Is it possible to balance business and love?
In a world that wants us to think we can’t have it all, I refuse to believe we have to choose between having money and having a honey. Judging from social media and reality TV, you wouldn’t believe it was possible to be happily married at all. Add running a business to the mix and it sounds like a recipe for disaster.
In this four-part series, we took to the streets to find women who have it all to find out how they manage to achieve success. They were eager to share the secrets that help them balance business and love.
Meet Mrs. CEO: Ardre Orie, author and playwright
Do you believe there is such thing as balance when it comes to your role as wife, mother and entrepreneur?
No. I once presented at a women’s empowerment conference and a fellow presenter by the name of Luly Carreras named her presentation “Balance is Bull.” Her thought process was that we have to learn to stop feeling guilty for doing the things that will propel us further towards our goals.
As women, we bear so much guilt for doing anything outside of acts of service. We feel guilty for chasing our dreams outside of our families or chasing our dreams and not chasing a family. We accept guilt for pursuing money and a better life or excelling in otherwise male-dominated fields but we shouldn’t.
I did that to myself for so many years, especially during the time period when I resigned from my job to pursue entrepreneurship full time. One day, I woke up and proclaimed “no more.” Today, I don’t search for balance but instead nonnegotiables. I’ve determined what my priorities are and what will get done come hell or high water. These nonnegotiables are based on the needs of my family and the pursuit of my purpose in life, which is writing and producing media and content.
There are certain things that I am going to do for my husband no matter what is going on in my life. This same sentiment goes for my children and also my ambitions. I have noticed that I still need to work on taking care of myself. I often fall short there. We are all works in progress but in the fulfillment of the nonnegotiables, I find what some may refer to as balance. I also think that it’s about what works for you. One person’s balance may be another person’s chaos. So as Luly said, balance is bull, it’s about living every day in the most robust way possible. It’s about laughing just because and dancing to the music of life. That’s balance.
Do you involve your spouse in your business? If so, how?
I throw ideas out there just to see what my husband thinks because my husband is smart. I think that smart people should talk to smart people. Ultimately, I’ve realized over the years that no one can fulfill your dream, only you can do that. Furthermore, no one can understand your vision. It was given from God to only you. Thus, everyone else’s capacity to see what you see and feel what you feel about your business is very limited. My questions center more around what others see happening to me and my business. Hearing from others’ perspective helps me to calculate my next move but in the end, it’s my vision to realize and be responsible for.
Do you believe you have to take off the boss hat when you come home or is there a place for it in your household?
I believe that my husband married a boss. Honey, I give him that. I also believe that a good boss knows how to follow just as well as she leads. I grew up seeing strong women and so did my husband so we are accustomed to those images. I had to learn that even though he married a boss, he is the head of our home. I look to him to lead us and I graciously follow. It is my honor to do so because I recognize his strength. I think that we sometimes miss the mark because we don’t easily take the boss hat off. I know that he wants me to be soft. I know that he want me to need him. I know that he wants me to lust for him. All men do. Society teaches us that we can’t do both. We’ve been conditioned to believe that if we chase the career, we can’t also chase the man. All lies. Just like we fight for our careers, we must also fight for our families if that is our heart’s desire. I want my daughters to know how to do both and I work to show them that love is alive and well.
Is your spouse a business owner as well? If so, does it help or hurt to have two entrepreneurs in the home? My husband is a corporate beast. I bow down to his ability to transform what he learned growing up into business acumen in the boardroom. He is not a business owner but manages our family affairs with an entrepreneurial mindset. His actions allow me to live and breathe in a creative space. For us, this works because there is an uncanny sense of freedom on both ends. The only certainty in business is evolution. I believe that his stability offers balance to my entrepreneurial endeavors.
Share one piece of advice for women who want to follow their dreams and heart.
Don’t wait for permission or opportunity. No one is going to rightfully give you either. There is a genius that was implanted within you and it will not be understood by many. Your single mission in life is to hunt that genius down, call it by name and walk in it. Doing so exposes you to an infinite pool of resources from which to give to others because your soul is free to sing. Business, babies and bossin’ are all possible but with God, what isn’t?
Part 3: Mrs. CEO, women balancing business and love, meet Alicia Fitch