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With International Women's Day just around the corner, we sat down with our Managing Director Liz Hutchings as she outlined her path to success and plans for the future with Total Guide To Ltd.

Name: Liz Hutchings

Age: 36

Occupation: Founder and Managing Director of Total Guide to Ltd

Which woman would you compare yourself to? 

We’re all very unique which is what makes the world so interesting but I aspire to be like the women I most respect – who are passionate, strong but kind, work hard, juggle life’s challenges by trying to seeing the positives.
What’s great about being a woman in business? 

Independence and freedom and not having to rely on anyone or anything – you make your own luck in life. 

Do you think it's important to have an International Women's Day? 

If you’d asked me 18 months ago I would have said I don’t agree with it or women’s only networking events as they're sexist and everyone is special no matter their sex, age etc. However, now I have my darling daughter and with my husband working away during the weeks, I have a newfound huge respect for Women, particularly Mum’s and especially single working Mum’s. I genuinely love women and am inspired by all the women I am fortunate enough to work with and know. We are all doing the best we can for the people and things we love.

Do you have a family (and/or children)? How do you maintain a work/life balance? 

Being honest with you I don’t feel I have the balance right just yet. Since coming back from maternity leave I work part-time; 3 days a week and that has been my goal since I set up Total – to get the business into a place to run without me. Which it does thanks to our magnificent team. However, 3 days is realistically full time; I don’t do things by halves and I’m really excited by the stage the business is in with the franchising and growth. As a result, I work from my laptop during naptimes and work all night every night in the week. So, this isn’t sustainable and I will work on it. Don’t get me wrong it’s not a bad problem to have – I love working but I don’t want it to get impact precious family time.

Have you ever had to give up or miss out on anything in order to pursue your career? 

Setting up the business was intense; I worked every day for a year. When it’s your own business you live and breathe it 247 even on your days off so inevitably you will miss out on other things. Since having Florence I don’t have much time for anything apart from Mummying and working (although I do make sure to find time to run/workout 5 days a week) but I love my family, business and the people I work with so I feel lucky and grateful (although the odd meal out with my Husband or Netflix binge wouldn’t go amiss ?)

Do you ever experience any discrimination in the workplace because of your gender?

I’ve experienced condescending and surprised looks from the older male generation at various business events. I personally don’t mind as I am confident and anyone discriminating more than likely has low self-esteem so I feel sorry for them. However, this behaviour shouldn’t be tolerated, it’s unacceptable and could knock some women. I think the tide is turning though and am hopeful that when my daughter is of working age this will be a thing of the past.

What advice/tips would you pass on to the next generation of women in Business? 

Celebrate the successes, take the blows and move on. It takes grit and determination to succeed, if you want it you just have to keep the faith, focus, work hard. Enjoy what you do and love those you work with – you only live once!

Do men ever feel intimidated by your success? 

I honestly don’t know, I’ve never experienced a situation that’s made me think that is the case and ‘success’ isn’t defined by work or business anyway, for me success is whether you are living a happy, complete and fulfilled life.

If you could have dinner with 5 inspirational women dead or alive, who would they be?

Margaret Thatcher
Marilyn Monroe
Michelle Obama 
Rachael Matwiejczyk Booth
Fatima Whitbred

As a successful female, where do you see yourself in 10 years’ time? 

I’m steering the business towards high growth and I see me moving more and more into a strategic role in the business and working on the franchising rather than 'in' the business. Life, work and particularly Digital Marketing evolves rapidly so a lot could change in 10 years but I know whatever happens I’ll be working hard and giving everything I’ve got and in-between spending as much time with my family as possible (preferably on a beach!)

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