Having a successful career while at the same time leading a happy and fulfilling personal life is perhaps one of the biggest challenges for people living in the modern age. New technologies and electronic devices have promised to help people communicate better and even automate tedious tasks that once took up so much time; however, the truth is that these gadgets — computers and the Internet, mobile phones and tablets — have only served to distract us from life. With all these factors that complicate daily activities, it seems as if leading a balanced life is impossible — but business leader Jane McKellar thinks otherwise.
Ms McKellar is best known for her work at Elizabeth Arden Australia. During her term as the company’s managing director, she managed to achieve things that would have been too difficult or impossible for the common person — in just the span of a year. Ms McKellar spearheaded the planning and execution of an event that would later be known as the biggest and most successful fragrance launch in the history of Australia. At the same time, she also helped boost the company’s profits by a staggering 80 per cent and positioned three of Elizabeth Arden’s perfumes in the country’s list of bestsellers.
Besides her success at Elizabeth Arden Australia, Ms McKellar has also helped initiate a business turnaround for other companies, both big and small. For instance, she has led the purchase of Stila Corporation from the Estee Lauder Group. Under Ms McKellar’s leadership, Stila was successfully established in 14 countries — and costs were brought to break-even after just eight months. Ms McKellar also helped establish Excite.com as part of a joint venture between Excite.com and JB Fairfax, and she also helped set up NineMSN during her stint as Director of Sales and Marketing at MSN Australia.
However, Ms McKellar’s achievements are not limited to just business. She is also a mother to two young ladies. And while juggling corporate and parental duties, she also managed to excel in sports at the same time. She was the founder of Scotland’s very first rugby team (Ms McKellar being a passionate rugby player herself) and she also represented the US in the World Triathlon Championships in 2010, for which she ranked 6th in the USA for her age group.
So what is the secret to Ms. McKellar’s incredible achievements? Jane McKellar shares that her secrets to success can be found in just one book: Sun Tzu’s The Art of War. She shares that life is a constant battle, and must be approached like one — with careful planning, learning and flexibility.
The true secret to a successful and fulfilling life? Courage, says Ms McKellar. She encourages other to get out of your comfort zone, constantly challenge yourself and as her personal motto states, “be bold”.