Work-life 'harmony' not 'balance': Radio DJ-turned-entrepreneur Maddy Barber shares 'secret to success'

Work-life 'harmony' not 'balance': Radio DJ-turned-entrepreneur Maddy Barber shares 'secret to success'
PHOTO: Instagram/Maddy Barber

While many of us strive for work-life balance in our day-to-day life, former Kiss92 FM radio DJ Maddy Barber has her own philosophy.

Now an entrepreneur running her own jewellery business Madly, Maddy shared how she and her husband Wez Barber incorporate work into their lives.

"We're trying to live with work-life harmony because I guess when you run your own business, honestly, work-life balance doesn't work because they're not separate. They are always the same," the 50-year-old explained in an interview with AsiaOne.

"I'm a firm believer that career is important in building wealth, and that's what I teach my kids (Elizabeth and Alicia) as well. You can enjoy your life now, but then you won't be able to retire and that's a fact. Many people will face that."

For that reason, Maddy also believes it's important to work in a field you love or take pride in.

"Maybe at the beginning you're not going to start with your dream job. Most people don't and that's a reality. But at least have a job where you're learning something… I think it's important that you feel productive, have a job that you take pride in and hopefully you will like it enough, if not love it," she said.

She also recently revealed her newly completed home in Phuket, Thailand, and though it is a place for the family to escape to and relax, Maddy and Wez find themselves doing work there.


"I think we kind of make the space where we actually work a lot. My husband actually does his work by the pool sometimes. I don't know how he does it. I can't do it. For me I need a proper table," she laughed.

"The thing is when I'm here in Thailand, I don't mind working. I think it's great to change the environment for work. When I'm here, it's more relaxing, so it's not like a pure work environment but a lot of work still gets done."

While many may have the mindset of not thinking about work when on vacation, Maddy doesn't. "That's the only time you have to dream. It's the only time when your mind is relaxed enough to get really creative. A lot of our best ideas over the years or even my visions of what to do next or how to do something better… it all came when I was on vacation."

Her 'secret to success'

Maddy told us how she's a firm believer of letting things be the way they are.

"Whether it's a house, a piece of jewellery… sometimes you must allow things to be the way they are or allow fate to be the way it is," she shrugged.

"For example, for bespoke jewellery pieces, when it's something that's handmade, there's always a five to 10 per cent tolerance between the initial design drawing and the finished piece. Rather than viewing them as 'imperfections', these variations contribute to the beauty and character of a piece. You must learn to go with the flow of certain things because often the outcome is even better than what was originally planned."

She added how she feels this way of thinking "allows good things to happen to you".

Maddy continued: "If you ask me what the secret to my success is, it's really letting go. You need to learn to let go because there's so many things in life that you can't control.

"I have a saying I love that I read somewhere a long time ago, 'You over-prepare and you go with the flow.' Even when I did my radio show, I'd prepare and then I'd go with the flow, so I rarely followed a script. I think that's the best you can hope for in life and that's the best way to approach anything."


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