Tuesday, June 25, 2013

On Work/Life Balance

I haven't written much in the way of my current work/life balance, as it has been going through a slow, gentle evolution. But I do have to say.... I am feeling very fortunate & blessed for the way things are unfolding. I have definitely worked hard to get to this point!

Right after Iyla was born I went into complete work hibernation (otherwise known as 'maternity leave'). My brain was in a sleep deprived, euphoric new baby fog, and there was no way I could have taken care of clients at that time.

About 1.5 months into my leave, I was prematurely nudged back into the working world when I had to cover for the colleague who was helping ME during my maternity leave when HE went on vacation. I felt like an old rusty wheel squeaking along... not.quite.ready.to.work.

Then slowly but surely the fog lifted, and I began welcoming a bit of work. It felt good to be using my brain while I had a bitty baby who mostly ate and slept. I helped a former client purchase a new home & took Iyla on buyer showings & closings.

Then the Austin spring market hit. It was CRAZY, to say the least. New listings had multiple offers within hours of hitting the market- often 10 or more offers pouring in. It became evident to me that I couldn't do right by buyer clients in this scenario, as they truly needed a full time flexible agent who could jump out at a moment's notice to see new listings & write up offers. So I started referring out more and more clients. As I received referrals, I would qualify them, make a personal connection, and then say something along the lines of: "I am still on partial maternity leave, so my broker is currently helping out with my clients. Can I put him in touch with you?" Before I knew it I had 14 referrals out- and with each one that closes I get paid a percentage of the primary agent's commission. Sweet, beautiful passive income from 9 years of working my tail off and building my business to get to this place.

As Iyla gets more and more interactive and fun, I find myself wanting to take on less full time work. Right now I am taking listings & clients on a case by case basis. Currently I have 1 active listing and 2 buyer contracts with clients I have a history with- plus the 14 referrals that are slowly but surely becoming contracts and then closings. I can't even imagine how busy I would be if I had all of those active clients right now! Spring is always insane in our industry.

We also just hired a part time nanny- and feel like we hit the absolute JACKPOT with our Veronica. She came highly recommended from a friend, and is one of those people who is just so intuitive and naturally good with little ones. The first time she came over I'd scheduled an hour overlap for Iyla to get used to her, but within 10 minutes I felt totally comfortable leaving. Iyla ADORES her, as evidenced by the huge smiles she breaks into every time she arrives. Right now Veronica is helping us 10 hours/week- and I can't even tell you how luxurious that feels. I am able to easily run to the grocery store, the car shop, or anywhere else without making Iyla tag along. We've included in Veronica's hours one morning a week where I can work from my beloved coffee shop, and one late afternoon/evening each week so BC and I can have a date night. Heaven.

In 2012 I worked hard to manifest "Gentle Abundance" as my work/life motto. This year? I've added in "Gentle BALANCED Abundance."

And we are definitely on our way.


  1. Nice to read this post...we are in different industries but it seems our work set-up is similar in a lot of ways. You do sound so grounded and balanced....I'm envious. I'm definitely still struggling to find that sweet spot but am so grateful to be working part time from home and have control over how much work I take on. (and my mother in law to help with the kids a few hours each day!)

  2. Paid childcare has been a sanity saver for me, even with "only" working 12-15 hours a week. It's important to rejuvenate from the non-stop work of parenting.