From everyday management and business administration to those complex projects that require a helping hand, Lifestyle Manager and BBB Member Phoebe Maddrell is well-versed in delivering unparalleled results to UHNW clients.
We recently sat down with Phoebe to discuss work life balance, neurodivergent minds and how she is poised and ready to help clients lighten their load…
Let’s start a little before the beginning if you don’t mind. How did you come to realise that the meticulous planning and organisation of other people’s lives would be something that you would excel in?
I fell into the organisation side – I had worked in corporate businesses for over 8 years before deciding to work onboard yachts in my late twenties. From yachts, I evolved into the role of a Lifestyle Manager which meant I oversaw the clients personal lives, business affairs and multiple properties. With my first land-based position I was lucky enough to work for two talented architects, so there were elements of project management and interior design involved too. I loved the problem solving and strategy required to deal with lots of assets and personalities.
Could you describe your job role to us and the services that you offer to your clients?
I help UHNW clients and their teams accomplish streamlined communication, asset management and an improved work/life balance. So that staff have reduced burn out and the client experiences curated luxury. Without the chaos of lost information, misunderstood requests and frequent staff turnovers. There are also long standing clients who I have previously worked with who ask me to manage individual projects, like a house move or launching an art inventory.
What is it about your role that you enjoy so much?
I’ve always loved the diversity of conundrums to solve and people to work with. I love being engaged to work with an estate or business team and seeing the transformation from disorder to calm, which improves the lives of the clients and employees. I meet a lot of people who feel like an island working in this industry but there’s actually a lot of repeated patterns and problems which can be solved by external oversight. I feel very lucky that I am able to get insight into the inner workings of so many clients’ lives.
Why do you believe that a client should opt for your services over that of a competitor?
I haven’t found any competitors offering what I do, specifically. I feel it’s more common that they do ‘off the shelf’ solutions on how to instate systems which are software based. My offer is more diverse and bespoke. I work with employees or vendors directly via mentorship. I often work with clients directly for full lifestyle audits and implementation – this usually means ensuring all assets and associated admin is accounted for, estates are run efficiently and lifestyles run smoothly. I support all parts of the process and evaluate how we can make things better. The only thing I need is a client who is ready to embrace change.
How do you distinguish a healthy work life balance and what tips do you have for people perhaps struggling to achieve that?
I truly think it is the biggest issue facing our industry as a whole and many talented people are leaving because they are struggling to achieve a balance and feeling very burnt out after the pandemic.
The most important thing is to instate boundaries, especially around your time and availability. A simple tip I regularly recommend is to take a step back and ask, “Is this a me problem, or a them problem?”. This industry has a knack of making us feel that when something goes wrong or becomes difficult it’s a “you” problem, when it may not be. Learning to understand that difference can be vital in maintaining balance and experiencing less stress.
You’re also a proud supporter of neurodivergent minds. Would you mind telling us a little bit more about why this cause is so close to your heart?
Broadly speaking, I think neurodiversity is in its infancy in terms of how we understand what that terminology means. At its heart I think that we are moving towards a more inclusive world, where we recognise that not everyone thinks the same and not everyone learns the same. This really ties into the heart of my business and ethos: when we build systems and hierarchy we need to play to people’s strengths and understand that it is not a ‘one size fits all’ approach. That’s how you get the best out of everyone and make the magic happen.
And finally, what goals are you still looking to achieve in your career?
I am really passionate about growing my own empire in this industry by creating a positive change for staff and a meaningful difference within this sector. I want to empower women to negotiate higher salaries and feel valued. To help staff avoid burnout and recognise when jobs are damaging their mental health. And finally, to make my mark on even more estates to create a legacy of knowledge to help them run smoothly for years to come, regardless of what unforeseen circumstances may occur!