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—and maybe a little obsessed—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, the novel that was inspired by these interviews? It’s here.
- The Balance Project interview series recently celebrated its first birthday!
- Fortune ran a feature about The Balance Project.
- Want to be a part of The Balance Project? Complete the interview.
No. 63: Amy Hochhauser, Co-Owner and Co-Founder of JoyRide Cycling Studio
Where I live: Westport, CT
Job: Co-Owner and Co-Founder of JoyRide Cycling Studio
Kids: Two sons: Jackson (age 10) and Weston (age 8)
Is the job you have now the same one you had before kids? If not, how and why did you change directions?
Before I had children, I worked as an attorney in a large NYC law firm. After two years, I made a lifestyle change and spent the next eight years as a Director of Business Development for a large legal publishing company. It was a great job and I learned a lot about running my own business unit. In 2010, I moved to Westport, CT and spent a year at home with my kids. Although I loved that time, I was antsy to do more. I had spent so many years working hard—I felt a little lost without the pressure and obligation of a job! One day over a casual lunch, I mentioned to my friend, Deb Katz, that someone should open a high-end cycling studio in Westport. I had tried spinning in NYC and couldn’t find anything similar here. Deb’s response: “Why don’t we do it?” I agreed and we started working on a plan. About a month later, a business consultant introduced us to Rhodie Lorenz. Rhodie was a very well-known cycling instructor in town and had been looking to open a cycling studio for a while. She just needed the right business partner. One blind date later, and JoyRide was born. The rest is history.
Do you think having “it all” is realistic or overrated and why?
I think having it all is overrated! The only thing that truly matters in life is being happy and living your truth. You can “have” everything that society dictates (career, family, home, etc.) but that doesn’t guarantee happiness. To me, having it all is feeling comfortable in your skin and doing things each day that feel authentic and bring you joy.
What part of “balance” can you just not seem to figure out?
Ah—the guilt! I still feel horribly guilty delegating work even though I’ve hired people to help me! I’m just so used to doing everything myself and working so hard that I feel like I’m slacking off if I actually let others do their jobs and assist me. But I’m working on it. And that’s a start!
What part of “balance” are you getting better at?
Releasing some control at work to allow for more time to be present with my kids and family.
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?
I would alternate days between reading, yoga, and Netflix :). Maybe a little meditation.
What do you wish you’d known when you were 20?
I wish I had known that no one had it all figured out. Everyone was just doing the best they could with what they had. It would have made working at a big law firm a lot less intimidating!
What do you hope to know by the time you’re 60?
I hope to know that my kids are good people and that I played a decent role in making them that way.
What one part of your home life do you wish you could outsource?
Making dinner! Although I’m a pretty good cook, I never have time to spend cooking! My mom used to start making dinner at 4 pm every night and had a full meal on the table at 6. When it’s 4 pm now, I’m usually running from work to pick up my kids and start driving them to a zillion activities. If I’m home by 6, I’m lucky. It’s hard to then start cooking a family meal!
Whose job do you wish you had?
In all honesty, I love my job! I don’t wish for anyone else’s.
Whose job are you glad you don’t have?
An associate in a law firm. That was rough!
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle, Catch-22 by Joseph Heller, The Hours by Michael Cunningham, and Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri.
What are you reading right now?
A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra.
Activity? Watching The Bachelor/The Bachelorette. I guess I’m a sucker for Reality TV faux love stories.
Food? Ice cream and pizza—equally and constantly.
Website? Facebook. I use it for work, but it’s hard not to get caught up in the news feed! Before I know it, a half-hour has passed! And who has time for that!?
How many hours do you generally sleep at night during the week?
I’m good for a solid 7-8 hours. Sleep is important! Even during college and law school, I never pulled an all-nighter. I’m much more productive and efficient after a good night’s sleep.
What do you read every morning?
My Facebook feed! Usually while watching The Today Show. Between those two sources, I have all the news and info I need to start the day. Hard news in the morning just makes me depressed.
Complete the following sentences:
I think I: do the best I can with what I have.
I wish I: spent more time with my old friends—especially those who live far away.
My kids: are my favorite people in the world.
Do you have a personal motto or favorite saying?
“Life’s a trip. Enjoy the Ride!” AND “This too shall pass.”
I grew up in Scarsdale, NY with my parents and younger sister, Tina. I graduated from Lehigh University, Phi Beta Kappa with a double major in Government and American Studies. I earned a JD from New York University School of Law. After living and working in NYC for 15 years, I moved to Westport, CT in 2010 with my husband Jonathan and my two sons. In 2011, we opened JoyRide Cycling Studio in Westport. The reception was amazing! We built on that success and two years later opened our second studio, JoyRide Darien. After that, we started licensing our model. To date, we have two licensed studios: JoyRide Ridgefield and JoyRide San Antonio (yes, Texas!) and several more on the way! When I’m not working at JoyRide, I’m usually on the sidelines of a soccer or baseball game cheering on my boys or going to hear live music shows with friends. I also love a good meal at one of the amazing restaurants we now have in Westport!
Find more about Amy here:
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 1: Jessica Mindich, Entrepreneur
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 2: Veronica Beard, Fashion Designer
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 3: Emily Liebert, Author
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 4: Lyss Stern, Mom-trepreneur
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 5: Lauren Slayton, Nutritionist
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 6: Elizabeth Moyer, Blogger
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 7: Annabel Monaghan, Author
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 8: Holly Gordon, Director
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 9: Jill Salzman, Entrepreneur
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 10: Jennifer Levinson, Jen’s List
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 11: Jenny Hutt, Media Personality
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 12: Angela Santomero, Kids’ Media Creator
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 13: Carola Donato, Yogi
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 14: Tiffany Washington, Pastry Designer
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 15: Emily Giffin, Author
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 16: Alana Sanko, Writer
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 17: Cara Lemieux, Journalist
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 18: Liz Fenton & Lisa Steinke, Authors
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 19: Nikki Mark, Author & Foundation Director
Shonda Rhimes on Doing It All
Indra Nooyi on Balance
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 21: Jill Bryan, Comedian
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 22: Cindy Callaghan, Author
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 23: Stephanie Hirsch, Artist
My Times of India Interview on Work-Life Balance
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 24: Whitney Dineen, Author/Baker
AmEx’s Sobbott on Balance
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 25: J0-Laine Duke-Collins, Dessert Stylist
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 26: Whitney English, Entrepreneur
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 27: Jennifer Gooch Hummer, Author
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 28: Melissa Amster, Book Blogger
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 29: Nigel Marsh, Author and Entrepreneur
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 30: DayNa Decker, Entrepreneur
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 31: Amy Selling, Blogger
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 32: Heather Sonnenberg, Entrepreneur
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 33: Allison Winn Scotch, Author
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 34: Bibi Kasrai, Entrepreneur and Chef
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 35: Karen Sutton MD, Orthopaedic Surgeon
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 36: Samantha Ettus, Balance Expert, Author, TV/Radio Personality
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 37: Pam Yudko, Holistic Health and Transformational Coach
THE BALANCE PROJECT| No. 38: Nancy Huang, Nonprofit Outreach Director
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 39: Mary Laura Philpott, Writer, Editor and Illustrator
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 40: Towanda Long, Marketing Communications Specialist
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 41: Kristyn Kusek Lewis, Writer
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 42: Tracy Pollan, Actor and Writer
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 43: Christianne Phillips, Fitness Consultant and Writer
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 44: Susannah Lewis, Writer
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 45: Kimi Culp, Producer, Author and Creative Consultant
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 46: Traci Bild, Entrepreneur
The Balance Project Interview Series Turns 1!
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 47: Laura Vanderkam, Journalist and Author
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 48: Amy Tara Koch, Style Expert and Author
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 49: Cozy Friedman, Kids’ Hair Expert
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 50: Bobbii Hach-Jacobs, Music Promoter
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 51: Niketa Jhaveri, Game Creator and Web Designer
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 52: Sheri Silver, Blogger
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 53: Lori Pollan, Cookbook Author
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 54: Chatón Turner, Attorney and Blogger
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 55: Joanne Wilson, Investor and Blogger
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 56: Nicola Kraus, Author and Creative Coach
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 57: Shiri Sarfati, Marketing Expert
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 58: Audrey McClelland, Entrepreneur and Blogger
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 59: Jessica Lahey, Writer and Teacher
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 60: Lindsay Bressler, Entrepreneur
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 61: Marie Claire Lim Moore, Banker, Author and Speaker
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 62: Stacey Ballis, Novelist and Cookbook Writer
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