He Said / She Said: Alex vs Emma

SheSaid_HeSaidHere at the Highbury Partners Lifestyle Group, we believe that everyone’s input is important. A good idea can come from anyone, regardless of title or experience. However, that doesn’t mean that we all always agree on how to get things done. Although Alex and I both have the best interests of the company at heart, we often disagree about the most effective route to success. Therefore, we thought we’d give you each of our perspectives on some of the career and life topics we often cover on our blog. We each came up with two questions, and you’ll find all four of our answers below. Enjoy!



If your friend, who has some self-esteem issues when it comes to relationships, is dating someone you know isn’t good enough for them, how do you help them to see that?


As always, tell them.  Tell your friend exactly what you think because being honest saves a lot of time and trouble, and helps avoid misunderstandings.  Also remember not to be too intense or overwhelming, it might distract someone from what you are saying.  Be respectful because you don’t want to insult your friend or force them to be defensive of the person they are dating. One thing you can do is to put things in the form of a question.  Ask them if they are happy, if the relationship makes their life easier or harder, and why they are with this person.  But in the end, all you can do is be there for them and listen when they need it, because ultimately it is their decision to make.  For all you know, your friend might be the best thing that ever happened to the person they’re dating and as a result, they will grow.  The thing I like most about people is that they don’t stay the same, and it’s through our relationships with others that we become our best.


Let’s be honest – sometimes it’s really difficult for people to perceive when they are in a situation that isn’t right for them. Especially if they have self-esteem issues. They may not realize that they are settling for less than they deserve. One approach to help them try to find a more evenly matched partner is to try the dual approach of expanding their world view by giving them the opportunity to see what else is out there, while at the same time building up their confidence. Find ways to create the circumstances that will allow your friends to see themselves in their best light. This combination of increasing someone’s faith in themselves with exposure to more appropriate dating options sets up the perfect scenario for the realization that it’s time for a relationship change. You’ve set the stage; now all you have to do is step away and let the magic happen.

If there is a promotion at work that you really want, and competition is fierce, what is okay to do and what is not okay to do in your quest to stand out from the crowd?


Be honest, be sincere, and never take all the credit for a job that was a group effort.  After that, you need to decide what is more important to you:  getting that promotion or having a long and successful career working as part of a team.  Some of the moves you could choose to make to stand out, like keeping a good idea to yourself until you have the attention of your bosses or waiting until things are going badly so you can swoop in and save the day, might hurt the company overall.  I think it’s more important in the end to set egos aside and focus on the ultimate goal without thoughts of how it can benefit you personally.  Believe me, it might take longer, but eventually everyone will depend on you so much that they can’t imagine what they would do without you and you will be rewarded accordingly.


If you really want something, I believe that it’s important to go after it with your whole heart. So often we are afraid to claim what is ours, to stand out from the crowd. But if you never raise your voice, you’ll never be heard. If you want to move ahead and be a leader, you need to get past the fear of resentment from others. Plus, you never know when your hard work will inspire them! As Vince Lombardi said, “Confidence is contagious. So is lack of confidence.”

Take that Alex Knightley – a bona fide sports reference from Emma Woodhouse!!!


Does being in constant competition with others, always trying to improve yourself, make you a better person in the end?


No, not necessarily.  It might make sense on paper.  You might think that if you compare yourself to people who are kind or courageous and then try to outdo them, you will become those things yourself.  But forcing anything makes for a shaky foundation.  Those people you admire have their own reasons for being that way, a lifetime of hard won experiences that helped create their personalities, and you may not be destined to be exactly like them.  And that’s okay.  Accepting yourself the way you are instead of always pushing yourself to improve might actually be the key to being a better person.  It might make you more understanding and accepting of others, rather than thinking that everyone always needs to be more.  To be better. It’s great to admire people and use them as inspiration but don’t try to fast track your way to being a better person.  Let it happen at its own pace and in your own way.


If you are someone who thrives on competition, then constantly using it as a motivational tool can absolutely help you improve your life. It can give you that extra ounce of energy to keep going when you are ready to call it quits for the day. It can prompt you to dig deeper, to push yourself to find that new idea or solution that’s been eluding you. For others, competition can be a confidence-killer. It can make you feel smaller or less-than, and that’s just not productive. One of the keys to unlocking your potential is in really getting to know yourself so that you can determine what gets you fired up, and then having the discipline to follow though on it. Ultimately, though, it’s not about being in competition with someone else – it’s about figuring out how to be best YOU that you can be. It’s about getting a little bit better every day. And that’s something we should always be working on!

Should the goal really be to earn a living from your hobbies, from doing what you love, or should those two things be separate?


Even though that seems to be everyone’s goal, from a practical standpoint it’s impossible.  If everyone only did what they wanted nobody would do what was needed.  Plus I’ve heard plenty of people say that making a living doing what they loved has taken all the pleasure out of it and turned it into work.  So when choosing a profession think about what is needed, what product or service you will be providing that society wants or needs, and what role in that endeavor you would like the best or be best at.  It might be doing something you love, or doing something practical that is connected to something you love, or just financially rewarding so that you have the free time and resources to do something you love on the side.  All these options are equally capable of giving you a fulfilling life.


Someone once explained to me that we can think about work in three ways: there are Jobs, there are Careers, and there are Callings. A Job is something you do to make money. Ideally, you work in an environment or with people you enjoy. Generally, when you leave at the end of the day, you leave everything behind at your desk and take part in activities that you are passionate about and bring you joy. Maybe it’s raising a family. Maybe it’s salsa dancing. But the income you earn at your job allows you the time and resources to indulge in your passion.

A Career is something that requires more personal investment and has a track over time. While it still doesn’t have to be something that you love to the core, a career is a bigger part of your life. Work doesn’t end when you walk out of the office.

A Calling is something that you can’t ignore. The work you feel you were born to do. I have been lucky enough to make my calling my profession. I truly believe that I was put here to help people make their lives better, and I’m doing everything that I can to help our company follow through on that mission.

Regardless of how you spend your days, I think it’s important for everyone to have something in their lives that they feel strongly about. It doesn’t matter if it’s your main source of income – what matters it that you find a way to connect with the activities or people who make you truly happy and bring out your best qualities – something that is always Emma Approved!