So, this week, we're talking to the Boss Babes who are doing everything humanly possible to juggle their many roles in life. Many of us are wives, moms, working 9 to 5 and trying to run a business.
In business and in life, balance is critical. However, perfection is not realistic, nor is it necessary. Let's talk more about that in this exclusive interview with Boss Babe La'Vista Jones.
La'Vista is is an Operations Strategist & Certified Life Coach. She successfully guides others in finding the solutions to achieve their goals. She supports her clients with building infrastructure and increasing efficiency and productivity.
La’Vista is a master at combining her passions to partner with others to fulfill their vision. Her unique magic formula includes excellence, goal digging, encouragement, creativity and extreme self-care.
Getting to the place she is now in her life took time, hard work and patience from her family. While the journey was not easy, she found her footing when she grabbed hold to a better way of functioning and a freeing philosophy from her First Lady.
Who are you and what kind of business do you run?
My name is La'Vista (like, Hasta La'Vista) and I'm the owner of 31 Marketplace. 31 Marketplace is a business consultancy, specializing in business operations. We support solopreneurs and small businesses, positioned for growth with conquering overwhelm. We focus on task prioritization, streamlining processes and identifying gaps and outsourcing opportunities.
What’s your family dynamic? How long have you been married? How many children, if any?
My Husband and I are college sweethearts. We've known each other for 18 years, and we've been married for 7. We currently have a three-year-old son, affectionately known in public as, The Cub. We also share our home with our fur baby, Bull Dozer (a Bull Mastiff).
Before you started this business, what were you doing?
My previous corporate life before entrepreneurship was in banking. Until 2014, I served as an Assistant Vice President at the nation's third largest financial institution. In that role I managed controls, wrote procedures and facilitated compliance testing. I maintained oversight for 50+ stand alone sites across the country.
What was your husband’s initial response to you starting your business?
Cautiously optimistic and supportive. When I first launched my business in 2005, he was scared $h!tless! He thought his, then girlfriend had lost her mind walking away from a corporate position. But when I was ready to re-launch in 2014, he was totally on-board. Having already experienced my entrepreneurial hustle, he was confident that his wife would make it work.
How did the start of your business impact your household? What challenges did you have to overcome?
When I relaunched my business in 2014, we said goodbye to 60% of our monthly income. That's a BIG impact! But we had budgeted for years to live off of just one income, so it wasn't a devastating one. A pretty significant challenge I had to overcome was prioritizing my time. My desire was to be an attentive housewife and a successful business owner. It took a lot of tears, hard conversations and trial and error to figure out a schedule that allowed me to do both. Prioritizing my schedule became a bit more complicated when I found out I'd soon be a first time mommy. The news of that blessing came just 3 months after leaving my corporate position. Together, we've made the adjustments needed to prioritize our time. As a couple, we run two businesses - my Husband is an amazing photographer and owns his own business as well. And we're also committed to being present with each other as a family.
Many Boss Babes feel that men are easily intimidated by them. What would you say to that?
That's an interesting perception. My reality doesn't reflect that at all. In fact, the men I'm connected with are amazingly supportive of my Boss Babe journey. And the men I meet through networking are very interested in what I do and eager to connect me to other resources. The essences of intimidation and supportiveness are tangible. Both can be projected and felt by men and women. If you approach an engagement in a supportive manner, it will be reciprocated. But use wisdom with this - being supportive doesn't mean putting yourself in a position to be misused.
Many Boss Babes also feel that, it seems easier to be single if you want to run a successful business. How would you respond to that?
Entrepreneurship is hard. It's not meant for your to walk this journey alone, regardless of your marital status. I've run a business as a single woman and now as a married one. Both have their unique setbacks and benefits. In my singleness, the decisions I made in my business only impacted me. Now that I'm married, every step I take in my business impacts my entire family. I'm accountable to them to make the best choices I can. As a wife, I have a constant partner to share my fears, ideas and goals with. When I was single, I was alone to wrestle with those. Single or married, entrepreneurial aspirations need to be constantly communicated. As well as the needs and expectations that go along with them.
Society tends to think that modern day entrepreneurial or career women do not want the traditional marriage and family? What do you think of that?
That is true for some women, but not for all. For me, my priorities are being a housewife and a stay-at-home mommy. That's why I've designed my business model to support those roles in my life. But the beauty of building your own business is that you get to design it the way you want it. Your values, desires and priorities are what should influence your business decisions - not societal expectations.
What would you say to the wifepreneur and/or mompreneur who is having a hard time balancing her family life and her business life?
As a recovering overfunctioner, I've been there and it can get better. Things improved for me, when I let go of my need to balance things with perfection. I've embraced that I'm perfectly, imperfect. And this gave me a better relationship with help - asking for it, and receiving it when it's offered. I had to have a real conversation with myself, and my Husband. We had to address the unrealistic expectations I was putting on myself. They were stressing me out and robbing me of everyday joys. I had to admit that I couldn't do it all. Then I made a list of the non-negotiables that had to be done by me. Next I had to let go of the ownership of the things that weren't on that list - and utilize my resources to get them done. I also had to give myself permission to be okay if on occasion a ball dropped here or there. Some days just keeping my tiny human alive is the only thing I can focus on - and I take delight in that accomplishment.
(La'Vista actually wrote a blog on this topic - You can check it out here!)
What’s your best practice for keeping your business and personal life running smoothly?
Quiet time. It is a non-negotiable for me to have some quiet time during the day. Sometimes that means I get up before everyone else. Sometimes that means I go to bed after everyone else. But this is the time that I'm alone with my thoughts and with God. Holy Spirit is the best Creative Director I've ever worked with. It's the time when I'm still enough to hear Holy Spirit give me clear instruction on what to do. I've had detailed plans for business conferences laid out during that time. I've also been given instructions for how to handle something with my son or my Husband. Without that time, I'd be a mess.
Any final thoughts for the women reading this interview?
Stop putting limits on yourself. While growing up, I can remember some of the well meaning adults in my life repeatedly tell me 'you're doing too much.' And things like, 'you can't do everything.' They'd even call me an overachiever as a form of insult. This was done to discourage me from doing things that I knew in my heart that I wanted to do. Things I knew I could do without compromising any of my current responsibilities. Fast forward. As a married woman, mother of an energetic toddler and business owner I've definitely struggled with limiting thinking. For example, I can be a supportive wife to my husband or a successful Boss Babe. I can spend quality time with my son or I can level up and build my business. Those seeds of doubt that where planted, (and believed) years ago. Time and time again they've tried to make me believe that I can cultivate a happy, love infused family or live the entrepreneurial life of my dreams. But surely not both simultaneously. To quote my First Lady and Pastor, "If God knew that giving me a husband and children would interfere with my ability to obey Him in the areas of ministry and business to which He called me, He would not have given me the family and the calling at the same time." - I'm Done with Either / Or Thinking, Erica Renee, Author Be about your #BossBabeBehavior
La'Vista's story and perspective show us that we can and will make time for the things that are important to us. If you are a mom, your children are priority. If you're a wife, your husband is priority as well. And guess what -- so is your business. Who said they can't co-exist? It requires strategy on your part, but it is very possible.
Feeling overwhelmed in your business? Talk about it with La'Vista. Schedule a complimentary virtual session today. You'll meet over Zoom to get to know each other better and discuss your business. Schedule your session here!
All photo credits: Nicole Simone
Flowers provided by Azelly