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 feel a little better. Every Friday I’ll feature a new interview. Here’s what Jill Salzman had to say…
No. 9: Jill Salzman, Entrepreneur
Where I live: Chicago
Job: Entrepreneur, Founder: The Founding Moms
Ages/genders of kids: 2 girls ages 4 and 6
Is the job you have now the same one you had before kids? If not, how and why did you change directions?
I’ve had many, many jobs since long before my kiddos arrived. Running The Founding Moms began before having baby #2—and I change direction all the time, so for a serial entrepreneur like me, it’s not a fair question! It’s just what we do.
Do you think having “it all” is realistic or overrated and why?
Depends on how you define having it all. I definitely have it all—a beautiful family, a brilliant and vibrant work life, and here and there, chocolate peanut butter cups. I shoot for the stars and am always trying to grab them, but thrilled that they always remain just out of reach. It’s what keeps me going. Folks who define having it all differently may be realists, or upset when they can’t get a good hold on what they’re striving for, may react differently. It’s all in the eye of the beholder, isn’t it?
What part of “balance” can you just not seem to figure out?
I don’t think that there is such a thing. I’d never get through a single day if I tried to balance it all. Some days are work-focused. Some days are kid-focused. Some days I get a ton of stuff done. Some days I get barely anything finished. The “balance” thing is not something I desire, so it’s just not a part of my work day or what I strive to find.
What was the best advice you ever heard on balance…
From a mentor/co-worker? That it doesn’t exist and if you stop trying to figure that part out, you’ll be just fine. Worked like a charm!
From your mother? “One thing at a time. That’s the way to go.”
From your kids? They’re a bit young to be doling out advice on it, but I do notice that if they need more of me, at their age, they just say so! And if I think they want more of me and they’re fine with less of me—I’m learning to read that too. So I guess, in a way, it’s all about communication. And in that sense, they’re teaching me a lot.
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?
What do you wish you’d known when you were 20?
To spend less time listening to other people’s advice (which I always do, a whole lot) and more time focusing on my gut instinct. Because the latter is usually spot-on and always has been.
What do you hope to know by time you’re 60?
How to take more time for myself.
What one part of your home life do you wish you could outsource?
The cooking. Professional chef? Yes, please.
Whose job do you wish you had?
Stephen Colbert’s or Jimmy Fallon’s.
Whose job are you glad you don’t have?
Truck drivers. All that sitting…
What are you reading right now?
Food? Anything chocolate.
Website? e! (I’m even embarrassed to type those two characters.)
How many hours do you generally sleep at night during the week?
What do you read every morning?
My email + Hootsuite + Facebook + NYTimes.com (in that order).
Complete the following sentences:
I think I: need some lunch.
I wish I: had more time in the day, for everything and everyone.
My kids: are the best thing that ever happened to me.
Do you have a personal motto or favorite saying?
I stole it from Nike: “Just Do It”
Anything else you’d like to add?
Thanks for allowing me to contribute!!
Jill Salzman is currently growing her third entrepreneurial venture, The Founding Moms, the world’s first and only kid-friendly collective of monthly meetups for mom entrepreneurs. A graduate of Brown University and law school after that, she started two successful companies: Paperwork Media and The Bumble Brand. A sought-after speaker, Jill has been featured in national media outlets and books and her TED talk, Why Moms Make The Best Entrepreneurs, received rave reviews. She released her first book, Found It: A Field Guide for Mom Entrepreneurs, in 2012 through Piggott Press. In December of 2012, Jill launched The Founding Kit to help entrepreneurs launch their businesses using affordable, spectacular services. And in 2013, Forbes named The Founding Moms one of the Top 10 Websites for Women Entrepreneurs. In her spare time, Jill enjoys kloofing, traveling to small towns, and erasing her daughters’ crayon artwork from the kitchen walls.
Please share your own tips on balance and check back every Friday for another interview from THE BALANCE PROJECT. Better yet, subscribe in the box to the right and I’ll let you know when a new one posts…
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