My Working Day – Anna Hill – UK GM of WW
As the leader of a company, you are there to set an example, to lead and inspire a team of individuals to achieve a series of business goals. But how do these business leaders go about their daily routine? Business Leader spoke to Anna Hill – UK GM of WW, about her working day.
What time do you wake up?
I wake up at 2am and put an audio story on for a few minutes, then I fall asleep. I am then up at 6am.
What do you have for breakfast?
A poached egg on sourdough with lots of salt – folded in half and eaten as a sandwich (just three WW PersonalPoints). Not every day, but if I have breakfast, this is what I go for.
What is your mantra for your working day?
Today could be the day that makes the difference – so give it all you’ve got Anna!
As a business leader, is it hard to separate your business and personal life?
No, I work in a world that is so relevant to my personal life (health and wellness). There is a lot to do, but I squeeze it all in. I speak to my mum every day after work and then my brother, so once that is done and I have cooked and heard the kids’ news, the workday can feel a long way off. It helps that my kids are older and quite self-reliant and my husband’s around too. There are some things that you have to make time for. For example, I like going for a walk on my own and listening to podcasts (I try to remember to take the dog too!). I listen to true crime all the time, or audiobooks (listening to The Power of One again at the moment). Work and home are so interlinked (with hybrid working), so I can happily do emails when watching tv, but rarely have done more than that. I don’t get it wrong in terms of work/life balance, although I definitely spend a large proportion of my sleep dreaming about work scenarios!
What advice would you give to aspiring female entrepreneurs?
Share your ideas; take others on your journey, listen and learn. Be generous to others and they will be generous to you when you need their time. Also, don’t bottle everything up. If you are feeling stressed or unhappy, talk stuff out. I am lucky, because my husband is a coach, so if I am facing a tricky situation or am frustrated with something, I’ll chat to him about it and he’s very good. If you don’t have friends or family that you can offload onto, then find a group of like-minded people who are facing similar challenges, our lovely members chat weekly in their workshops for example, and they chat about ‘everything’.
Who is your business idol? Why?
I don’t really have one, but if any, Sherilyn Sanderg. She survived and thrived in a male-dominated world, I enjoyed ‘Lean in’ and I think how she has managed her life after a huge personal tragedy is an inspiration. I also have a work crush on Holly Tucker (Not on the High Street) – she is so grounded and totally passionate about small businesses and giving back.
What motivates you?
Making an ‘impact’ and ‘change’. I am not comfortable with comfortable. Working at WW, I am really passionate about helping people feel healthy and confident. Most people are carrying too much weight and it’s unhealthy. It’s a problem that has escalated over the years as our eating habits and behaviour have changed. We’ve become more sedentary and it’s so much easier to order junk food now, at the push of a button on your phone. I am focused on transforming WW into a brand that people are proud to be member of, that they want to tell all their friends, because it shows that they are invested in their health and wellness. People think about their bodyshape so often, we need to make people feel comfortable addressing it and feeling proud about dealing with it to achieve a healthy weight and therefore a longer life. I care massively about people and relish being in a position where I can do something to help. I want to support and celebrate people, not just with their weight, but their wellness and mental health too. I also firmly believe that health and wellness shouldn’t be determined by your income, which is why we work closely with the NHS.
How do you persevere through challenging times?
It’s about perspective. I never forget that I am fortunate to have a home, food, heating, and loved ones. I genuinely feel that every single day. Of course there are times when life is frustrating, but I don’t lose sight of what’s important. It’s an attitude that rarely lets me down.
What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced as a female entrepreneur?
I found the pandemic a challenge because I am a massive team player and I found it hard not being with people physically. We have quite a lot of banter in the office and it’s hard to change the culture of a place, if you are in a cube, on a screen. I enjoy being with other people and am useless on my own. I can’t spend a night on my own, I hate it. It was hard at times to remain positive, be dynamic and get people to be really focused on the job. It is so much easier face-to-face when I can genuinely be a bit warmer.
What is the best piece of advice you have received?
‘Choose your battles’ – I used to get riled about things and fight them when they were not important enough to focus on.
Are you hopeful about the future of female entrepreneurship in the UK? Why?
Yes, because women can be such great empathetic leaders. I have a daughter and I want her to enjoy a broad choice of opportunities. My parent’s generation did not have the same opportunities we have, it would be such a waste not to go for it.