- Finding a work-life balance has never been more difficult, especially with returning to the office on the horizon
- RFPIO Vice President of Global Marketing, Angela Earl has seen the drastic growth in sales at RFPIO and attribute their success to focusing on the customer
- Angela shares advice on leading teams through vulnerability and transparency, optimizing trust between colleagues
People tend to express one personality at home and another at work. However, it sometimes makes us fake our true selves and pretend we are something we are not. Is there a way to overcome that obstacle and achieve a true work-life balance?
Angela Earl is the VP of Global Marketing at RFPIO Inc., and she believes the key to achieving a flawless work-life balance lies in picking up the pieces of each and integrating them in both spheres. She encourages executives to be who they are at work, be vulnerable, and take a break when things become overwhelming. That way, their teams will be encouraged to do the same.
In this episode of Taking the Lead, our host Christina Brady introduces us to Angela Earl. Angela reveals the secrets of maintaining a perfect balance between personal and professional life, especially in the COVID-driven environment.
Is It Possible to Achieve a Work-Life Balance?
Angela talks about maintaining a work-life balance without feeling guilty about devoting too much time to either working or doing stuff around home. “In the chapter I rewrote in ‘Significant Women: Leaders Reveal What Matters Most,’ I talk about a season of life where I was taking care of my grandmother who had dementia.’
She lived with us, and there’s no better situation to teach you about being present and being in the moment than when you’re faced with that level of mortality and time being finite and very limited. And at the same time, it doesn’t have to be that extreme.’
Angela continues by giving the advice, ‘If you’re sitting at dinner, don’t be on your phone. Don’t scroll through your inbox or your Slack stream when your child is there to hug you and say goodbye to go off to school. Be present, be in the moment, and let the day unfold.
If somebody has a soccer game at two in the afternoon, please be there. And at the same time, if your boss says, ‘Hey, can you jump on a call at 8:00 PM?’ it’s not going to take away from home life. Be there, be accessible.”
Angela believes a person does not have to choose between having a family and becoming an executive at a company, but they can have both because it’s all life. “I think balance at its core is not achievable. I’ve also found in my own experience that coaching and mentoring a whole bunch of people comes with a lot of guilt because whether you’re giving time to work and you’re guilty, you’re not at home, or you’re giving time to home, and you’re not at work. I think that guilt and that compartmentalization stemmed from the fact that work-life balance isn’t achievable. It’s all our life.”
Be Vulnerable and Let Your Employees Understand You
Angela points out the importance of being vulnerable at work and letting your clients and employees know what keeps you from attending the meeting on time or why you need to reschedule. “I had clients that were depending on me and nana that was depending on me. I would have to say, ‘Hey, the caregiver can’t do what she’s doing right now without us. Can we start this call in 10 minutes? I’ll be right back,’ or ‘Can we wrap it up, and I’ll send you a recap via email?’
And so, work had to get flexible in a way that I hadn’t. I had to get vulnerable, and then I had to build a support system around me with caregivers and things that did allow me some semblance of structure because my clients had real deadlines and real deliverables they were counting on us for.
You don’t want to hijack a client meeting and talk for 30 minutes about all the things that go into caring for somebody with dementia. That’s not pretty. At the same time, I think if we expose what we’re going through at least at a high level, we allow people to empathize and understand.”
According to Angela, one of the best ways to build trust with your employers or employees is to explain the real situation that prevents you from attending the meeting or performing your work-related duties.
“Whether it’s with your employees, your boss, your clients, or your customers, that trust will go much further than that singular moment where you provide that context. You’re learning to know one another and trust each other. If we expose what we’re going through, at least at a high level, we allow people to empathize and understand. It’ll come back to you; there’s reciprocity in that. They will afford you the same level of empathy and transparency.”
A Secret of RFPIO’s Success
RFPIO has always been a customer-led company. According to Angela, that’s the secret of its success. ”One of the biggest shifts we made is asking ourselves what our customers and prospects need to experience with every touch we make. RFPIO has been a customer-led company for a long time. We tout that we’ve implemented 90% of our customer suggestions on our product.’
On the topic of marketing, Angela says, ‘We are a customer-focused organization, but that didn’t translate wholly into marketing. We start with emotion. We build onto those user stories that say, ‘What’s this message mean for this audience?’ And we frame it like a user story the way you would in building software. And by putting ourselves aside, we’re not leading with features.’
She notes that, ‘We’re not leading with, ‘Hey, look at us and look at this coolness that we’re building over here.’ We’re leading with you, what you need, what you want, what we are going to help you achieve, and how we want you to experience RFPIO.”
Angela has learned through her experience at RFPIO that successful marketing can be attributed to focusing on the needs of the customer, rather than the excitement of a new, up and coming technology.
This article is based on an episode of Sales Assembly’s podcast, Taking The Lead, which features top female B2B Tech Revenue Leaders, VCs, Advisors, and Icons. Bi-weekly episodes dive into a tactical topic to help listeners (regardless of gender or seniority level) learn how to be better, faster, and smarter as they navigate the craziness of the Revenue world within B2B Tech.