There’s a confession: During the process of forming questions to ask each of the Leading Ladies highlighted in this issue’s feature, I posed the query, “What’s your philosophy on finding a balance among work and family life?” not just because I thought their answers would be interesting to read—but because it’s a balancing act for me as well. Being a full-time editor for two publications, a wife to a wonderful fellow and a mother to an amazing 2½-year-old definitely fills my life. But it fills my schedule, too, and some days, I feel guilty for not dedicating enough of my time to work or to my family—or to myself.
The responses from our Leading Ladies eased my mind a little and helped me to realize that everyone’s balance is different. In some of their candid responses, these women voiced some acknowledgements I needed to hear, like, “Honestly, it’s been almost impossible for me,” and “My greatest challenge is finding time to take care of myself or occasionally putting my needs first,” and finally, “There is no perfect balance … It’s about realizing the juggle of work and family is just that—a juggle! It’s a work in progress where we all do our best.”
The sentiments shared on this subject, as well as other topics, like their keys to success, proudest moments and advice for other women in business, are splendid indications of how these ladies are thriving in their careers, making significant differences in their communities and inspiring men and women alike to do their best.
Sometimes business plans happen, not in spite of, but because of family, as discovered in three stories found in Beyond the BIZ. Phillips Destination Management Company is led by three generations of successful women. Lynnhaven Dive Center was passed from father to daughter, although it wasn’t originally in either of their plans. And My Vegan Sweet Tooth started after Tonya Deveau’s children noted how much their friends and family enjoyed their mom’s baked goods and encouraged her to turn that passion into a business. Both are excellent examples of how family and business can go hand-in-hand.
I hope that this issue will inspire the leaders in you and influence somewhat of a balance, although, as noted, it may not be perfect. Our plates are full, but as long as our lives are fulfilled, the juggle is all worth it.
Angela Blue, Editor-in-Chief