Today starts a new chapter in this blog, as we shine a light on everyday people, because who says celebrities should be the only ones we hear about? We will be exploring work life, what makes them happy and any advice they can give to you, the readers. First up is Lauren Wilkes, a businesswoman, dog mum and someone who lives life to the fullest. Here's what she has to say...
Hi Lauren, how are you and how is 2021 treating you?
Good thank you! I moved into my new house just a couple of days before the New Year, so being here has just kept me distracted from everything. I don't feel like I've missed going out too much because I've had so much to do around the house, obviously I miss going out for dinners, especially Japanese restaurants because they're my favourite, but just keeping busy and trying to plan for stuff, like my wedding and praying that we can go on holidays, so trying to be optimistic, but I feel good so far.
Can you tell us about your typical workday?
So, in a typical day, I wake up, go look at my emails and I'll speak to my clients, so I'll contact them to make new appointments, or I speak to them to make sure I can go and see them as I like to have a good rapport with my clients because I feel like having a relationship with them is very important, especially when they go to new buildings. If they like me, they'll take our company to the new companies that they go to. My whole role is very client based, so I'll deal with all the appointments and then I have all my paperwork and admin to catch up on, which can sometimes take me hours and hours!
What is your favourite part of your job?
My favourite part of my job would definitely be speaking to clients because I am a very talkative person. I also like that I do have freedom, I know that if I work hard at my job it would reward the company and obviously the company is very important to me, so I like that I am, in a way, my own boss and I can do things in my own time or in the ways that I want them done.
What are the latest projects you are working on?
It's actually a new project, something totally different, with a new company. Myself and two business partners have set up a property development company and our first project is building a house from scratch for someone and it's great because that's what we want to get into.
How do you maintain a good work-life balance?
Weekends I keep completely free, unless I was super busy and wasn't doing anything at the weekend and I was home alone, then I probably would work because I don't see the point of sitting in front of the TV. I try to work till 6 o'clock, but it doesn't always happen, however I feel like if I am working late for a few nights, I can then go and do something else in the day. I know that I can meet someone for lunch for example because I know I'm making up my time in other ways. I also feel like it's important to go and do something in the week to stay sane and to not be working constantly. I don't think we are built to just do 9 to 5s.
What would your perfect day look like?
Beach! Beaches are my absolute favourite as they're very tranquil and peaceful. Somewhere like Tahiti, I would arrive on a yacht and go to a private beach so there is no one around and have an amazing lunch. I would then go to a restaurant, probably Japanese and have cocktails, some French martinis in a lively atmosphere. A peaceful day, but a lively evening.
If you could go back to your 16-year-old self, what would you tell her?
I would say, don't worry about what people think of you, because at the end of the day, it doesn't matter. Other people's opinions of you are so irrelevant to your life. You could be the nicest person in the world and people are always going to have something to say. I don't care what people think of me anymore, as long as I know that I'm a kind person, other people's opinions don't matter. I feel like that makes you grow as a person and you then realise how confident you really are. If you act confident, you're confidence will grow with you and it gets you everywhere in life.
What would your last meal on Earth be?
It would be maki rolls, cucumber and avocado ones because I don't actually eat the raw fish in sushi, with edamame beans and black cod. I would also have French martinis with it and a dessert which would probably be my mum's homemade cheesecake.
What are your main passions in life?
My main passion is holidaying, because say for example I die tomorrow, I'd be very happy with the life I've lived and that's what I always think. I like to go on a few holidays a year because I feel like they are just good for your mental health.
What has been the most stressful part about planning a wedding?
Definitely the guest list! I didn't expect that many people to say yes, so I'm a lot more liked than I thought! We've just started planning the decorations at the moment, but it's almost like I can't enjoy it because I'm not 100% sure it's going to happen, so I can't get too excited. I don't want to get my hopes up. I'm very excited for the venue though, and also being with my family and friends and obviously to get married!
What has been your favourite holiday you have been on?
I loved Bali, where I went with my family when my brother was travelling, because it was just us and Jack (Lauren's fiancé) which was really nice. We went to Ubad first and you just realise that nothing else matters in the world. It is just so spiritual and everyone is so happy. People who barely have any money just seem like the happiest people. We stayed at the most amazing hotels, probably the best hotels ever.
What is one piece of meaningful advice you could give to the readers?
As long as you're a good person, don't worry what people think of you and go for what you want in life. People are going to judge you either way and it will only be the people who are jealous. Live your life the way that you want and who cares about anyone else.
Follow Lauren on Instagram here!
By Pia Talbot