How one mum solved her work-life balance by starting an international business

Many women struggle to find the ideal work-life balance once they start a family. It can often feel like you’re trying to satisfy two competing halves of your life (work and home) and never getting either one quite right.

When Sandra Lewis found herself at a fork in the road, she decided she was sick of juggling separate parts of her life, and set up her own business that had international reach, but could be run from her own home. This is her story.

What’s your career background?

For the past 20+ years I’ve worked as an Operations Manager for companies such as Regus and BuroServices in North America, Asia and the UK, with a focus on supporting small businesses to be effective as they scale. 

Why did you find yourself at a fork in the road?

At some point, most of us find ourselves at a fork in the road of our professional and personal lives. Often, we arrive at these intersections at different times and for different reasons.

On the professional front, we may decide to go back to school, may find ourselves living somewhere new, may need to change career paths to allow for more time for our families or meet changing financial priorities. Personally, we have huge decisions to make: whether to marry, start families, travel more, purchase or build a home.

Several years back, having moved back to France, my home country, I found myself at forks in both the professional and personal roads of my life. I began to reflect on how I mostly made decisions about these two paths separately.

While I’d often tried to balance my career and my personal life, still the two were in constant competition. What if — I asked myself — I could create an opportunity that allowed me to focus on both? Enter Worldwide101.

What did you decide to do?

I founded Worldwide101 with one goal at the forefront: to do meaningful, challenging and fulfilling work from my own home. I wanted my work to support and compliment my lifestyle instead of tearing me away from it.

What is Worldwide101, and what was the goal behind it?

As I began to collaborate with like-minded professionals, I found that we shared an uncompromising approach to the idea of having it all. To us, having it all didn’t necessarily mean career achievement or a particular income level, but rather flexibility.

By that point, we’d all gained significant perspective over combined decades of work, and that perspective now guided our priorities and likewise the priorities of a new company.

Who are your clients and what do you offer them?

Our clients are made up of successful small business owners, entrepreneurs, artisans, health and wellness providers and non-profits. We take pleasure in matching each client with a team member who shares the same passions and will be eager to build a long-term relationship.

What has been the secret behind your success?

I’ve obsessed over the details! My goal was to build a successful and thriving business, and I realised early on how important it is to create building blocks, work relentlessly on processes, and obsess over all the little things that make up the big ones! Big picture is good, but my experience is that you don’t get to ‘big’ until you attend to ‘small’.

What does Worldwide101 look like today?

Today, the Worldwide101 team consists of professionals with backgrounds and passions of all kinds. Each and every one of them comes to us with a goal of designing a life they love (where they want) while doing rewarding work and playing a key role in the success of their clients.

What do you look for in a team member?

What we look for in our team members is simple: flexibility, a strong work ethic and enthusiasm. Part of what we offer to our clients is the same sigh-of-relief feeling we have at the end of each day—that feeling that we have it all. Our clients come to us because they need and want something different to support their own set of goals.

How do your team members work?

Our team sets their own schedules, decides how many clients they would like to have and how many hours per week and per month they want to work, and designates their own workspace. Each time we bring on a new client, we allow our team members to choose whether or not they feel a new opportunity is a good fit.

Do you think it’s possible to have it all? And if so, what advice do you have for other mums?

It is possible to have it all. You don’t have to be a stay at home mom or focus on your career. You can create balance between your work and personal life.

You can decide where you want to build your home, rather than let someone else decide where an office is built. You don’t have to waste hours each day commuting.

If you are interested in working with Worldwide101, I’d love to meet you. Send me an email and let’s explore how YOU can have it all.