THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 106: Lisa Sugar, POPSUGAR Founder and Editor in Chief

Welcome to THE BALANCE PROJECT: a series of relevant and refreshingly candid interviews featuring inspiring and accomplished women talking about balance. I’ve always been curious about how women I admire manage the tragically glorified “doing it all” craze. So I asked them. As I suspected, no one really does “it all.” Everyone’s making sacrifices somewhere. And that should make us all feel a little better. I hope the conversation will be steered toward that reality rather than toward the flawed and dangerous assumption that we should try—or even want to try—to perfectly do “it all.”

By the way, looking for THE BALANCE PROJECT novel that was inspired by these interviews? It’s here.

No. 106: Lisa Sugar, POPSUGAR Founder and Editor in Chief

Age: 38
Where I live:
 San Francisco
Job: Founder and Editor in Chief of POPSUGAR
Kids: Three daughters, ages 2, 6, and 9 and a Jack Russell named Lucy

Photo by Lauri Levenfeld

Photo by Lauri Levenfeld

Have you changed jobs or adjusted anything in your career to have more balance?
I worked in advertising for many years but always knew this would not be a good career for me to also enjoy having a family. We started POPSUGAR almost 10 years ago and we launched our company the same time we started a family so we are always adapting to the needs of both depending on who needs what and when.

Do you think having “it all” is realistic or overrated and why?
This means something different to everyone, but overall I think its overrated, unrealistic, and unfair of ourselves to strive for this. Have what makes you feel happy and complete, but don’t drive yourself crazy in the process.

What part of “balance” can you just not seem to figure out?
The constant feeling I’m planning and then re-planning.

What part of “balance” are you getting better at?
I’m a night owl but I need to be up early for my kids so I am getting better at forcing myself to sleep. I’m also learning when to ask for help when I need it.

Do you have a favorite time management tool, hack, or other strategy you use that helps you achieve balance?
I email myself at night right before bed anything that I absolutely need to make sure I see first thing in the morning. I also block off an hour on my calendar at noon every day to make sure I don’t let the day get away from me with too many meetings (although many times I do get booked, its still a good aim to try to have that time for email, lunch break, errands, etc.).

What was the best advice you ever heard on balance?
From your mother?
 Family is everything.
From your spouse? Take risks.
From your kids? More dessert. 🙂

If you had one extra hour in each day and you couldn’t work or be with your family, how would you spend that hour?
Great question! Would love to catch up with friends, exercise more often (my current obsession is Soul Cycle), or just read more books which I never seem to have time for but always enjoy reading more when I actually get to—can I have three extra hours a day? 😉

What do you wish you’d known when you were 20?
Life gets SO much better.

What do you hope to know by time you’re 60?
That my children will be happy and healthy and successful in whatever path they choose.

What one part of your home life do you wish you could outsource?
Dinner.

Whose job do you wish you had?
I REALLY like mine but if I had to choose another, I would love to run Disney!

Whose job are you glad you don’t have?
The president’s.

Favorite books?
Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann, The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, and Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.

What are you reading right now?
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins.

Biggest vices…
Activity? Online shopping and eating candy.
Food? Oreos or anything from Hostess.
Website? POPSUGAR and SHOPSTYLE.

How many hours do you generally sleep at night during the week?
6-7.

What do you read every morning?
Email, Facebook, Instagram, POPSUGAR, Business Insider, Net-a-porter.

Complete the following sentences:
I think I: can always keep learning.
I wish I: had more hours in the day.
My kids: are my greatest gift.

Do you have a personal motto or favorite saying?
“Work hard, be nice.”

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About Lisa:

Photo by Lauri Levenfeld

Photo by Lauri Levenfeld

Lisa Sugar’s passion for pop culture inspired her to start writing POPSUGAR in 2005. She decided to join forces with her husband, Brian, in 2006 to transform her hobby into the reality of POPSUGAR. Since then, as editor in chief, she has grown POPSUGAR into the No. 1 independent media and technology company for women. Driven by POPSUGAR’s mission to help women live their happiest and healthiest lives, Lisa now oversees a team of 100+ content creators to bring to life must-know content. She is also the creator and curator of the beloved POPSUGAR Must Have subscription boxes, bringing the best of POPSUGAR into the homes of fans everywhere.

Prior to POPSUGAR, Lisa served as a media planner at Goodby, Silverstein & Partners and at Young & Rubicam and began her career at Showtime and Fox. Lisa graduated with a degree in psychology and English from The George Washington University.

UnknownFind out more about Lisa:
www.popsugar.com
Twitter: @lisasugar
Facebook: LisaSugar
Instagram: LisaPopSugar
Pinterest: LisaSugar

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WANT TO READ MORE ABOUT WORK-LIFE BALANCE? CHECK OUT MY NOVEL THE BALANCE PROJECT!

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