Holly Coltea on Finding Balance

Wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, volunteer, business owner. Sound familiar? Read how Holly manages all these roles in her life, what is most important and maybe take away a tip to apply to your own workweek.

 Image credit: Lulu Lemon

Image credit: Lulu Lemon

Holly Coltea is not unlike a lot of us: a working wife and mom of three girls striving to maintain a greater perspective while simultaneously ensuring that the daily to-do's are done at the end of each day. Read on to hear how she finds her balance:

V: What do you do for work outside the home?

HC: I own 2 franchises in Nashville, TN.  The franchise is called barre3, which equally focuses on nutrition, exercise, and community.

V: Describe your family (kids' ages) and activity involvement

HC: I have a husband and three girls ages 7, 9, and 11. What don’t we participate in? Theater, soccer, basket ball, gymnastics, golf, and tennis. 

V: Describe a typical weekday

HC: If I am disciplined, I will wake up early to work out at 6am. OR…I will sleep until 6:30. Get dressed in my uniform: yoga pants and a branded barre3 shirt with a barre3 sweatshirt. Branding, Branding, Branding!

  •  I will get breakfast started and usher my 3 littles into their days. We load up by 7:30 for school drop off, which is around the block from me. Thank goodness!
  • Back at home, I finish cleaning the kitchen up and check in on email for a few minutes before heading into the studios to either teach or take a class (if I didn’t wake up early!). 
  • By mid morning, I need to clean up for a networking lunch, meeting or appointment.
  • I might cram in a few more minutes at the computer—bill paying, payroll, organizing calendar, planning events, or email correspondence.
  • By 2:30, it is almost school pick up time for my girls! My favorite part of the day. It is time to try and shut off work and be mom.
  • From 3:30 until 6, it’s go time. Cooking dinner, homework, cleaning up, lunch packing, bath time.
  • Bed time for them (and me!) starts about 7:30. By the end of 1 hour of books and tucking in, I am ready myself to hit the hay. I have learned the hard way that I can’t talk business or work on business at night before I go to bed. I try to use the evenings to wind down and get to bed as soon as I can. I find myself racing against the clock. Sleep is everything to me.
 Image credit: Lulu Lemon

Image credit: Lulu Lemon

V: How do you tackle a week's worth of meals? Prepare over the weekend or take it day by day?

HC: A wonderful help has been Shipt—the Pubix app where I can order groceries online and have them delivered. This delivery service cuts out the shopping time, which allows me to spend more time cooking and giving my kids thoughtful choices. As for the week’s meals, we will sometimes grill 8 chicken breasts and eat off them for the week. Rather than having a hot meal every night, my goal is to deliver an animal protein, a fruit and a veggie at every dinner. When I cook like this, it allows my family to make it their own. For example, if I do ground turkey once/week then I can do tacos or quesadillas for the girls, and my husband and I can do a taco salad. Everyone is happy!

V: How does your husband help out around the house?

HC: My husband and I have a nice understanding that he is outside and I am inside. He is very detailed with our yard and does it without any help. He also does bulk shopping for us. Costco is his best friend! It relieves me from having to lug toilet paper through the grocery store and reduces our trips and money spent on food and household supplies.

V: What solutions have you found that you rely on each week to make your life’s pieces connect?

HC: I have someone who helps me with laundry. Taking this out of my daily list of chores has been tremendously liberating. This same person helps me keep my 3 girls’ rooms organized and picked up. This allows me to sigh deeply (with relief) when they are messy. I now stress less on the weekends, knowing that someone is coming to help me on Monday. Before, I would follow behind them picking up and scold them for playing too hard or being too messy.

V: If you could invent anything that would improve your daily routine, what would it be?

HC: A four-day work week. I am able to connect so much better with my family and friends over these long weekends. I am also more motivated to get my work done more efficiently in 4 days.

V: We talk about balance all the time. What do you do that’s just for you allowing you to balance your family with your career?

HC: When I am feeling run down, I get Chinese Bodywork done. Reflexology or deep, intensive massage. This forces me to lie flat and listen to what my body is telling me. I love Reflexology because it reveals things about my body that I may not even be aware of. I also love to sit on my porch early in the morning and read my devotional. After that, I love to meditate on the reading. It starts my day with listening to the sounds of nature…and helps me remember just how small we all are compared to the powerful natural world around us.

V: How do you deal with the pressure to be present in your kids’ lives but also at work?

HC: Kids have forced me to find balance. I often think about whether I would have survived having a business as a single woman. The fact that I have these 3 little chicks, cheering me on but also needing my attention has allowed me to be OK with doing the best I can. After all, doing the best I can is all I can do. When the day ends, kissing my family goodnight is really all that matters. If I am not present for that, then my whole reason of being an entrepreneur is for naught!

 Image credit: Ashley Hylbert for Cindi Earl Fine Jewelry

Image credit: Ashley Hylbert for Cindi Earl Fine Jewelry

V: What keeps you motivated and positive when inside you are neither?!

HC: Sleep—if I feel gunky, it is more than likely because I am wiped out. Additionally, taking a barre3 class makes me fall in love with the company all over again. Just being in the studio and around such inspiring, motivating women and men keeps me going.

V: Do you have specific boundaries to which you adhere to separate work from home?

HC: I like to keep work and home employees separate. For instance, we have incredible child care at barre3 and many of our employees have babysat for me personally. However, now that they work for barre3, I no longer have them babysit for me at home. I like to keep business and personal affairs as separate as I can.

V: Is there a latest “you won’t believe this” story about your life that you would like to share?

HC: You won’t believe that I get to motivate and inspire people for a living. I am often brought to tears during a barre3 class because of how grateful I am that THIS is my career.

V: What is your dream job?

HC: Owning my own business with lots of flexibility and on the wellness space

Thank you to Holly for giving us a peek into your life! Personally, I like the invention of the 4-day work week. And if you ever run into Holly at Trader Joe's, follow her around; she knows the best of the best at TJ's..... but that's a conversation for another post!