Balancing professional and personal lives is a continual challenge.
In the very beginning I worked almost eighteen hours a day. It was not a pretty sight, to say the least. As the business got more stabilized, actually, as I personally got more stabilized…it became apparent if didn’t work on balancing my life with my work that I would burn out.
One way I made sure to do this was to speak publicly about the importance of work-life balance to any women’s group that would listen. It needed to be talked about it publicly and I had to be that person!
One of my best experiences was while leading a women’s organization in support of Latinas working in various business capacities.
We had a board member who worked for Macy’s at the time. They sponsored a fashion show and we all had a chance to walk the runway and feel special as women.
We were strutting our stuff and showing the world that business is not just about closing deals and carrying a briefcase.
I also spoke to a large group of Latinas with their own businesses at a conference on the Queen Mary in Long Beach California. My topic was about “Putting Yourself First” and how important that is in order to have the energy to be there for both our businesses and our families.
Whenever possible I do walk my talk and try to get away on little vacations. My favorite activities are hiking and traveling. Last summer I spent six weeks in Europe with my two sisters. It was amazing.
When I relocated from Atlanta, I had to say goodbye to Stone Mountain where I hiked pretty regularly. Once I actually ran into a client and took a picture together. I also said had to say goodbye to the Chattahoochee River where I used to trail jog every weekend off at Columns Drive in East Cobb. I really miss both!
Today I focus on jogging at the beach near my home in South Florida. I’m a strong believer in the benefits of exercise. It’s incredibly important to maintaining the proper levels of energy needed to succeed in running a business.
Lily Winsaft in Florida
The best rewards from own your business
I can’t say enough about why and how freedom is so important to me. In order to have freedom it has been worth it to go through all the trials and tribulations that I went through.
I could write a book about it!
One area where freedom shows up for me is in being able to run my business in a way that honors my core values. Especially my love for humanity and my passion for making a difference in the world. These are not things that many corporations will prioritize. What is most important to them is the bottom line.
Currently I am not involved in Latino organizations. However, being active in Latino organizations was key to the business growth we experience in the first ten years.
Over the years I have sat on numerous Latino boards and dedicated a very large chunk of time to empowering and mentoring Latinos. This ranged from providing advice on their career choices as well as managing of their professional lives.
I was fortunate to be the recipient of several Hispanic Leadership awards, including: Business Woman of the Year by the Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the HABLA Award for Hispanic Entrepreneur.
At a national Hispanic event I once had the opportunity to meet Soledad O’Brien a former broadcast journalist with CNN and advocate for the Hispanic community.
For many years our company focused on helping companies to hire diverse executive staff through the specific inclusion of Latino professionals. While not an area of focus today, placing Latinos in positions that are empowering to them and help them build on their careers is still highly rewarding for me.
I truly love coaching and helping Latinos get ahead in their game!