In xoNecole's Finding Balance, we profile boss women making boss moves in the world and in their respective industries. We talk to them about their business, their life, and most of all, what they do to find balance in their busy lives.
It's not easy being a #GirlBoss, just ask In Her Shoes founder Renae Bluitt.
The entrepreneur and Beauty PR expert not only juggles a full schedule working with clients and running her award-winning website, but recently has added another noteworthy title on her resume: producer. (Honestly, is there anything Black girls can't do?) Launching her documentary, "She Did That," to elevate the conversation surrounding Black women and entrepreneurship, Bluitt knows that it takes a true grind and hustle to make things happen. However, a true boss knows how to make it happen while still looking fly.
To see what it takes to be the boss, we wanted to know how Bluitt juggles her multiple hats, tasks her responsibilities on her new documentary "She Did That," and most importantly, how she mastered the work/life balance.
On an "average" day for her:
Depending on what's hot on my plate on a particular day or week, my days look pretty different. Some days my focus is on production meetings and filming for my new documentary "She Did That," which is slated for release later this year. Other days, I'm servicing my beauty PR clients and/or juggling the two. I also have a blog that I've been managing for the past nine years, In Her Shoes, which is all about Black women entrepreneurs.
On the most hectic part of her busy week:
The most hectic part of my week is any given Monday when I've worked or traveled over the weekend! Getting productive at the top of a week can be a bit challenging when I didn't have time to recharge my battery, but I push through by switching up my work environment (Brooklyn has the best cafes!) and/or planning a co-working day with a fellow entrepreneur. The energy from other people and new spaces seem to be just what I need to fuel my day.
On her self-care routine:
Rest, rest, and more rest. Did I say rest? I learned quite some time ago that Team #NoSleep doesn't serve me well at all. When I'm running on fumes, I'm cranky, my mind isn't as sharp, and my ideas aren't as fluid. I used to be a serious night owl but I try my best to be in bed before 11pm most nights to get at least seven-eight hours of rest. It truly does the body and mind good. Another vital part of my self care is time with God through conversation and prayer. I find that when I don't prioritize this, things are always a bit off for me.
On breaking through moments of uncertainty:
Taking on a project that's bigger than you, in an area that is totally new and outside of your area of expertise can be overwhelming to say the least. The making of "She Did That" has taught me so many lessons that extend beyond filmmaking. This project has been a labor of love and test of my faith and patience, but every time someone sees the trailer and says how much it inspires them, I'm motivated to keep going.
There was a time when I was really concerned about how we were going to finance this project. Filmmaking is costly, and while we have a couple of corporate partners on board, the budget for this film requires additional funding. I've invested a lot of my own financial resources into this project because it's my baby, and if I don't believe in it, who will? I've always had a challenge asking for help in my personal life, so when I realized this was spilling into my professional endeavors, I knew I needed to step out of my comfort zone and get out of my own way. That said, the first order of business was to finally ask our community to help us bring this dream to life. We launched a GoFundMe that is currently trending on the crowdsourcing platform and gives others an opportunity to be a part of HERstory. "She Did That" is one of the very first documentaries celebrating Black women entrepreneurs. Who doesn't want to say they helped to bring something as powerful as this to life?
On finding balance with friends:
This one isn't too challenging because somehow I've weaved a lot of my friendships into my work. A lot of my friends are fellow entrepreneurs and/or makers so we find ourselves collaborating and supporting each other's work quite a bit, which also allows for quality time together. One of the things I like most about living in Brooklyn is the sense of community. So many of my friends live within blocks of me, so it's easy for us to catch up for a meal or a cocktail in the neighborhood after work or on the weekends.
On finding balance in love and relationships:
I believe it's important to make time for relationships. I'm actively dating and putting myself in environments where I'm more likely to meet someone, whether it's an online dating platform or an event in the city. When people say they don't have time to date, it's because it's just not a priority. We make time for the things we really want, be it career or personal.
On the importance of exercise:
I'm totally embarrassed to say this, but perhaps sharing it publicly will help make me more accountable. Although I have a gym in my building— just two flights up from my apartment— I don't exercise as much as I should. I don't have a routine, but when I do workout, I multi-task and use that time to catch up on a few of my favorite podcasts. I just started a brand ambassadorship with SoulCycle, so all of this is subject to change soon!
On what success means:
Success to me is freedom. I want to be at a place in my life where I have the freedom to choose what I do each day, and hand-pick the projects I devote my time and talents to. Success is also contributing something to the community and being in a position to give more than I receive. Success is helping someone build a bridge to a better life. Success is many things, but it's nothing if reaching your goals only benefits you alone.
Check out Renae's GoFundMe for more information on "She Did That," which features The Lip Bar's Melissa Butler, Carol's Daughter's Lisa Price, MyFabFinance's Tonya Rapley, and best-selling author Luvvie Ajayi.
Originally published March 3, 2018