My Top is part of the Newest Southern Jewlz Arrivals that literally JUST WENT LIVE at 7pm this evening. You can shop them all HERE and you can always use my code “Randa10” to save money! The jeans are available for the very LAST ever pre order at Southern Jewlz here. I’m wearing a small, but there’s no stretch. If you’re debating between sizes, def SIZE UP! My crossbody is my newest design from Vintage Boho Bags (exact bag linked HERE) and again, you can use my code “Randa10” to save! The blush felt hat (under $70) is linked here, bling heart earrings (under $60) linked here, and sequin booties are HERE.
Happy Sunday Friends! Thank you so much for reading along my first ever blog series. In case you missed part 1 or 2, I will link them below so you can get caught up:
So now for Part 3! I asked all of you on instagram when I announced that I would be doing this series what part 3 should be. I always love to hear each of YOUR feedback, because after all, YOU are all who I write to and who I share my life with. Some of what y’all requested, I was sure to toss into Part 2 of the series, so today will be all about BALANCE!
The Art of Balancing It All!
Let me start out by saying that I personally do not have it all figured out and I’m still working on a more overall happy & balanced life every single day. However, I have come SO FAR in just the past 2-3 years!
First thing let me give a little background for everyone: up until 2017 I had a retail Southern Jewlz storefront. I loved it, I share so many fond memories, met many of you in those walls, and I made a lot of money there. But 2016, something started to change. The internet was taking over. People were scrolling more and walking in/shopping less in person. I was engaged (got engaged in December 2015) and so many people came in the store to ask me about wedding planning or my personal life rather than to shop. Honestly, it used to drain me out. Not because I didn’t want to chat with them or not because I wasn’t excited about my future, but because I was at work TO WORK. I started telling people if they wanted to ask me personal questions or about my wedding planning process to ask me to happy hour rather than showing up unannounced to take up my work time. I know styling people comes with small talk, but I mean people would WAIT until other customers would leave so they could have me alone in the store just to ask me personal questions! Maybe it sounds harsh, and maybe you think I’m a bitch for bringing this up – but it is what it is. I shut my store front at the end of 2016 and moved online only. Honestly, I could focus more rather than being behind 2 revolving doors. It was like showing up for work and not knowing who would show up, how long they would stay, and how much of my time/energy they would require. Even when I had a team of employees, a lot of people would want to see me. Unfortunately, there is only ONE ME. Even though I enjoyed the exciting “unknown” that every day would bring, it sure made it hard to plan and be efficient with my time. This change was scary, came with a lot of “I’m so sorry” text messages whenever I announced it, and I’m sure threw people for a big loop. Looking back, hands down it’s one of the BEST BUSINESS DECISIONS I ever made for myself. I didn’t make it for everyone else, but for me and my soon-to-be little family!
So after I shut my store, I stepped away from the 24/7 hustle of work and took my time to move, get re-set up, go get married, go on a honeymoon, and I am so grateful I took that precious time to focus on such a big and exciting season in my life. Instead of moving on January 4 and being back open and ready for business online-only on January 5, I got back to it the week after we returned from our honeymoon on February 15. Moving my business took changing and getting re-acclamated so much more than what it seemed. And ya know what? I don’t have to explain myself on any decision I make! It’s my own life – and the same goes for YOU.
Fast forward a few months, I launched my lifestyle blog in April, and I’m so grateful I waited until after we were married to do so. People wanted to know more about me personally, so now I’m able to give that to them. I’m able to reach MANY of you by typing one blog post, rather than having to re-share the same story or scenario over and over in person to an individual. The internet really is a beautiful tool! I’m so thankful I didn’t have the blog to share all about our wedding during wedding time, because honestly that was something I wanted to keep close to my own family, friends and circle. So in April, I started sharing about our wedding, my new online-only life, fashion, fitness, home interior, girl boss talk, and so much more that you’re used to seeing this blog cover.
So now, I’m going to share a few pointers that work (for me) in keeping everything balanced in my life:
SET BOUNDARIES. I am someone who is very particular about work time verses personal time. I take very seriously all the time that I plan and allot for in my life. If it’s gym time, I’m ready to beast. If it’s work time, I’m ready to focus and give action towards the next task to be done. If it’s rest time, I’m recovering and rejuvenating. If it’s time focused on quality time for Grant and I – I get VERY cranky if someone tries to interrupt that and protect it to the highest degree. Again, maybe this isn’t what you expected to read, but it’s the truth on how I keep everything balanced. I do not answer emails at 3am, even when a client is demanding my time after hours. I have an auto responder set on my email so that people know I have received their email, but past that I respond to all emails in 24-48 hours during business hours after I receive them. As far as personal social media messages, sometimes I answer them within a few moments, sometimes it takes me a few weeks. So, if you want a response from me within 24-48 hours (business days only!), email is the way to go. I HAVE to set these boundaries for myself or I would go insane. If someone cannot respect that, then honestly I don’t want them as a client. I know I have a great program, promote and sell great products, and have NUMEROUS online resources that my clients can access for help. I don’t have to live in fear of saying “how high?” every time a prospective or current client says “JUMP!” My happiness, sanity and clarity is far too valuable! To truly be happy and to have a balanced lifestyle – YOU HAVE TO SET BOUNDARIES. DO NOT APOLOGIZE OR FEEL BAD FOR DOING SO. I know we live in a 24/7 connected life, but at least for myself, I cannot keep up with that all day/every single day. It’s too draining. I have to allow myself boundaries and unplugged time. When I’m personally drained, I become mean to Grant and short with my clients. YOU CANNOT POUR FROM AN EMPTY WELL.
ENERGY MANAGEMENT. Past all the time management that I’ve become such a terrorist about – I also believe in energy management. There are so many things/people that require far too much energy. On those – I AM OUT. If it requires more energy than peace of mind or clarity – you won’t catch me being involved. Grant and I don’t just attend every social event we are invited to. If it’s something we WANT to go to and can fit into our schedules, we do. Saying NO is one of the most beautiful powers we each possess. Again, I know this can be harsh – but in order for me to more forward in a balanced and happy way – it is what works for me!
PODCASTS – yes, I’m going to bring up podcasts. I bet I have listened to only 2-3 podcasts in the past 6 months? What does this have to do about balance? Well, from part 2 of this series, you will know I am an ACTION person. I know what all I need to do to manifest the next stages of my businesses, my career, my personal life, my marriage and so forth, and it all requires ACTION rather than just talking, planning or making a “to-do” list. How do I know this? From learning through my OWN PERSONAL experiences. Believe me when I say I have plan for my businesses for the next couple of years. Hopefully I will come to a place to where I’m all caught up and need some some additional help, guidance, motivation, or even higher level coaching on how to reach the next point – but I know I’m not there yet. I know some people love to listen to other people’s stories and advice on podcasts, but that’s just not me. I know some people benefit from having business coaches, and while I would love to be able to hire one in the next year or two, right now I’m growing at a very steady rate which is a blessing. Growing too fast is a true problem!!! When I listen to podcasts, I honestly start to feel like I need to be doing more (when I’m already doing the best I can). So instead of signing myself up to listen to “more of what I should be doing” – instead, I just put all that energy into action. When I’m at the gym, you can catch me jamming to 90’s, 2000’s or even the latest upbeat hits. I like to listen to music that pumps me up and helps me give my workout my all. Now, are podcasts bad? Absolutely not. They just aren’t for me. Maybe listening to a podcast a day is what helps you to live a more balanced lifestyle, and if that’s the case – rock on! I’ve learned that listening to podcasts honestly just either makes me feel overwhelmed with more things I need to improve on, I lose track of my current work task by trying to listen to someone’s story or recommendation, and overall these just aren’t for me when speaking from a day-to-day life standpoint. I’m an ACTION person and plan to continue on that route!
Social Media Consumption – Yup, I’m bringing this up on living a balanced life. To be very frank, I get so tired of hearing people tell me they “don’t have time” for something, yet they WASTE hours a day scrolling and consuming content on social media. I’m sure some of you reading the are like, “Randa, you’re the one all over social media!” which is SO TRUE! But I try to produce 5-10x the amount of content that I consume. I’m on social media for my businesses, to build REAL relationships with my clients, to open new opportunities for my life, etc.. This is why you see me all over social media as a CREATOR. Now, have I been guilty of wasting time scrolling on social? Absolutely! But it’s another one of the things I do check-in’s (which I’ll mention soon) on. I always ask Grant how I’m doing on spending non-work time on my phone, I get the weekly reports of screen time on my phone, and when I’m having to be on my phone for work in front of others, I try to preface that so nobody thinks I’m being rude or ignoring them to “scroll on social media”. Can you imagine how much more time you could put into YOUR OWN life and reaching a level of BALANCE if you didn’t waste hours scrolling/trying to keep up with everyone else? Find space(S) on social media that inspire you, encourage you, or lift you up and give THAT your attention!
It takes a team – better build a good one! To be successful in business or even just in life – I believe in a team. Past work, I view Grant and I as a team within our own family! We cheer for each other, help each other, lift the other one when needed, etc. Now, sometimes your team can be draining! Speaking from past experience here, I used to spend way too much of my time managing other employees. I’m someone who loves to be in the heart of the business, so when hiring, training, setting schedules, giving disciplinary action, etc. began to take up too much of my time, I 1) was not doing what I loved anymore 2) just not happy and 3) not effective with my time/energy meaning I was not in good balance! Maybe I needed someone to manage my team, maybe I needed a new team, or maybe I just needed less, but more effective team members. I have a smaller team than ever before, but they are higher performing individuals who have drive from within to do a good job. Most of my current team is capable to teach themselves a given task rather than needing me to hold their hand. Maybe you love to hold someone’s hand and teach them along the way, but me and my personality – I prefer to give an individual the tools to succeed and then watch them do so for themselves! (Just like I mentioned in Part 1 of this series – be sure to understand your Enneagram number to know your personality’s strength, weaknesses, stressors and comfort levels!)
Get a Grip on Your Spending. One more point on balance for me has to do with the amount of money I spend. How does this have to do with balance? Well in the past, sometimes the months/years that I made the most money, I also SPENT the most money. Now, I try to focus on spending less. It’s called financial freedom which allows me to be happier, less stress on my shoulders, and living an overall healthier/more balanced life! It is not always about how much you make, when really it’s about how much you spend. Grant calls it a “burn rate”, and life is so much easier whenever you’ve got a burn rate that fits appropriately into your budget. So many people could have much more financial freedom if they didn’t overextend themselves on what they spend/buy. Being over-extended financially can really put a burden on living an overall healthy, happy and balanced life in my eyes!
Find a Way to Wake Up With Less Stress Each Day. As my life and career(s) have changed over the past few years, so has the level of stress I wake up with. I genuinely wake up in the morning looking forward to every day. That’s because I put a lot less on my day-to-day routine. Instead of trying to to 10 things in a day, now I focus on doing 5 of them really good. I’m able to face the given task in front of me so much clearer and happier without being stressed about being behind schedule and needing to start the next task. This is the same for my personal life. We travel less. I say “yes” less, Grant and I spend more down time together than ever before. As a high performing individual, this one can be hard. But I focus on the impact, the passion, and the follow-through so much more than “starting” so many tasks that will only stress me or maybe never get completed. If you’re not at a place to take things off of your plate or to wake up with less stress, maybe find ways to process and work through your stress to make a progressive step in the right direction.
Check-ins. This is a big one to keeping an overall happy and balanced life. The first one that comes to mind is me checking in with Grant. I ask him where his love tank is every week. Obviously, I always want him to say “it’s so full that’s it’s overflowing with love from you”, but that’s not real life. There are weeks where I let the stress of work override and flow into my marriage. There are days where I let inpatient clients who are in a complete freak-out mode affect me, too. (Unfortunately, I’m naturally a reactor so when someone else is freaking out, it puts a panic on my own path.) Then that spills over and affects my marriage. So not only do I have to set boundaries, but I also have to do check-ins. I’m also learning that if someone else decides to wait until last minute or put themselves in a stressful situation, it does not have to affect me or be a reflection of me! When Grant tells me I can improve on the love/support I’m showing him, I have to accept that response rather than deflecting it. Most of us “know” when we need to do better, we just don’t want to hear it. I suggest facing these things right in the face by having check-ins, rather than by avoiding the issues. If there’s a problem from a balance-standpoint in your life, more likely than not, it will not fix itself by just sweeping it under the rug. It will take a conscious effort followed by thorough action to improve. Set your priorities, give yourself boundaries, check-in on how you’re doing, make changes appropriately, and then keep on going with a positive attitude. Beating yourself up, feeling shame or guilt, or playing victim WILL NOT help you towards living a happier/healthier/more balanced life.
BE KIND TO YOURSELF! Practice self-love and positive talk to yourself! It sets the tone for everything else! Remember we are ALL a work in progress and doing the best we can. You can only love others as deeply as you love yourself – because of this, I NEVER feel selfish or guilty for spending lots of self-love time on myself. It’s all part of the balancing act!
The last thing, is obviously Grant and I do not have human children. We do however have 2 very high maintenance little miniature English Bulldogs – they are just more of a high maintenance breed. But before someone says, “She won’t be able to do it all once she has human children.” – I’ll go ahead and admit to myself that it saves me time to focus more on growing businesses!
I hope you all enjoyed reading of ways that I’ve worked towards the art of balancing everything in my life! I love life – so many aspects of it! But everything has to be balanced and in its own place in order for me to operate at my highest (and happiest!) level.
Other news that I would like to share below includes:
- New Southern Jewlz Arrivals just went LIVE – including the top I’m wearing at the beginning of this blog! Yes, they launch every Sunday at 7pm CST and you can ALWAYS use my code “Randa10” to save on your online SJ purchase. Stormy just created a new backdrop and did the photos herself this week, but you’ll see me again next week sharing some of the Fall transitional pieces.
- I’m less than 2 weeks away from launching my newest Randa Carrabba the Label collection. Be sure you’re following RC the Label on Instagram (as well as me personally!) for the latest updates!
- The PowHer.fit September Challenge info went LIVE today! I would love for you to read and learn more. The prizes include a full pampering spa day, a shopping spree between Buff Bunny Collection, Southern Jewlz Boutique & Reign Lashes, or a year free membership to the PowHer.fit App. You’ve got a week to decide if you want to commit and join in on the September Challenge. I’m also sharing some previous month’s winner’s below.
I asked y’all on my latest instagram post (actually my latest IGTV) what you thought good prize options would be. One of the commenters will get to participate in the September Challenge for 50% off. That person is – @rayleedn6. Be sure to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org so I can get with you on Monday about your prize!
Thanks for continuing to follow along my lifestyle blog. I hope everyone had a fabulous weekend!