Juggling work and family, Kim Underhill of Ultimate Balance Consultancy tells Doyenne.sg how she went from a jobless single parent to high-flying executive in the F&B industry.
By: ShuQi Liu - doyenne.sg
ShuQi: What is balance?
Kim: Balance is the ability to do what matters most. To achieve the ultimate balance in life, you have to know the difference between what is important and what is urgent.
Like everything in life, it is all about the choices we make. Achieving balance requires clarity on what to pursue, when to walk away, and true understanding and management of expectations.
“You may have the aptitude to get things done right, but one must have a positive and proper attitude to see it through with absolute commitment and integrity.”
Doyenne: How did you achieve the ultimate balance in life?
Kim: In my 30s, I became a divorcee. I had to be selfless, work hard, have a good attitude, be resilient and persevere in order to survive and provide quality life for my family.
Breaking away from an abusive marriage, holding a full-time job, raising two young children, and attending eight years of night school to better myself – everything was tough, but time was a key challenge.
K: I wrestled with pursuing my career, travelling three weeks every month, and not spending enough time with my family. The ultimate balance meant sacrificing quantity for quality time with my children.
In my 40s, my career started to take off and my children were in their teens. To achieve an ultimate balance, I continued to spend quality time with my children. I brought them on business trips to gain a deeper understanding of my journey.
By late forties, I wanted to do more than just pursuing the ideal job. The more important objective was to help individuals and groups understand that success can only come from within. With that, I established “Success Inside Out – Challenge or Choice” self-coaching methodology.
Now in my 50s, balance stems from sharing this programme at work and with the public. The ability to use my strength to help people grow, and my passion to provide personal coaching and consultancy, is my ultimate balance.
Doyenne: What was your earliest ambition in life?
K: Honestly, I was not an ambitious person. At the age of 16, I wanted to see the world. Like many young ladies at that age, I wanted to be a flight stewardess.
But since I did not complete secondary school, my goal was very simple – without paper qualifications, I needed to work very hard at every job so I get to keep them.
Before I knew it, I had built a reputation, which resulted in me getting headhunted for my last few executive positions in the industry.
Doyenne: Which matters more to balance: attitude or aptitude?
K: While both are important, attitude comes before aptitude. You may have the aptitude to get things done right, but one must have a positive and proper attitude to see it through with absolute commitment and integrity.
Doyenne: If your 25 year old self could see you now, what would she think?
K: Oh my god, I can't believe she actually did it! Well done Kim, I am so proud of you.
Kim Underhill is currently the managing director and certified organisational psychologist at Ultimate Balance Consultancy. Connect with her on Facebook to find out more about her six step self-coaching methodology "Success Inside Out - Challenge or Choice".