Meeting both business and personal demands has long been a juggling act for women entrepreneurs. Between the long hours, travel, meetings and employee and customer challenges, there’s little time left for personal needs. Still, leading a rich, well-rounded life is as essential to your business success as it is to your sanity.
We asked Canada’s leading businesswomen to tell us how they effectively manage work/life balance. Each issue we’ll bring you the tactics and strategies that help women grow their companies and careers, while still finding a little “me” time to help deal with the personal commitments of life.
Diane Dupuy is president and founder of Famous PEOPLE Players, a professional black-light theatre troupe that employs those who are developmentally challenged. Dupuy, who is also the author of three best-selling books, founded the company in 1974 with the belief that the disabled must be integrated into society. Her work has garnered her several awards, including the Order of Canada in 1982.
Dupuy strikes balance in her life by offsetting her hectic schedule with spirituality. “I meditate and I pray, and I think that keeps me grounded,” she says. “That’s where I get my strength from, and I think that’s been my success.”
Wherever she is, whether at work, a speaking engagement, in the car or in the bathtub (Dupuy’s favorite spot), she finds peace in taking a few moments for quiet reflection and acknowledging the presence of a higher power. She says her favorite mantra is the Serenity Prayer [God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,¦ etc.], and she recalls it often. “I find the more I do the meditations throughout the day, the more focused and calm I am, and the more I can get done, and the more energized I become.”
Another source of peace for Dupuy is spending meditative time in her wild Victorian garden that her husband landscaped. “Our vacations are at home in our backyard, because we don’t get to spend as much time there as we’d like.”
She enjoys attending Catholic mass, “though I’m not a strict Catholic by any means,” and also takes time out roughly once a month to visit a local Buddhist temple to practice meditative techniques. She once visited a temple in Japan while on tour with her company, and her description hints at the healing powers of quiet reflection in a busy life: “I went to a fabulous Buddhist temple in Sendai, high up on a cliff. Oh, it was gorgeous. I spent a whole day with a Buddhist priest; I had tea with him. I’ve never experienced quiet peace in my entire life as I did there. There was such happiness on their [the young Buddhist’s] faces. I felt like I walked in with a heavy weight of coal, and they were like feathers, the place was made of feathers.”