Founder at Hullabaloo PR
Why we chose Susie
Susie is a huge advocate for flexible working. At Hullabaloo, she’s created a business which embraces working remotely and from home, allowing working mums to continue their careers without feeling like they need to sacrifice their family life.
What’s your ‘why’? How do you balance work and life responsibilities to fulfil it?
My ‘why’ is to create a career that challenges me and provides satisfaction and flexibility around my family, yet also allows me to make a difference to others. I want to keep other small businesses in business. 98% of all business in New South Wales alone is small business – that’s a lot of livelihoods at stake and I want to help them not just survive, but thrive.
I balance my work and life responsibilities by setting really strict boundaries around my work, health and family. Exercise is a diary appointment, work hours do not drift into evenings and weekends unless planned and on my terms, and I never over-commit. I learned very quickly that when you do, stress levels rise, you are unlikely to operate at your best and the pressure can quickly affect your health and personal life.
And as a business owner, you can’t afford to be broken. It’s imperative that you put your own health and wellness first! Happiness impacts every aspect of life, your work performance and the effectiveness of your team.
Can you explain an initiative you've implemented that has made an impact in your workplace?
Flexible working without a doubt. As a mum myself and with an entire team of other mums, flexibility is crucial. I know how hard it was to hold down a corporate job with kids, it was the worst time of my life and was the driver for becoming self-employed. It just didn’t work.
I knew that if I was to attract the best talent, I needed to offer something to those that couldn’t find it elsewhere. There are so many mums with huge experience, commitment and heaps to offer small businesses who are overlooked or struggle to find work. And because there isn’t flexibility in most companies, they end up in unskilled work and roles that underutilise their skills.
I have capitalised on that simply by setting my business up to allow everyone to work remotely and flexibly. I love that I can do that and am proud to be able to help other mums who were in the same situation as me. I am a huge advocate for employers to think differently about the way they employ individuals.
As a female leader, what have been the most significant barriers in your career?
For me, it has been balancing mum duties whilst also growing a business. As a female specifically, both in my early military career and now as a business owner, it’s the overwhelming feeling of thinking you have to conform to more masculine approaches and attitudes. In reality, you are good enough just as you are.
There is no need to change just because it has always been done that way, nor is it necessary to shy away or lack confidence if your approach is different. Having the confidence to cut your own path, knowing you are capable and have nothing to prove are such important lessons to grasp.
What advice would you give to the next generation of female leaders?
There will always be challenges out there, there will always be men who will not treat you as an equal, there will always be something that will leave you questioning yourself. It’s how you behave and respond that will enable you to overcome these and develop you as a leader. Leadership is not something you master and tick off the list. Leadership is an ongoing skill which you must exercise daily and never allow to go stale.