Chrysula A. L. Winegar & WLB Consultants
WORK. LIFE. BALANCE. She wants it all.


Australian/American Chrysula Winegar is a mother of four children ages 1, 3, 5 and 7 and wife to a truly remarkable man. Mothering and nurturing her marriage are top of her core values list. She’s also a daughter. A sister. An aunt. A friend. A church go-er. A volunteer. A blogger. She's the Principal of WLB Consultants and is passionate about the politics, social and organizational issues surrounding the work/life balance agenda. She’d like to change the world, one company at a time.

In addition, In addition, Chrysula is a private art dealer, formerly in partnership with her husband and now as a sole operator. Her art business had a tough year during the 2009 recession. Her consulting business is just starting and needs more time, focus and money for it to progress to the next level.

She loves it all most of the time. But something's got to give. You are what think about. And right now, Chrysula might be achieving a lot but she's diluting her energy across too many platforms.


Chrysula grew up in the back of a warehouse full of Tupperware. Her parents launched the product in New Zealand when she was four years old. She went to work with her parents every weekend and after school. She had three younger brothers and was walking them home from school from 6 years of age. She cared for them after school from age 8 onwards. She's been bossing people around/leading others since she was a little girl.

Her parents worked at multiple jobs throughout her childhood. After Tupperware came various other businesses, none of which were as successful. Money became tight, and throughout high school was a major stress factor in the family's life. It affected every meal, every conversation. There was never enough. Moving away from entrepreneurship to more solid employment didn't seem to help. Neither parent did well in the traditional workforce and gave up their flexibility in the process.

Education was the family's top priority. Her father worked four jobs, her mother two, to put the children through elite private schools. If you wanted or needed something beyond the basics, you had to work for it. She began paid employment with a walking paper route at 12, bought all her own clothes and extras from age 15.

She did well at school academically and loved to sing. Chrysula found her greatest joy in Captaining her school's public speaking club and as Editor of the School Magazine her senior year. She recognized she had a strong voice and a lot to say.

Her parents kept up all those jobs and her brothers donated everything from their paper routes to send her to South Africa on a Rotary Exchange Scholarship when she was 17. Africa was life changing. From 18 she was financially and geographically on her own. She paid for every penny of her first car, her undergraduate and grad school degrees.

Aha Moment

After an early career in recruitment in Sydney and London, then transferring her skills to marketing and doing a Masters in Organizational Behavior part time, Chrysula was sitting in Hyde Park in London one Sunday morning. She'd gone to London with two suitcases and $500 for six months. That was five years earlier. As she pondered next steps, she literally heard a voice in her head that said "Go home. You're done here." She immediately started wrapping up her affairs and found out several weeks later her Aunt Chrys had terminal lung cancer. She was on the plane to Australia a few days later.

"It was the greatest privilege of my life up to that point. I was with her every day for three months, at the end sleeping in a chair by her bed. I was massaging her feet when she took her last breath. And watched her pass through the veil to the other side. Later when I watched my children being born and taking their first breaths, I could see the beauty of the complete cycle."

It's the kind of experience that makes you question everything. And re-evaluate what matters. Chrysula did not like what she found.

"Here I was, having lived and worked all over the world, 30 years old with everything before me. And I realized I couldn't move forward on anything, because I was in debt up to my eyeballs. Yet again, money and my relationship with it, was paralyzing my life."

With the help of a fiscally aware brother, Chrysula started living with cash, post-it-notes and paper clips until she understood what was going on.

"Taking charge of my money for the first time opened up a world of opportunities. It was empowering to know what I could and could not do. My budget gave me a sense of freedom, similar to the adrenalin rush of exercise. The changes it wrought internally are what made it possible for me to marry my husband, move to New York and have a successful career in marketing and training in the world's toughest city. It all arcs back to that experience of getting out of debt right after my aunt's death."

Professional Challenge

Her passion for work-life issues has been in play since her early 20s. She firmly believes work place reform is the number one business issue in the Western world. Her writing on this topic has become important and enriching. As she establishes her platform and model for change, she is encountering more possible clients and projects then she can possibly take on.

She needs to finance the expansion of her household support systems and marketing communications and office costs. Her fixed costs for her consulting practice are low, but she has also been invited to pitch a TV show and other projects that will require large amounts of time, cash and more outsourcing of her family life.

The easy solution would be to let go of the art business. She enjoys it and "sweated blood" to build it with her husband for 7 years. The art world plays a huge role in their family's life and it is helpful to keep a foot in the door, especially if her husband wants to return to the business down the track (current conflict of interest).

Personal Challenge

Chrysula and her husband have developed some strong systems to help their family retain some semblance of balance. They communicate well and have a weekly council to plan, budget, dream and check in. Sundays are sacrosanct for family time. However, the list of priorities seems to be growing.

She has some choices to make. Her children are very young. Childcare for four is an expensive proposition and right now is something she does on an as-needs basis. She loves being a mother. The older two, her daughters, are starting to experience more complex emotions and situations. Whilst their physical dependency is lessening, their need for real conversation, counsel and modeling of appropriate behaviors is intensifying. Her two little boys are happy kids and good playmates, but not getting out much right now.

"One day my son is going to break my keyboard and flush my iPhone down the toilet."

Then there is her marriage.

"My husband is the most important person in my life. I adore my children. The greatest gift I can give them is a strong marriage. And he is getting pushed further down the list. A wise friend who was married for more than 40 years shared this with me before she died. "When my children asked, "How come Dad gets the extra piece of cake?", I always replied, "Because he's my lover; you're my children."

"Whilst we have a weekly date night, because I work from home much of my work happens in the evenings. We can do this for a season, but it is not sustainable over the long term. Our marriage deserves more."

Household work is shared very equally between them, a situation Chrysula realizes is quite rare.

"He recognizes my work is just as full-time as his, if not more so. So when he sees what needs to be done, he gets in and does it. There's no "this is my job, this is your job" crap."

Finally, Chrysula's parents are declining in health with only a government pension. Her younger brothers are helping with some finances, but find it hard to be emotionally available to her parents. Even though she lives 10,000 miles away, she is starting to realize that the full burden of elder care may come to rest with her in the next few years. Bringing them to the USA all boils down to healthcare costs. And it would probably happen right as she and her husband are sending kids to College. All of a sudden, her burning desire to expand her professional life is taking on an additional long-term financial imperative.