The Work-Life Balance

The concept and notion of family has changed and is changing so much,” Brenda states.  “The family is very different from what it was and it is the workplace that has to adapt.” As an advocate of positive employee morale, Brenda knows that companies reap the benefits from properly managing equality issues. “Look at Facebook,” she says. “CEO Mark Zuckerberg took a month’s parental leave when his second daughter was born and then another month in December.”

Brenda Cuby, the Founding Director of BC Training Gibraltar

However, Brenda agrees that it is a constant negotiation to make her multiple roles work in harmony. “It works because of my supportive family and, because from a young age my children have seen me working, it helps to instil a good work ethic and a desire for independence in them.

“Technology has also helped,” she says, “with the ability to take a call in the car or to answer an email on the go.”

Something else about which Brenda is passionate is surrounding herself with supportive women, friends and colleagues, who are also mothers and who understand the inherent problems in managing their time effectively. Learning from other inspirational working mums and watching how they achieve a good balance is something that Brenda advocates.   “I may not get it right all the time, but I hope to learn from my mistakes and move on. If there is one tip I can pass on it is to have a diary and a to-do list to hand at all times,” Brenda states. “It helps to keep me on track and is something that I constantly refer to.”

Brenda set up BC Training because she felt that being her own boss gave her the opportunity to work and create a business that would help others to grow and develop, understanding  that personal growth and development is key to personal happiness.  “Working a 9-5 job for a corporate company would not fit in with my family and charity commitments,” she says.  “I love the freedom that my start-up business gives me!  If I had to go and work for an employer I know that I would not grow and learn as much as I am currently able to do.” Brenda understands that being her own boss can be stressful and is not an easy path to walk. “For me it is the only path I wish to tread and I view the daily challenges that I face as learning curves.”

As a veteran entrepreneur having started at a young age running her own companies, Brenda knows only too well the difficulties involved in establishing a business and she is fervent about using her experience to help others on their journey. “Helping someone to navigate their way to success is so gratifying,” Brenda says. Being a mentor to a startup is a way of giving back to the community and having someone to guide you through the pitfalls is essential. “Experience is not something that you can get from reading books,” Brenda says. “A good mentor can provide networking opportunities with people in the right sphere of business, as well as offering reassurance, encouragement and advice.”

One of Brenda’s favourite quotes is ‘Successful Mums are not the ones that have never struggled, they are the ones that never give up despite the struggles’.  “When you are a wife, mum and the owner of a start-up business you need to know when to push forward and when to let go,” Brenda says, adding that rolling with the issues and not being too critical is vital.  “Those closest to you will be critical and there will be days when you need to make difficult decisions, but you need to remain true to your inner self.”

Another of the tricks Brenda passes on to those that she mentors is to carry a small mirror for self-affirmation. “This way if you are ever in need of a reminder about who you are and why you do what you do, just have a look in the mirror and ask ‘is this going to serve me?’”

Self-care is also very important to Brenda. “Each week I make sure that I have some ‘me’ time scheduled in my diary!” Whether that is having her hair done or meeting a friend for lunch, Brenda knows that it is vital to step off the treadmill and take time out. “It is so easy to get caught up in family, work etc. that you can quickly lose sight of ‘you’, so make ‘you’ a priority.”

Every day is a challenge when growing a business, and even more so when it is a start-up and there are tight budgets to work to.  Growing BC Training into an international business providing online and face-to-face training has been both transformational and fulfilling for Brenda. “Learning all about how to run a business, developing your ideas, maintaining your passion and desire for your dreams to blossom is extremely hard work, but the rewards make up for it.”