Being a member of growing communities in North Texas has its challenges. But being a local leader, trying to manage balance in your life, is even harder. Local Profile reached out to nine leaders in the Collin County community that have learned through trial and failure how they create balance in their daily lives, and just maybe, you can learn from their advice and experiences to find balance in yours.
Hedy Popson is the President of Productions Plus, a full-service talent agency that provides talent in the automotive, live event, trade show, product demonstration and retail merchandising arenas. The agency is also SAG franchised and represents actors and models for TV/ film/ commercial and voice-over work. With more than 40 years in business, Productions Plus has been a trusted partner to its thousands of clients through decades of dynamic changes and challenges. Today Productions Plus is proud to partner with many Fortune 100 companies to provide talent and marketing support, helping these iconic brands continually achieve significant results and growth. Hedy has an extensive performing and public speaking background and was a member of SAG/AFTRA for over 20 years. She serves on several boards and committees and is an alumnae advisor to the Chi Omega sorority at UNT.
What does community mean to you?
I define a community as an interconnected group of people who are collectively better together. I have always felt that our communities, and those within them, are a huge part of how we move through this large world with a sense of purpose and belonging. The Plano/Frisco community really embraced me and our company upon relocating and helped us navigate all the newness. I now can’t imagine living anywhere else!
How do you find balance in your daily life?
Balance is such a tricky word! I have become much more aware of the “daily blend” that seems to serve me the most. Each day I try and focus on spending at least a few minutes on the things that mean the most to me, and I like to focus on both personal and professional balance. I make sure to schedule creative hours within my work week along with my robust meeting schedule, I make it a priority to have at least one social function a week to allow me to connect with friends outside of work, I walk at the start of every day to clear my head and take in some fresh air with my husband and dog — balance is finding the blend that matters to you and then holding yourself accountable to make that magic happen.
Do you struggle with productivity? If so how?
I struggle with over-productivity and over-scheduling. I think this is more of a female issue in the sense that we are so programmed to multi-task and check tasks off a list. The struggle with productivity comes from how we define it and how we reward it- our culture often rewards “hard work” and “busyness.” I like to challenge myself to break from those parameters and really look at productivity as adding value to whatever needs to get done for the day. I love a good list … so my goal now is to make sure the list is robust yet rewarding.
What everyday thing do you excel at?
I am generally a very positive person and I enjoy kicking off the morning! I like to wake the crew and make the brew. I am a very good organizer of all things — so our mornings consist of me laying out the plan for the day and getting my husband and dog onboard.
How do you decompress or relax?
I love journaling, reading and a good hot bath. I’ve also found great solace in my travels — I fly quite a bit each month and use the up in the air time to create lists, listen to music, organize my thoughts and complete tasks and projects without the constant interruption of email.
When was a time you had to step out of your comfort zone?
As I transitioned through a variety of roles at my company, I found myself outside of my comfort zone on a regular basis. When the pandemic hit, I was promoted to CEO. It was such an exciting moment, but I found myself facing a lot of anxiety and fear with all the unknown. To lead a company is a major undertaking, but to do so in an unprecedented time with a business derived from live events was shell shocking. I had to really be comfortable with being uncomfortable and stretch myself to lean into all aspects of the business while also managing from a people perspective.
How do you hope to improve your community? (personal/business)
We have such a strong community that my only goal is to help enhance what is already established. I have recently become involved in volunteering within our neighborhood community, I serve on two boards within the business community and have just been elected to my sorority alumnae advisor program at UNT. I think the best way we can contribute to our communities is to do something — anything — to engage and connect. Once we immerse ourselves in our professional and personal communities, I believe we find the areas where our contributions are most needed. I like to jump in!
When are you happiest?
With my husband and my dog walking in our neighborhood! I relish the start of each day.
What do you think your community is in need of?
I think our community —and every community — needs inclusion. If people feel accepted and welcomed, the natural proclivity is to lean in, help and do. By opening our communities to new people and new ideas, we create a place where everyone thrives.
What motivates you?
Every. New. Day. I am motivated by what’s possible and tend to see each day as an open opportunity to create or do something new. From a business perspective, I am motivated by strategic opportunities and creating new ways to develop and grow our business. There is nothing like an energetic brainstorming session! I am a classic extrovert and a people person, so I am also very motivated by connection. In business, this translates to mentoring and collaborating within the workplace. Personally, I find travel extremely invigorating and a great motivator in my personal life.
How do you consider yourself a local leader?
I am really trying to dive into our community and become an active contributor to local organizations and committees. I am active in the business community and try and engage with others in a way that promotes leadership at all levels. I especially enjoy interacting with other women business leaders in our community and learning from them. All leaders carry a responsibility to frame what leadership looks like — involvement, inclusivity and participation — then encourage others to do the same.
What do you wish you were better at?
Cooking! I am not good in the kitchen unless I am organizing cabinets/refrigerators or putting out a party tray! I have so much respect for people who can create culinary magic. One day…
What kind of goals do you set for yourself?
First of all — I need to state that I love goals. I think anything that is smart, specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-based are the golden standard. I am personally very motivated to set and go get goals! As a business leader, you cannot lead or grow your company without a set of goals that are collectively understood, shared and agreed upon. The success of the company needs to depend on the success of every individual and their contributions.
The kinds of goals I set for myself have changed so much throughout my career and life. I can remember so many new year’s goals that included losing XX pounds, buying XX and finding the right relationship — all the goals that feel so typical as we emerge from our 20s, 30s and 40s. My goals over the past five years are more feeling-focused than doing-focused. I really want to create a life that continues to fulfill me personally and professionally, so my recent goals are about setting aside time and space for things that matter.
Professionally, I start each year with five corporate goals: three must be essential to the growth of the company itself (revenue, process, ops), one to the growth of the employee group (mentorship) and one to my personal business growth (leadership). Personally, I follow the same formula of five goals, but they encompass five specific areas: faith, family, friends, finances and physical.
To find out more about how to be the best at work, at home and in the community visit Local Profile’s latest issue.