what you want, then you can work intentionality to achieve your own version of work-life integration. I think it is really important to listen to your own intuition and to minimize the influence of others’ opinions when it comes to knowing what you want. The times in my life when I felt least balanced where when I focused too much on other people’s influence, feedback and perceptions. I’ve learned to be incredibly intentional with the content I consume, influencers I follow, books I read and podcasts I listen to. Minimizing negativity and the desire to compare my situation with others, positively influences my own work-life integration. We tend to achieve what we think about, and I want to feel good about the progress I am making in business, personally, as a mom and a wife. I am able to make progress in the areas that are most important to me, because I work with intention. Working with intention involves reflecting and planning. Client calls, business development, personal appointments, workouts and even golf dates with my husband go on my calendar. I review my calendar every week to ensure I prioritize the right tasks and projects. I check in with my goals weekly and monthly to consistently progress in the areas most important to me. I created a Friday Ritual in my practice this year and it is a game changer! Each week I end my work week by writing down my weekly wins, noting any lessons I learned and identifying the priorities for next week. This sacred ritual keeps me focused on progress not perfection, celebrates the victories along the way, helps me identify when to pour more into my family or my business and allows me to close out the work week before the weekend. Giving myself the time to rest and recharge on the weekend is key to feeling energized about the new work week.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
As a goal achievement coach, I collaborate with ambitious women and men who want to achieve breakout performances. I launched my coaching practice with over a decade of experience coaching and developing hundreds of financial advisors for a FORTUNE 200 firm. I designed my coaching platform around the elements necessary to achieve breakout performances. My clients excel with goal clarity, grow their confidence and consistently pursue progress in the direction of their goals. I am passionate about helping others maximize their potential and achieve their definitions of success. I work with my clients to understand their most meaningful goals, help them create a plan to achieve their goals and hold them accountable to making progress. I am most proud of the results my clients are achieving by investing in their growth and development. It is so incredibly exciting to celebrate when clients achieve their stretch goals, hire new team members, lead their offices in client acquisition, break into new markets, pass exams and step into new leadership roles because they believe in themselves and work consistently in the direction of their goals. Launching my practice required courage. I’ve dreamed of running my coaching practice for a long-time but didn’t have the confidence to make it happen until recently. I hired a coach to help me grow my confidence. Through my coaching relationship I learned so much about myself and the ways I was holding myself back. I finally learned to stop listening to the stories I told myself about what I could or couldn’t achieve. In addition to coaching, I started a gratitude practice in 2019. I set a reminder on my phone to write down what I was grateful for each day. With the practice of gratitude, everything changed yet nothing changed. I gained so much clarity around what I want and why I wanted it. As I thought more about starting a business I needed to borrow inspiration and confidence from fierce women. Marie Forleo’s book Everything is Figureoutable was a game changer for me. In the book, Marie coached me to think through the worst case scenarios associated with starting my business. Getting out of my own head, exploring fears and thinking through a plan increased my confidence to leave my corporate career. I have learned so many lessons and continue to learn lessons. I know the only way I am growing and striving to maximize my potential is by getting out of my comfort zone. On one of my initial coaching conversations to learn about a potential new client I failed to book the follow-up decision meeting. I emailed and called several times to check in and never heard from that potential client again. I only made that mistake once and now I end every initial coaching conversation with a decision call on the books. When I made the decision to start my business I was so overwhelmed with all of the details and the wisest piece of advice I received was to make money. It sounds so simple, but I started doing the work. Through the process of on-boarding clients I learned who I liked to work with and established a process for on-boarding and coaching. My first 20 clients said yes via powerpoint with no website. This experience was pivotal when I worked with my brand strategist on my logo, website and blog I had so much more clarity around who I wanted to serve and why. During my first week in business, I learned I needed a way to process disappointment and adversity. There are going to be days when people say no, meetings cancel and self-doubt speaks way louder than confidence. I created a bounce back plan by working out on a particularly tough afternoon during my first week in business and then immediately scheduling a referral meeting. This bounce back plan – do something that makes you feel great and then take action in the opposite direction of the story you are telling yourself has saved me more times that I can count. Lastly, I learned the power of follow-up. I’ve recently on-boarded some clients I originally connected with last year. Coaching is about timing and personality match. Following up is also critical in the client outreach phase. We all get consumed with what is important in our own worlds. An unanswered email does not necessarily mean it is a no. I am passionate about empowering women to accelerate the growth of their businesses and advance their careers. I draw on my personal experiences in both the corporate world and as a business owner to motivate and inspire my clients to maximize their potential and achieve their definitions of success. When it comes to achieving goals, the breakout performers have clarity, confidence, courage and consistency. They learn to celebrate the wins along the way, bounce back from disappointment and work intentionally in the direction of their goals.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
If my best friend were coming to town, we would book a night at Terranea. I recently started golfing and their 9-hole course is gorgeous. After an afternoon on the links we would sip cocktails at the pool before enjoying the summer concert series at Nelson’s. The next day we would head to downtown LA for a spa day at the Ritz and an evening at the Lakers Game. We would hike at Runyon Canyon and visit Neihule Salon for manis and pedis before dinner at Mastro’s in Beverly Hills. No best friend trip to LA would be complete without a beach day in Manhattan Beach and lunch at Simmzy’s.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Achieving success truly takes a village! I married my high-school sweetheart, Joe, and we have been together over 20 years. He is one of my biggest supporters. When I decided to leap from the corporate world to start my practice he vocalized his support and showed his support by taking on more responsibility at home so I could focus on growing my clientele. We are both competitive and push one another to maximize our potential. I am incredibly grateful for our partnership and we have a ton of fun celebrating life. A game changer for me was jumping into a mastermind group in 2018. My thinking was limited and this group challenged me to think bigger and truly believe in myself. I am still incredibly close with two of the women this group. I’ve leaned on them for their professional services as well as their emotional support. A huge thank you goes out to Macey for her incredible design work and her continuous confidence which is incredibly inspiring. Meredith, my peer accountability partner, our weeks calls are a lifeline. I treasure our friendship and your mentorship beyond words. My sister Amy plays a huge role in my life as a best friend. She is the most incredible momma. I admire her passion for bringing the family together over a great meal and the pride she has raising her son while working full-time. She is quick to remind me to not be so hard on myself. If I need a good laugh or a good cry I can lean on my sister.
Nicola Borland Photography