On Working With Others And Designing Your Own Life: Richelle Ouellette
Leading up to our Summer '18 iteration of WORK, we'll feature select interviews with some of our conference's speakers and thought leaders. In this interview, boutique events agency owner Richelle Ouellette shares her approach to working with others and concepts of balance and routine in her work. Click here for the full conference schedule.
Who: With a background in corporate events, Richelle dove into freelance work after simultaneously breaking up with her boyfriend, quitting her job, voiding her lease, and selling the majority of her belongings in one particularly rash summer. With literally nothing to lose and a heart full of hustle, Richelle grew Alchemy Events into a six figure business that less than three years later produces national events and employs dozens of contractors. She has an obvious passion for entrepreneurship and once started 30 businesses in 30 days just for the fun of it. When not dreaming up creative event concepts or drumming up new clients, Richelle enjoys real estate investment and is currently constructing a tiny house in her back yard. She travels frequently, loves working out and practicing yoga, and enjoys the excuse of the quest for the best breakfast taco as a reason to explore Austin.
What she's currently working on: "So many projects. In addition to growing my business, I just finished remodeling a home, am building a tiny house (as a guest suite or AirBnb), investing in real estate, and am writing a book about taking action which I hope to publish later this year. As a human person, I'm working on being kind to myself, being an intentional listener and being patient."
How do you approach concepts of "work/life balance?" Does that concept mean anything to you?
To be honest, I'm sort of sick of hearing advice on balance. Everyone's work/life balance is different—and constantly evolving—so find what works for you! I'm currently single, without children and I prefer longer work sprints (yes, that does include nights and weekends), with one to two weeks off at a time to travel. Someone in a different stage of life might need to turn off phone notifications or block off one day a week to spend with family. Figure out what works for you, and learn to follow your flow and be present and self-aware enough to know when to work and when to rest.
Could you describe a moment in your career in which you experienced growth? How do you approach that growth?
Most (if not all) of my biggest periods of growth have come along with a big challenge. One example that comes to mind is saying yes to a project that was well beyond my current bandwidth, but was an incredible opportunity that aligned with my long-term business goals. I have a habit of saying yes to huge, scary things, so I put together a proposal for the job, negotiated a bid and found myself agreeing to a contract that required me to hire multiple people to pull off. It was outside my comfort zone at the time, but taught me so many things about my organization structure and managing people and helped me refine technical skills of my industry.
What are your routines and rituals of self-care?
I protect my mornings as "me" time, which is my opportunity to prepare my mind and body before I am inundated by client or contractor questions and requests. I wake up before dawn, drink coffee, meditate, work out, journal, enjoy breakfast and read a business or self-help book—all before 8 AM. That way, when I open my laptop I'm 100% fueled up and ready to take on whatever is coming my way. I have found that when I get away from my morning routine, my physical and mental health suffer, but I am immediately strengthened when I reprioritize and literally put my own needs first on a daily basis.
How do you approach working with others?
With an open mind and lots of patience. I prefer to take a leadership role when working with a team, but recognize my shortcomings and where it is best for me to rely on the genius of others who far exceed my skill-set in certain areas.
About WORK: WORK is a biannual pop-up space, designed for sharing new ideas and approaches to creative and entrepreneurial work. The event's panels, workshops and speaker sessions explore personal and professional development, marketing, business management and entrepreneurship. Our next conference pops up on July 14 from 10 AM to 5 PM at Rowling Hall in Austin, Texas. ✨Click here for more information.