We had the good fortune of connecting with Layne Pratt and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Layne, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
The short answer is that it has changed significantly, especially in recent years. The longer answer is that I don’t really subscribe to the idea that work and life should always be “balanced.” To me, the word “balance” suggests that both work and life should have equal weight…that they deserve the same amount of energy and attention at all times, and that somehow, we are charged with figuring out how to attend to both work and life simultaneously and in equal parts, all while trying to stay sane. Good luck!
For me, there are seasons for everything. Seasons to work more, seasons to work less. I find it helpful to think about this concept of “ work/life balance” more in terms of “personal/professional alignment” toward my goals at any particular point in life. Am I in a season where growing my business is important? If so, my time and energy will be aligned more heavily with my work. Conversely, If I’m in a season where my personal life requires or deserves more investment (like right now as my husband and I raise two sweet toddlers), then I aim to align my time with that goal, ultimately spending more time with my family and holding steady, rather than pushing the accelerator, on my work.
With that said, I’d like to think that “life” and “work” are not mutually exclusive concepts. Part of my motivation to launch On the Agenda was so that my work and personal life could be seamlessly woven together, allowing me the flexibility to adjust my schedule as needed. This new reality has been one of the greatest joys of owning my own business — it feels so darn good to know I’m allocating my time each day in pursuit of what’s most important.
What should our readers know about your business?
If you’re like me, you believe that how we spend time speaks volumes about who we are, what we value, and ultimately, how successful we will be as leaders (and as human beings).With this concept at its core, I founded On the Agenda to provide my clients with high-impact training and meeting design (webinars, online courses, training sessions, retreats, workshops and more!) to help them increase organizational productivity, inspire and engage their people, and drive toward better outcomes.
On the Agenda is unique in that it was founded on a set of core values that I hope to see reflected more broadly in the world. These values help shape the brand’s unique identity and serve as a compass to guide every action and decision. They set a clear vision for how I do business – in big and small ways – even (and especially when!) when no one is watching. Ultimately, these core values serve as my most sincere promise to my clients, and I hope they see and feel them shine through in our work together.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
When my family comes to visit from Ohio, our first top is always to the mountains. Whether you’re skiing, lounging by the fire, enjoying a hike or rafting on the rapids, the magic of the mountains is unmatched. For me, time spent in the mountains always seems to give me exactly what I need at that exact moment — adventure, beauty, peace, clarity, joy.
So! If I had to choose a specific spot (which is nearly impossible to do), I’d pick Breckenridge, and in particular, Breckenridge at Christmas time. There is nothing more magical, charming and simple than a mountain Christmas. We’d rent a big house, spend the mornings sleeping in, and then enjoy coffee by the fire in our pajamas before heading out for a full day of window shopping down Main Street. We’d take tons of pictures — I am admittedly VERY sentimental, and pictures help me remember all the little moments that I never want to forget — and then when we are exhausted and broke (ha!), we’d head to the Blue River Bistro for happy hour and a long, relaxing dinner. The perfect day.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There is no one to whom I am more grateful than my husband. He has been my biggest cheerleader from day one, and has always believed in me — at times, even more than I believed in myself. When I decided to take the leap and leave my 9-5 in pursuit of business ownership, he happily took on additional responsibilities in order to free me up to launch and run the business. During the early evening hours when I now work, he spends sweet, simple, undivided time with our children — playing outside, collecting rocks and leaves, preparing their (endless) snacks and sippy cups, kissing their scraped knees. We’ve actually had multiple neighbors stop him on the sidewalk (after seeing him every evening for months with our one year old strapped to his chest and our toddler’s hand in his) to tell him what a remarkable, nurturing and engaged father he is. All of this is true, and so much more.
Seeing the joy our children experience having undivided time with Daddy, and the special bond they’ve developed with him as a result, has been such an unexpected blessing. They truly adore him, and so do I. He has made building a new business during a global pandemic (all while raising two toddlers) as easy as it could possibly be. He is our family’s unsung hero in so many ways, always hesitant to draw attention to himself or take the credit he deserves for the massive role he plays in the workings of our daily lives. What an honor it is to be able to celebrate him in this small way.
Parker Cruz Photography (for the photos of me / my family)