My life and career have been a journey filled with "make it or break it" moments. As a mother, entrepreneur, and businesswoman, my life has already had many iterations that demand a lot of my time and attention. Over the years, I've lived my version of The Path Redefined out loud, becoming more open about the difficulties and imperfections behind the scenes. This is not because I think the imperfections are glamorous, but because striving for perfection is never easy; and I don’t want anyone, especially a woman, to think "I woke up like this!"
The truth is that it’s taken a lot to learn how to balance it all, and I have to say that exercise and taking care of my hair have been key to keeping me grounded. Whether I’m at the gym or indulging in a haircare regime with Bumble and Bumble’s Save the Day and While You Sleep, self-care is an integral part of my life that impacts me personally and as a professional.
The level at which I’ve become comfortable sharing details about my life, both personal and professional, has been liberating because my biggest fear is that someone looks at me and begins to imagine that it all comes easy, without much work, and with the flick of the wrist. We are in a day and age when the emphasis on perfection is daunting. There is a constant struggle for time: wishing I had more time in a day and wishing that I could personally accomplish more of my responsibilities in an hour, a day, or a week. Sometimes the race to be "on" (like ON, all of the time) comes at the expense of ourselves and those things that give us the confidence to keep pushing ahead.
Looking back, my career has evolved in such an unexpected, yet serendipitous way. My life has been filled with moments that have been pivotal to my career, but that have come at unexpected and sometimes inopportune times. This has forced me to work overtime to capitalize on each inflection point to ensure my success. And, of course, something's got to give when it comes to personal sacrifice.
I've gone from the entrepreneur with her head down in an office building businesses that were off the map, to deepening my thought leadership in several fields, including marketing, branding, media and technology. These various experiences have led to more responsibility because of the opportunity to influence. I never thought I'd become that girl that people followed for advice and inspiration, but I realize that keeping these experiences all to myself deprives everyone from understanding that the demands of life are a struggle that we all grapple with as individuals.
Though I'm so deeply grateful for the fruits of my labor, and I wouldn't dare trade a part of my journey, there is a drawback of being in demand and constantly being pulled in different directions: you often put yourself last. That’s why exercise and making sure I have fabulous hair are the must-have elements in my life that give me confidence as I go through challenges. It’s carved out ‘me time’ that helps me re-center and focus.
As my career has forced me to be out there more and more, how I feel and look is so important because it determines how I show up in the world. The more confident I am helps bring out the better sides of myself - the strong, badass, intentional Lauren who walks with a little extra backbone when I sashay into a room.
We all have our days and on those "fake it 'til you make it" days, having beautiful bouncy hair, a bold lip color, and a pop of intensity in your eye somehow makes most things better! Unfortunately, whether we'd like to acknowledge it or not, perception is a reality. The difficulty is always in figuring out how to put yourself first, for the greater good of your team, business, and family when you know the time doesn't exist to adequately make that ‘me time’ happen.
Having a gorgeous hairstyle is synonymous with confidence for me, however, there’s never enough time in my life for a full salon experience. In fact, my stylist always reminds me that Beyonce and all of these fabulous celebs look flawless because they have a 24/7 glam squad that I don’t have! Yet I need that salon coiffed look 100% of the time.
Recently, with Bumble and Bumble’s repair product line, I can throw it in my hair at night and emerge in the morning looking flawless. The effects of Save the Day and While You Sleep are instant and dramatic. The Overnight Damage Repair Mask works magic while you sleep, and I appreciate how it respects my busy schedule by choosing a convenient time to enhance my hair! I also love the Daytime Protective Repair Fluid because it changes my hair density, formulated with antioxidant-packed Camellia oil, which is a rich lipid blend, and UV filters.
Combined, these two products work together to offer 24 hour intense hair repair that I could never otherwise fit into my schedule. When I do finally have a moment for myself and hit the salon, my hair is healthy and my appointment is that much shorter; all because I've maintained and nourished my locks.
Overall, the reality is that life will never slow down, and that finding a balance between the personal and professional aspects of your life will always be a struggle. However, I am so grateful that making ‘me time’ count through hitting the gym and maintaining my hair health will always keep the adventure real and fun. I encourage you to find your own ‘me-time’ that will help you shine even brighter in every aspect of your life; it’s absolutely worth it!
Founding Partner at Gen Y Capital Partners, an early stage venture firm focused on investments in mobile and consumer facing technology enabled companies; and is the author of the instant bestselling business memoir, The Path Redefined: Getting To the Top On Your Own Terms. Most recently, [...]