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Growing up with two sisters (my BFFs!), I watched my mother do what many mothers around the world do – be everything to everyone all the time. I recall my mother once saying to us “I am a full-time student, full-time worker, full-time mother, and full-time wife.” Mum was preparing us for our future lives; that as women, we can, and will likely, have more than one role at any given time and will have to find balance. Even more than that, Mum was telling us that as women, we have the right and the capacity to pursue and accomplish any goal we set out to accomplish.

Now, of course, tucked into that message are themes of hard work, perseverance, and sacrifice but what I appreciate most is that my mother never minimized any work she did, nor did she complain. I knew things couldn’t have been easy all the time but I also knew that my mother made loads of sacrifices, especially for her daughters.

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A leader by example and a lover through actions, my mother taught my sisters and me what it was like to live, love, and lead successfully.

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A leader by example and a lover through actions, my mother taught my sisters and me what it was like to live, love, and lead successfully. Now as a wife, mother, and entrepreneur, I am navigating my own path of building a home and building a business and it is no easy task. Late nights working on proposals and responding to last minute client requests are only two of my feats. I have even been the wife who was so fixed on earning a promotion that my laptop spent many nights in bed with my husband and me! Through it all, however, I have learned and garnered some important lessons that are worth sharing.

My story is not unique, nor was my mother an anomaly. But as a woman committed to home and committed to business, the best ways that I have learned to find balance in love and leadership include the following five things:

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1. Identify and cultivate a solid support system.

The right combination of family, friends, and peer network can make a huge difference in how you approach goals, challenges and successes. Included in this support system should definitely be your spouse/mate. Choosing a supportive spouse becomes invaluable especially during times of high stress or focus. Choose wisely.

2. Be clear about what you want…and don’t want.

Balance is a skill that takes clear communication. Be direct about your plans at home and work. Knowing how high you’d like to climb the corporate (or entrepreneurial) ladder is just as important as knowing how many children you desire to have and when you’d like to have them. Have those discussions early and often so that the right expectations are set.

3. Set boundaries.

Knowing that you can’t do everything all the time is half the battle. Being able to say “no” is the other half. Do yourself a favor and add “no” to your vocabulary. Balance in love and leadership requires that you are well aware of your limits. Be realistic and be resolute.

4. Take a break.

Whether that is going to the gym, reading a book, or getting a manicure, taking some time to decompress is very important for your health and sanity. To be at your best, you have to take some time to detox and refuel. Don’t try to overdo it. Take a breather every so often.

5. Do it well.

My wonderful mother’s mantra is “anything worth doing is worth doing well.” She took it seriously and so did we. Whatever you choose to do in life, do your best and do it well. Your success in love and leadership is based on what you put in. So give a valiant effort and make yourself proud.

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