White River’s Peggy Janssens is a “certified walking lifestyle coach”, and her mission, in a nutshell, is to help female solopreneurs to manage stress and prevent burnout, something we all need a bit of in these challenging times.
Peggy, aka the Backyard Hiker, is all about recharging and helping women to take responsibility for their thoughts and actions, to manage stress, prevent burnout and find inner balance. The best way to do this, in her opinion, is by doing something as simple as making time to go for a walk every single day. “If you don’t see the forest for the trees, you’re in the right place!” Peggy laughs an infectious and bubbly woman with whom you can very well imagine taking a stroll through the forest. “I help women to find their stride and explore their vision, both in life and in business. I motivate them, helping them to set exhilarating, attainable goals that tally with their life journey. What it all comes down to is that I show people how to enhance their life/work ratio, to achieve balance and time to spend on all the things that you love.”
Peggy is the first to admit that her life now has been the very definition of balanced. Before she started Backyard Hiker, she was a successful event and wedding planner, with an e-commerce business and coaching courses under her belt. “I was always trying to be the perfect everything, sister, wife, daughter, aunt. I was always on the go. But the reality was that, despite the fact that I was extremely successful, there was something missing. I didn’t allow myself to shut off my computer at 4 pm and go for a random walk. Two weeks’ vacation? Maybe, but only when it would fit into my schedule of events and weddings. Not much of a life really. I realised that to make that important switch to obtain the balance I craved, I had to make some changes. And oh boy, did I make some drastic ones!”
Not only did Peggy sell off her companies, but she also packed up her home in Belgium and moved to sunny South Africa. “Yep, it changed my life,” she laughs, then turns serious. “But you know, changing your life doesn’t need to be quite that dramatic. The most important lessons I learnt had nothing to do with the move, but rather because I started to approach life differently.” Peggy learnt the difference between being busy and being productive and doing the things she loves while still managing to start up another business (or two!). “The thing is,” she says, “I thought my life has always been balanced, but after I decided to let go of trying to achieve perfection, everything just sort of became my kind of perfect. And I learnt to say no, which is an important factor.”
This was when Peggy realised that this would be her new path in life, a path that perfectly entwined all the skills that life had taught her thus far. “A Backyard Hiker is all about helping people to take a step away from their everyday encumbrances and just breathe, to reconnect with their authentic selves by reconnecting with nature. It incorporates my passion for my chosen field, the fact that I’m a certified walking lifestyle coach, and my love of helping people, of guiding them into the starting blocks that signifies the start of their journey. “This entails being able to see the connections between all aspects of a balanced life and still define core essentials, helping people to learn how to build a foundation that enables them to follow their own path. And I do all of this with a healthy dose of kicking butt and cheerleading! I believe strongly in every person’s ability to pave their very own perfect way.”
So if you feel a bit overwhelmed, or find that life is getting you down and you don’t really have much me time anymore, take a hike! The answer might just lie in the fresh air, nature’s gentle caress, a listening ear and a healthy dose of Peggy’s practical advice.
Photographer: Savannah Greef.
Facebook: A Backyard Hiker