Welcome to THE BALANCE PROJECT: a series of relevant and refreshingly candid interviews featuring inspiring and accomplished women talking about work-life 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.

THE BALANCE PROJECT |No. 173: Jesse Golden, Owner of The Golden Secrets

Age: 39
Where I live: Los Angeles
Job: Owner of The Golden Secrets, a skincare and wellness line
Kids: 13-year-old son named Kaleo

Have you changed jobs or adjusted anything in your career to have more balance?
My company is fairly new, so I am still learning how much is realistic for me to do and how to delegate tasks to others. Saying that, having my own company allows me the freedom to create my own schedule so the balance part is completely in my hands.

Do you think having “it all” is realistic or impossible and why?
In my opinion, “having it all” is all in one’s perception. I have goals that I am constantly striving for but I always try to find gratitude and contentment in the present moment.

Do you prefer the phrase “work-life balance” or “work-life integration”? Or do you think they’re both terrible?
I love the word balance because I do feel that it is something we are all trying to attain. I always relate everything to yoga and in yoga, balancing poses are a constant dance between control and surrender. A never ending creative exploration between pushing and letting go. Meaning there is no end, it is an open-ended process.

What part of “balance” can you not seem to figure out?
My nature is to go hard. I believe I owe this trait to my history with the disease, rheumatoid arthritis. I always thought that pushing through was the answer but having rheumatoid arthritis continues to teach me that rest and pulling back is just as important.

What part of “balance” are you getting better at?
I am getting better at saying no to things and people that don’t feel right, without feeling guilty.

Do you have a favorite time management tool, hack, or other strategy you use that helps you achieve balance that you would recommend to others?
I make a habit of answering emails and messages as they come in so that they don’t pile up. Early on as a single mother, I realized the importance of “me time.” Originally, I felt guilty leaving my son to practice yoga or do something for me, but for the past 13 years I find it absolutely necessary for me to function at my best. I do some kind of workout every day, whether it be as simple as a walk or an intense workout, and I make it a priority to mediate at least 20 minutes a day. Taking this time for myself allows me to be more clear, productive, and present throughout my day.

What’s the best advice you ever heard on balance?
From a mentor/co-worker?
Hire your weakness (Sara Blakely).
From your mother? You can do it all.
From your spouse/partner? You don’t have to do it all by yourself.
From your son? Relax on the weekends.

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?
Practicing yoga or hiking.

What do you wish you’d known when you were 20?
To take those opportunities that come your way. Don’t wait.

What do you hope to know by the time you’re 60?
That I never had anything to fear.

What one part of your home life do you wish you could outsource?
Cooking. I used to enjoy cooking when I had more free time, but now it has become a chore. Eating healthy is a main priority for myself and my family so having healthy meals readily available would be a dream.

Whose job do you wish you had?
Of course Oprah comes to mind, but more importantly, the platform that she has created and how she has used it to help so many. I desire to have a larger audience to share the tools that have helped me throughout my life thus far.

Whose job are you glad you don’t have?
I highly respect anybody in the food industry.

Favorite books?
The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield.
Nonfiction: Light on Yoga by B. K. S. Iyengar.

What are you reading right now?
The Balance Project by Susie Orman Schnall! 🙂 [Ed note: Thank you, Jesse!]

Biggest vices?

How many hours do you generally sleep at night during the week?

What do you read every morning?
My phone: emails, text messages.

Complete the following sentences:
I think I: will forever be a student.
I wish I: could have my whole family in one place.
My son: is my greatest teacher.

Do you have a personal motto or favorite saying?
Every challenge is an opportunity to create more light in your life.

About Jesse:
Devoted mother, model, author, Hatha yoga teacher, holistic health practitioner, and creator of The Golden Secrets, Jesse Golden has used her multi-faceted career as a platform to inspire and empower people all over the world. Jesse’s accomplishments began as a child, growing up as a ballerina in her mother’s dance studio. She has established herself as the face of hope in the health and fitness industry after naturally putting the debilitating disease Rheumatoid Arthritis into remission. Jesse continues to thrive despite her diagnosis.

Find out more about Jesse:
@jessegolden @thegoldensecrets


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