I often get asked how I balance a full time blog and a full time job. The truth is, I make work my priority and try to fit in blogging, meetings and photos in my off time. Trying to carve out time can be challenging and requires patience and dedication or nothing will ever get posted. But the best part about blogging is that I’m only accountable to myself. If I don’t want to post for a month, or two months, or a whole year (like I did last year…ooops) then I don’t have to. If work gets crazy busy and I’m exhausted after hours, I can lay on my couch and eat brownies out of the pan while watching Big Brother instead of responding to emails.
Who really amazes me are the people who run small businesses and balance full time jobs. It doesn’t matter how tired they are, it doesn’t matter how busy they are, if there’s a market coming up they have to get to work and if there are customer orders or inquiries, they can’t go unhandled. One person I’m particularly amazed by is Sam from XX Balm. This girl hustles all day, then hustles all night and still manages to have a social life (AND she volunteers!). Not only does she work a full time job, she works a demanding one that often has her staying at the office late and coming in extra early. XX Balm took off fast and has become an essential for people who love to shop local.
I invited Sam to share her secrets for keeping it together (or at least making it seem like she has it together!) when you have A LOT on your plate.
What do you do when you’re not the babe behind XX??
In my ‘everyday’ life I am an auditor at an accounting firm and a CPA student.
How long do you spend at work on average in a week, how much time do you spend on XX?
Work totally varies depending on the season – often I work a lot more hours during what we call “Busy Season” which is between Jan-April. I won’t dislcose how many hours I work but I’m sure if you google it you will find a Reddit article of a bitter former auditor haha. As for how many hours I spend on XX… thats a tough one. I have had some weeks when I just pour myself into the business and then some off weeks where I just sit in my bed, drink wine, and watch weird Netflix documentaries. I don’t have a great grasp on where my time goes but it varies depending on what’s going on.
What’s the most time consuming part of starting a small business?
Admin- I wish I could afford to hire someone to just do all my admin stuff and then I can just make balms, take pictures, and meet people all day. That being said, being knee deep in all the admin work, I have learned WAY more than I ever did in university.
How do you pick priorities when work and hustle are both busy?
Honestly, my job job as an auditor comes first. Without my experience at an accounting firm I wouldn’t have had the knowledge and mindset that I had going into XX. I started this hustle because I felt like I was missing this creative outlet in my life and from starting it I have become way happier as a person and weirdly XX has become sort of my therapy.
Do you ever feel discouraged and want to give up on one of them? If so, how do you get over it?
Totally- I think on a regular basis I go “Sam, wtf have you got yourself into??” but then I remember that I have some amazing day 1’s who remind me that I live for this stuff. Local community involvement and being able to have a small running business where I can be as creative as I want to. As for work work- you have to secretly (or not so secretly) love the hustle. I’ve made so many new friends at this job and the learning experience is unbelievable and makes it worth it to not give up. If you are debating about accounting, I have some serious CPA goggles and will convince you to go for it!
Do you ever take time off?
Yes and no- this is a tough one. Usually if I’m taking time off aka it’s in my work schedule that I’m blocked off it means I have a trip coming up. I am however taking a staycation in April to catch up with SZN 2 of XX. It’s not really in my nature to have a day off and not do anything unless I have the flu.
Sam edit: I’ve been testing the SZN 2 of XX and I’m obsessed. You won’t be disappointed.
How do you sneak in social time?
No sneaking here! I just try to make plans with my friends. Sometimes, yes, I have to say no to plans because I’m on the verge of falling asleep or because I just want to sit at my kitchen table and talk to my dad about life instead of running out the door but for the most part all of my friends are busy and we just get each other. No whiners in my circles to be honest. If anything I’m having the hardest time sneaking in gym time- that I am still working on.
You know how when you’re in school and you always have homework to do so when you go out you feel a little guilty all the time because you know you should be studying. Do you get that with XX?
To be honest I still have homework with CPA… and regular work haha. So generally I feel like guilty ALL the time for working on XX. But then I remember that everyone is entitled to their hobbies and to invest in their interests whether that be fitness, food, or just Netflix. It’s what you want to make time for. So I try to not feel too guilty.
Do your colleagues know about XX? Are they supportive?
Haha slowly my secret of XX is coming out. Everyone at work is totally supportive and really interested in becoming an XX model!
If anything, what actually pushed me to pursue XX was when one of the teams I was on really encouraged me to do XX after I brought in some of my creations and was calling it nam- now called tortuga.
check out XX balm here: https://www.xxlipbalm.com
and follow Sam on Instagram @xxbalm