How to stop your worlds from colliding (with special guest: George Costanza)

Special thanks to Liz Theresa for taking over my blog while I’m in LA today.

Every weekday morning at around 7:45am, I pour a cup of coffee and watch one hour of television before I check my phone or open my inbox.

This factoid shocks my friends and fellow entrepreneurs. They’re reaction is all, “Ain’t nobody got time for that!”

The truth is that they got time, but AIN’T NOBODY MAKIN’ THE TIME. I make my morning ritual a PRIORITY because it is key for helping me maintain a healthy work-life balance.

Work-life balance is a term that gets thrown about a lot to the point where now, I feel like it’s lost most of its meaning and sense of urgency. Being a personal brand, I have to make a very concerted effort to keep the Liz Theresa the online world sees separate from real-life Liz.

In the wise words of George Costanza, “Ah, you have no idea of the magnitude of this
thing. If she is allowed to infiltrate this world, then George Costanza as you know him, Ceases to Exist! You see, right now, I have Relationship George, but there is also Independent George. That’s the George you know, the George you grew up with — Movie George, Coffee shop George, Liar George, Bawdy George… If Relationship George walks through this door, he will Kill Independent George! A George, divided against itself, Cannot Stand!”

george costanza divided

In other words, the Work version of You is actually capable of murdering the You of your personal life. Brutal, right?

To protect Personal You from Work You, you have to make sure you invest your time accordingly. If you are a workaholic, you may not have seen the Personal You in a while. The Personal You is probably bummed out and sleeping most of the time. Here are some ways you can keep your worlds from colliding.

  1. Create your own morning ritual.

    Everybody does something. What will chill you out? What requires almost no stress? For me, it’s coffee and Netflix. What is it for you?

  2. Say yes to a social event at least once per week.

    This will also help Personal You. And a work event is not a social event. The goal is that you are spending time doing things purely for fun, no inhibitions.

  3. Treat yo’self.

    Treating yourself can be doing little things (like grabbing Starbucks) or big things (like planning a European vacation). Just make sure to be doing something for you. It’s OK to be a little selfish and indulge every once in a while. Heck, it is GOOD for you.

Think work-life balance doesn’t matter? Wanna say something? Leave it in the comments.

liz theresa blogLIZ THERESA is an online business expert who helps women launch and build online businesses they love. When she isn’t designing logos, building websites, writing brilliant copy, or giving awesome advice to good-looking entrepreneurs, she likes to play video games, drink really good red wine, and hang out with her friends on trivia night. Liz hails from Boston and is a proud US Air Force wife.

For more LOLs and business anecdotes, sign up to get updates from her at www.LizTheresa.com. When you do, you’ll also get a free gift since she’s a relatively nice person.

#ask4more: How to Build Your Negotiation Game – presented by Levo Boston & General Assembly

Yesterday was Equal Pay Day in the United States. The day that symbolizes how far into the year a woman has to work to earn the salary that a man made in the previous year. Women earn on average, $0.78 cents for every dollar that a man makes. For those counting, that means that women must work 4 months and 14 days more than a man to earn the same amount of money.

In honor of Equal Pay Day, I attended How to Build Your Negotiation Game, an event hosted by the Boston chapter of Levo League and General Assembly. A campaign by Levo League, a women’s career elevation organization, #ask4more encouraged women to take their career into their own hands by negotiating and asking for what they want and need.

As a woman in tech, unapologetic feminist, and Levo article contributor, I could not have been more excited to attend an event about negotiating skills and ramping up my career path. Earlier in the day I opened up a discussion on Facebook, asking my female friends whether they had negotiated their salaries. Many of my friends had not, but many had. It opened up a discussion about WHY some of don’t #ask4more and HOW we can change that.

image (5)

Part curiosity and part social experiment, this Facebook discussion opened my eyes to the pervasiveness of the mentality that women should just accept what we’re offered. It also set the stage for last night’s How to Build Your Negotiation Game event.

Drawing over 50 women working in marketing, finance, HR, law, operations, and everything in between, Levo Boston and General Assembly opened up a unfamiliar discussion among young women. The large group of attendees was broken up into smaller, industry-specific groups where we introduced ourselves and answered discussion prompts. Allison Down, the head of Talent & People at General Assembly, wrapped the evening up with her own powerful words of wisdom about grabbing our careers by the horns.

#ask4more levo boston

Photo Credit Levo League

 

I loved hearing the experiences of other women both in startups and marketing, learning from both positive and negative experiences. Not everyone had negotiated in the past. Those who had weren’t always successful.

We talked about how to approach negotiations, how to talk to our bosses, whether we should justify what we want and/or need, and what to consider when preparing to negotiate. A big proponent in women supporting each other, I loved this event. It brought Boston women together by creating a safe place for women in similar fields of varying experiences to ask each other questions, give advice, and plant ideas.

THANK YOU to Levo Boston and General Assembly for hosting the event and encouraging women of Boston (and everywhere) to #ask4more!

Non-Running Workouts in Boston

Next weekend is the Boston Marathon which is awesome if you’re a runner or like eating brunch while watching people run. Boston becomes overtaken by marathon craziness during the month of April, but Boston has a lot more to offer than just pounding the pavement.

So what’s there to do if running along the Charles sounds like torture? Here are some of my favorite non-running workouts in Boston.

FlyBarre

The great minds and bodies at FlyWheel Sports have recently brought FlyBarre classes to Boston’s FlyWheel studio in Back Bay’s Prudential Center.

I had the opportunity (hosted) to try out one of these high energy classes and it kicked my butt! FlyBarre classes are a blend of light weight training and core exercises wrapped together in relatively easy-to-follow dance moves that, coupled with the smile and enthusiasm of the instructors, makes the 45 or 60 minute class fly by. You’ll almost forget how hard you worked…until the ab soreness kicks in the next day!

flybarre boston back bay

Photo courtesy FlyWheel Sports

Back Bay Yoga

Yoga is my all time favorite exercise and Back Bay Yoga is my favorite studio in Boston. Aside from the fact that it’s close to my apartment, the awesome teachers like Renee LaBlanc and Caitlyn Graham Visconte will have you sweating your way to zen for an hour and a half. Yoga is my go-to for non-weight training workouts.

Back Bay yoga classes

Image credit Back Bay Yoga

Be Gritsy

If you want to get out of a studio, check out Be Gritsy. The movement teams up with Boston fitness instructors to create out of studio experiences around the city. With yoga, bootcamp, and some (ugh) running thrown in for good measure, Be Gritsy classes pop up all year throughout different locations in Boston.

be gritsy boston

Photo credit Be Gritsy

So if you’re looking for something to do other than running in circles pretending you’re Shalane Flanagan, check out these awesome non-running workouts in Boston.

Boston Blogger Birthdays

Say that three times fast! The past two weeks have been full of blogger birthdays. Three of my favorite Boston bloggers – Caitlin, Jodi, and Kate – rang in another year on this big green Earth.  Despite not being a big birthday celebrator of my own birthday, I was happy to have the chance to celebrate with my best blogger friends in style!

First up was Caitlin, who was celebrating to forget the birthday that marked the wicked age at which she was no longer covered by her parents’ health insurance. It’s a sad day to have to pay your own insurance premiums so my favorite foodie made sure to do it up right. We started the night grabbing a drink (just the two of us) at Citizen Public House & Oyster Bar, a whisky bar in the Fenway area. Both whisky lovers, Citizen has a special place in our hearts. Our favorite bartender Laura was shaking drinks like a boss and whipped up two Ultimate Manhattans.

From there we went to Eastern Standard, a brasserie also in the Fenway area, for dinner. The good folks of Eastern Standard gave the 10 of us a private room for the event, which turned a large birthday dinner into a more intimate gathering. The party continued on to Highball Lounge, but I was sore from the Boston Yoga Mala earlier that day and headed home early.

eastern standard private room birthday

Photo swiped from Caitlin

Jodi’s birthday was the next weekend, celebrating her “we don’t count anything after 30″ birthday. We dined at Pastoral, an artisanal pizza kitchen and bar in Boston’s Fort Point area. Our table of 4 got the a garlic knot to start followed by a couple of pizzas and sides. Outnumbered, we ordered the kale, which I hate to admit was pretty tasty. The best part by far was the chocolate chip cookies for dessert.

Pastoral is gluten-free friendly, which was nice for one of the gluten intolerant member of our party who dined right along with us with her own gluten-free pizza and chocolate chip cookies. Two gluten-free thumbs up!

pastoral spinach racchetta pizza kale

From there we went to Drink, a speakeasy style cocktail bar also in Fort Point. I was excited to try Drink, a bar notoriously difficult to get into and so cool that it doesn’t have a cocktail menu. We waited in line for 20 minutes just for a place to stand at the bar. The atmosphere was a strange blend of hipster je ne sais quoi and parochial school strick – seats and standing places are designated and maintained under the watchful eyes of the staff who are not shy to tell you that you can’t snag a seat that opened up.

drink bar fort point

Photo swiped from Jodi

I was looking forward to the inventive cocktails the bar is known for and was disappointed when upon telling the server that I liked “bitter whisky drinks – not heavy on vermouth” I was given (drum roll please) an Old Fashioned sans garnish. Not without effort, the ice cube in the highball was decidedly hand cut. The last stop of the night was to Trade. Tenzin, the cocktail garnish bartending king of Boston was on the bar, creating masterpieces all around.

Last but not least, I helped Kate celebrate her birthday on April Fools Day. We dined at Cinquecento Boston, a Roman Trattoria style restaurant in the South End. The drinks, food, and company (complete with Jodi, Kerry, and Kate’s friend Meg) were spot on. Usually not a cheese eater because it makes me break out, I dug into the Bruschetta Ricotta like it was nobody’s business. If there’s one thing I have a weakness for, it’s soft cheese and bread – ok, that’s two things.

cincquecentro sound end boston

Photo swiped from Jodi

What a fun two weeks of birthdays for my Boston Blogger friends – I’m so happy to have been invited to celebrate!

March: In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb

This winter in Boston has been bad. Actually, it’s been more than bad. It’s been horrible and terrible but, for the most part, somehow enjoyable. For me it was full of time with friends and family, visits from my boyfriend, success at work and sitting home alone on my couch on snow days reveling in all of my introverted glory. Mwahahahaha!

This past month though, my patience has been wearing thin. It is now the last day of March, it’s still cold, and today it is predicted to snow. I’m done. This month needs to end and this weather needs to stop before I Hulk-out and punch a snowflake.

Last week, I cracked. I’m tired – both physically and emotionally – and cranky. I’m still sleeping on my couch after my ceiling collapsed and ruined my bed. Insurance claims take ages and I’m too stubborn to buy a bed before knowing a check is on its way. Like my Blair Witch DIY Hurricane Sandy artwork?

couch bed

My body hurts from the couch. My wallet hurts from treating myself to fancy steakhouses while I was displaced. My brain hurts from dealing 23 year old insurance adjusters who don’t know how to do their jobs. I’m trying to be patient but it’s hard. I also desperately need some sun.

But, it’s Spring and tomorrow is April. I’m ready for a change.  Bring it on!

My new bed is coming this week. No more couch, no more whining, no more winter. They say March goes in like a lion and out like a lamb. So here’s to a new month, better things, and baby sheep. Baaa!

lamb in field

 

Edit: Apparently, I can’t even get my days straight. There’s still another day in March. Arrrgh!