We had the good fortune of connecting with Darlene Wilson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Darlene, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
I’ve spent years attempting to answer this question for myself. I spoke to a group of female professionals/entrepreneurs several years ago on this very topic. My response then is likely very different now. Work Life Balance definitely changes over time and it’s directly related to your business opportunities and your personal life. Many professionals attempt to speak to this topic on “How to Achieve Work Life Balance” and it still remains a formula that is challenging to calculate because the dynamics of work and life are always changing. I’ve approached this from two different angles: 1. What are my personal priorities and how will that impact my company? 2. What do I want to do now professionally that can wait until later to ensure I meet the needs of my family? My son has been my number one priority and personally my company grew as he grew. He continues to be a part of my every decision because his stability is as important as myself and my company. For me, that works! I was able to maintain control of the company’s growth by adopting a formulated growth strategy plan to ensure I could maintain what I define as Work Life Balance.
The reality is there’s great challenges regarding balance. As an entrepreneur, my days are not as structured as Corporate jobs may be. Another approach is using a calendar to create balance. I learned from a friend and advisor that if it’s not on the calendar it’s likely not an option. Learning to plan my days and include ME on my calendar has saved my sanity in the past 7 years as the company began to rapidly shift, change and grow in those years. Abide by your calendar for everything. Know the value of your professional time! Know the value of your personal time! Know how to communicate your values to those that will interact with you!
I learned to communicate my boundaries very well over the years both personally and professionally and it’s afforded me even more Work Life Balance. Don’t be fooled by any notion that working less also means you are accomplishing less. I believe in giving all I have in the time I’ve allotted for any activity or task. Once time is up, allow yourself to rest, recharge and reset!
Many will ask is this a “Thing”…is there such a thing as Work Life Balance? I say, YES! However, we are entitled to our individual approach. Find what works best for you and create your personal/professional routine and that’s where you will “feel” the Work Life Balance!
Where’s your calendar? Make sure to include you!
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
We are a boutique business accounting firm offering specialized accounting services for our clients. We customize our services to meet our clients needs. At RAM, we are not a transactional accounting firm, we are business partners with our clients. I’m most proud of the opportunities we have to learn about other businesses and how they operate and help them meet their business financial goals. When our clients grow through knowing their numbers, we win!
It has not been easy to get to where we are today in business! The journey continues. I’ve learned more about myself in the past 15+ years as an entrepreneur and how to adjust and even pivot in business. What sets us apart is staying ahead of industry trends and specifically targeting our market. I’ve learned that every business client is not a good fit for our model.
I enjoy what I do! I enjoy being a part of the stories of success for many businesses. There’s space for all us to grow and achieve success. I’m a third generation entrepreneur and I’m proud of my professional accomplishments and my continued business success. However, none of this is possible without listening to my son, my mentors, my advisors, my confidants, my team members and particularly, our clients.
We are accountants turning our clients vision into value!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Fun times in the city are with close friends and colleagues sharing experiences and creating memories. For that reason, any place you choose provided you have amazing company is the right spot. For me, I like local business with a farm to table concept.
For an overnight stay: Check-in to Chateau Elan Resort and enjoy a wine tasting, dinner and a game of golf. Great for weekend getaways and girl trips! If you are a person after my own heart, meet me at Cigar City Club for a smoke and bourbon cocktail. For client meetings, be my guest at The Gathering Spot for a professional business setting where greats eats and drinks can be shared.
Fun fact about me: I love to cook and entertain! I bring the farm to table experience to my friends and visitors directly. I create an amazing experience filled with local options for food and drinks. The itinerary will always consist of their desires…I cater to what they like!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
A very BIG Shoutout to my son, Christian! We have been the dynamic duo for almost 22 years. He is a great son and is the primary reason for my successes. He pushes me to always to be great! I’m blessed to have amazing business leaders in my life that give freely of their time and knowledge. To my business advisors that poke holes, reveal my flaws but most importantly celebrate my wins, thank you! We all need a safe place to receive constructive feedback and support.
Most importantly, my late parents for raising a girl to know and believe she could do anything she put her mind to including owning and operating her own company. I miss the many conversations we had and there was no limit. I miss my Dad’s business guidance, his leadership and never taking it light on me. My parents were fierce entrepreneurs and worked well together to build a thriving enterprise. My Dad pushed me to excel! Thank you to my late Dad for holding my hand at the start of my business. And to my Mom, my angel in heaven for your continued guidance and love even though we lost you too early and you didn’t witness my entrepreneurial beginnings…thank you for your strength! I’m eternally grateful for the example of my amazing and loving parents. They paved my way!