How Entrepreneurs Can Achieve Work-Life Balance In 2021
In this episode of Boss Up Talk, Tee Westbrook sits down with Dr. Eva as they discuss how to achieve a work-life balance as a mom, entrepreneur or student.
by Andria Williams
February 27, 2021
:50 Who is She?
Dr. Eva is an Internal Medicine Hospitalist, meaning she works only in the hospital setting and only sees adult medicine. She recently published a book titled, “Paging Doctor You” and is the co-owner of Dramatically Real, a lipstick company. Dr. Eva is a wife, a mother of three kids (ages 12, 9, and 7) and of course, a successful Black female entrepreneur.
1:20 Dr. Eva decided she wanted to study medicine after she witnessed both her parents do the same. Her father was a Radiologist and her mother was a Dermatologist. Growing up in a household with both parents being doctors, Dr. Eva was inspired. “They would take me to work with them sometimes. Seeing them change people’s lives motivated me to want to do the same.” She looked up to her parents not only as her heroes, but as heroes of other people as well. Dr. Eva decided she wanted to become a doctor at a very young age and never changed her mind.
2:27 Steps to Becoming a Doctor
It took Dr. Eva approximately 10-11 years to become a licenced medical doctor. This is average for anyone wanting to become a doctor. The schooling process looks like this:
- 4 years of undergrad
- 4 years of medical school
- At least 3 years of residency
Dr. Eva went off to college immediately after high school. She had a headstart on her medical career because she graduated undergrad in 3 years instead of 4 by taking summer classes and earning credits early on.
Tip: Take advantage of Spring and Summer courses offered during undergrad. It can save you a full year worth of class time.
Making the transition from Haiti to the United States was a challenge for Dr. Eva and her family. She spent most of her childhood in Haiti. Dr. Eva struggled to learn the English language, the new culture and the American way of doing things. “You must be able to adjust and adapt in order to move forward.” Dr. Eva shows the importance of resilience when one is faced with uncontrollable barriers. Still to this day, she is learning to adjust and change her traditional way of doing things, but this is only pushing her to grow stronger and more diverse as an individual.
4:00 “Paging Doctor You”
This book is tailored to incoming college students who may be interested in becoming a doctor. Only 5% of doctors in America are black. That's 2.5% black women and 2.5% black men. Red flag. Dr. Eva identified and endured the hardships early on and wanted to create a tool to assist young people wanting to follow her path.
“This book is a guide for minorities to tell them that if I can do it, you can do it too”! The information screams “THIS IS WHAT YOU NEED TO DO TO SET YOURSELF UP FOR SUCCESS!” Some things may seem like common sense, but some are not. It is disturbing to find out that some people who are meant to help us, are actually withholding information on purpose. The book references simple things such as:
- The importance of studying and passing your classes
- Building credit early on
- Student loans
- Dangers of social media
- Taking the right classes
- When and how to ask for letters of recommendation
- Adding to CV
Dr. Eva gives the inside scoop on how to become a successful candidate when applying for undergraduate or graduate school. She shares a short story about her college experience where her school counselor subliminally belittled her success. Unfortunately, this is a common trend for teacher-student relationships when there is an ethnic barrier. Dr. Eva emphasises that if she did not have the support of her friends and family, telling her “don’t listen to them,” she probably would have quit. You do not need the best GPA, or straight A’s to go to medical school.
DON’T PAY ATTENTION TO THE NAYSAYERS.
- Ask questions
- Surround yourself with like minded individuals who are passionate and motivational.
- Ask for help
Schools look at a combination of things. Counselors only look at grades. Follow your heart.
12:00 QUIET STORM: Black Women and Doctors
We all know about the elephant that walks in the room when the topic of black women and mistreatment from doctors is concerned. Dr. Eva gives her advice on how to better protect yourself from the U.S. health system as a black woman. “Just like any relationship, get to know your doctor, and let them get to know you”. It is better to always have one trusted doctor to call opposed to random ones who may misdiagnose you.
15:10 Women’s Health + Self-Care
For some reason, black women tend to take on more than one major task at one time. For example, almost all of us are students, entrepreneurs, moms, wives, pet-owners, etc.. The pressure of taking care of so many things and people at once can cause us to easily forget about ourselves until it is too late. Too late meaning when your body forces you to take a break.
Here are some general self-care tips for women juggling multiple careers:
- Reprogram your “mommy guilt”. The kids will be fine!
- Go to the gym. Exercise allows you to release pressure, stress and other things that may be weighing down on you. Dr. Eva makes it a duty to work out at least 4 days a week for one hour, no matter what.
- Make time for you and stick to it. We all have a calendar that is filled with appointments, and meetings for everyone in our household except ourselves. Make it a priority to take time out for yourself. Do not cancel your nail or hair appointment because work came up. Your self-care is work for that time.
- Take time to smell the roses. As entrepreneurs, we are so used to going and going, but time keeps going too. And before you know it, you'll never have time to do the fun things you wanted to do when you “became successful”.
“Success is not a destination, it is a journey”.
The journey is being present, taking in those everyday moments, trials and tribulations. Wherever you are, appreciate it because by the time you get to wherever you think success is, you'll still not have everything. Black women are overachievers, so there is always the next big thing to grab. Be mindful of this.
22:55 Signs of Burn Out
Sometimes, we work so hard for so long without even realizing it, until one day, we wake up and our body is completely exhausted, brain is fogged, and our motivation is gone. Chances are, your body was giving you clues prior to this burn out moment. To understand these signs, it is important that you be intune with who you are. Do not ignore gut feelings or your intuitions because those are where the signs come from. Give yourself days and weeks to do something fun for yourself. You must turn off work and purposely do something to relax yourself.
25:00 Techniques for Women with Multiple Endeavors
- Start out with one thing, focus on that, then move on once you have accomplished your goal. Having your hands in too many things at the same time stops you from being able to properly and completely finish everything. Doing things one at a time helps you build everything better.
- 7 days on 7 days off. Dr. Eva created a technique where she works 7 days straight then takes 7 days off. The off days are like catch up days for things around the house and personal tasks. During work days, she wakes up at 4:30am and gets to work around 5am. This allows her to have time to concentrate and get so much more work done before her co-workers arrive. This also gives her the perk of getting home earlier so she can do a few things before the kids are home from school.
- Keep a to-do list handy. Prioritize what needs to be done now so you refrain from overwhelming yourself.
- Find your optimal time. When you are a business woman, mornings may be best for you, but when you are a creative, your peak times vary.
People always want the end result and they want it quick. It is a journey. Baby steps is what adds up to big steps and when you look back, you'll see how far you've come. The first step is to start then proceed little by little. You will get there in the time you are supposed to.
Time is going to pass regardless of what you do, so do what you want.
What is it that you want to do?