Self

Balancing Act

Nava Ghalill full image
Elizabeth Scarlett Elsey, Nadia Manzoor full image
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In our 24-7, social-media-driven world, it can be hard to press pause. Bridget Arsenault connects with three incredibly diverse and accomplished women on how they balance it all.

From one of America’s youngest-ever news anchors to an under 30 whose accessories line boasts an annual turnover of over £350,000 to the youngest-ever woman to sit on the board of a London Stock Exchange-listed company – Bridget Arsenault ascertains their tips for slowing down and decompressing.

Launching her career as a news anchor at the age of 19, solidified Nava Ghalili as one of the youngest correspondents in the history of American television. Seeking more, Nava later created, produced and hosted her own human-interest series called Pay It Forward, for which she received an Emmy nomination.

I remember once having to swing open my car door, jump in and plough through waist-deep floods with a heavy beta video camera on my shoulder, alone as a new reporter in an unfamiliar town. I coped by throwing paralysing perfectionism and other people’s opinions in the trash. I reminded myself that I was there for a reason. What makes us doubt our abilities? If I am there, doing it, then it’s possible. Also, I try with all my might to find some element of joy in every task; I call it the “tactics of self-trickery”.

Since founding her eponymous accessories brand, Elizabeth Scarlett Elsey has collaborated with the likes of Estée Lauder, Bobbi Brown and Livia’s Kitchen. She’s sold over 10,000 products – including pillowcases, candles and beach bags – around the world and in 2017 became the first homeware brand to be stocked by ASOS. Elizabeth Scarlett launches in John Lewis this October.

Talking to an audience about my brand and what we do, whether that is at a business conference or speaking to a live audience on Sky News Business, I always have to push myself through the confidence barrier to communicate what I want to say effectively. But over time I’ve learned not to be frightened to promote what I do and stand up and talk about what I am passionate about, as it inspires others. I’ve learnt to go with the flow and take what each week throws at me with an open and logical mind. But to really relax, I love being at home, surrounded by all my comforts and hanging out with my husband. I light candles and incense, have a bath, and make a nutritious home-cooked meal. Or perhaps, I head to a spinning or HIIT class at Sweat Room. And I balance out the high-energy classes with a calming session at Triyoga or a walk up Primrose Hill.

Nadia Manzoor’s appointment as Non-Executive Director at J. P. Morgan American Investment Trust in 2016 made her the youngest woman in history to sit on the board of a company listed on the London Stock Exchange. A Cambridge-educated lawyer, Nadia’s is also currently a partner at the boutique investment management firm S. W. Mitchell Capital.

My day-to-day includes everything from running pitches and raising assets to brand building and thinking about the how firm communicates with the outside world. (Everything from what our website looks like to investment thought-pieces.) But my toughest project by far is the relationship I have with myself. I’ve spent far too long in my life (not just my career) reflecting on negative remarks, worrying if what I did was good enough and generally over analysing. Of course, it’s important to be able to take criticism and learn from mistakes to become the best version of yourself, but it’s also important to be able to “let go of things that no longer serve you” – that’s a phrase I learned from yoga. Yoga and meditation have really helped me to find equanimity. Yoga isn’t about being able to touch your toes (I still can’t touch mine!), but for me, it’s a practice for my soul. Every time I leave a class I feel calmer, more focused and stronger.