LISTEN | Look for the positives, celebrate the small wins
Dynamic Brands is an innovative beverage maker that supplies retailers nationally with dairy blend Fusion, as well as brands like Mr Orange, Rascals and Slimsy.
Claire Sutherland is the COO, overseeing business operations within the company and ensuring all business units work together and are on the same page.
“My portfolio of direct oversight includes finance — specifically the CFO functions — as well as human resources and outbound supply chain & risk management, and I offer offering a support role to the sales and operations teams.
“From a young age I was always intrigued by business. My grandparents used to have a stall at the beachfront flea market. I would ask if I could set up my own stall next to theirs.
"I would get my parents to take me out to the pineapple farms, purchase pineapples and then resell them at the market.
"At school I ran a small business selling chocolates and sweets in the corridors and at breaktime.”
She's always known she wanted to be in business. Accounting was something she excelled at, so following the finance route seemed like a good place to start.
“It gave me the opportunity to learn more about other areas of business such as operations, sales and marketing.”
She pursues life’s journey with an optimistic mindset.
“Its not about blind positivity that everything is sunshine and rainbows, but rather acknowledging the situation and the difficulties, and being realistic.
"It is not always going to be easy, so it helps to look for the positives in a situation, be optimistic about the future and, most importantly, celebrate the small wins.”
She said balancing family and work life is difficult as a wife and a mom to four boys — the youngest three being triplets.
“The areas of life - family, work, self -- will never be in balance at any specific point.
"Some periods require you to lean in to work and give it most of your attention. Other times family requires more, like attending a hockey match in the middle of a work day or being at home with a sick kid.
"And then other times you need to focus on your own well-being, which may mean taking time off for an art retreat by yourself or a small getaway as a couple.”
She said a significant milestone for her was the loss of a close colleague and friend to a tragic event.
“It really drove home the reality that in business you might be missed, but ultimately it will carry on without you.
"It is your family that will really be impacted by the loss.
"So give the business the time and attention it deserves, but not to the detriment of your family and your own wellbeing.
"Take that afternoon off to go to the swimming gala, take the leave so you can travel and experience new things.”
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