Boss Balance Q&A with Shaina Longstreet of Your Ampersand Studio
It's time for another Boss Balance interview and I am so excited to have Shaina here sharing her amazing work / life insight. Shaina and I met in a Twitter chat, and I love keeping in touch with all her happenings and her website. She is one of the sweetest and most caring people ever, and I know you'll love what she has to say! - Bev
Shaina, tell us a little about yourself and what you do at Your Ampersand Studio:
I am a Visual Identity Specialist on a mission to help photographers feel just as confident about their brand as they do behind their camera. I believe that a vibrant, wholehearted online presence doesn't happen by accident, and that big dreams are just the beginning. Your Ampersand Studio is the connection between you & me, your big dreams & my passion for design, and making it clear to your idea clients what magic you offer the world.
What does it mean to you to have work / life balance?
I believe that your work should fuel your life and your life should fuel your work. A constant flow of inspiration, happiness and intentionality.
Do you have any rituals that help foster a more balanced lifestyle?
I begin each day with a conversation with my husband....usually over the phone because he goes to work at 4am and I wake up later. Taking this time each morning to talk with him helps to center me, focus on my important tasks for the day and reminds me that I chose this life and I love it.
Do you think rest is important in work and life? Why?
I think rest is very important. I'm a big believer in naps. I know that rest helps me heal physically and emotionally, and a lot of my best ideas and processing of concepts happens in my sleep.
What have been your biggest struggles at Your Ampersand Studio and how have you overcome them?
Well, I just launched on June 1st of 2015, so things are still kind of new. I am struggling finding/making time to stay consistent on my blog and I'm wondering if I should be keeping my business and personal blogs separate or how I should approach that. This week I'm working on implementing an editorial calendar and starting bullet journaling to keep me more focused and scheduled.
What advice would you give to someone searching to find their work / life balance?
I would say that it is important to remember your "why" behind what you're doing. Dig deep and have it be a motivation and a catalyst to finding balance in work and life. I also believe that taking time to focus on gratitude and contentment is really important. One of my favorite quotes comes from photographer Jasmine Star. She said "You might not like where you are, but like where you're headed."
Where do you find confidence and inspiration?
My husband and my mom are huge sources of confidence for me. They believe in me and see my potential when I can't see through the fog of everything. My favorite place for inspiration currently is Instagram. I love seeing other creative entrepreneurs live the life of their dreams and share their journey. It helps to remind me that I'm not alone. I also enjoy looking back and remembering where I came from....there is beauty in the journey and mine is special too.
Describe your perfect day:
Waking up when my body decides to, instead of with an alarm. Or if I smell the coffee brewing. Having breakfast with my husband and then planning out my day while cuddling with my puppy. I would do my journaling, check my emails, work on social media/blog related tasks in the morning and then get ready for my scheduled client meeting. Skype dates are my favorite. We would chat about real life and how to best incorporate that into their personal brand moving forward, talk about their upcoming photo shoot and how they can approach it with confidence knowing that because of our work together, this client is their dream client. Then I'll take my puppy for a walk and probably have some more coffee. And then it would be time for a photo shoot of my own. I know that its important for me to keep my skills up and I just love being behind the camera so much! And bonus, these images are for a local photographer to use on her brand new website that we're building together.
After the shoot (which was magical and productive) I will go home, edit my favorite ones to share and begin to plan out how we will use the images with her content on her website. These types of jobs fill me up. Then its time to make supper. We are huge fans of Blue Apron, and its made me feel so much more comfortable in the kitchen. Tonight I will make supper all by myself and serve it to my husband. Then we'll watch some Netflix shows together (maybe we'll start Gilmore Girls over again) and then do our bible reading before heading to bed.
If you could go anywhere in the world to find and feel bliss, where would that be and why?
Cuddling in bed with my husband and my puppy. Its the place where I feel most at home, where I feel safe and loved, and where I know I can be myself. Feeling free to be myself is pure bliss.