Stephanie Huffman on wine without calories in a kitchen sans countertops

Happy November!

Meet Stephanie Huffman: a member of the Screen Actor's Guild as a professional voice over and actress, a published author and a businesswoman. As founder of Epiphany Creative Services, her company's mission is to help their clients find their "aha" moments. Today, however, we are interested in how she finds those of her own! 

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1. What do you do for work outside the home?

Networking events, boards I am on, client and team meetings, etc.  I also speak on the topic of time, energy and resources to organizations and conferences. I created a vision tool called The Grid back in 2009, and placed it as a special section in my book which I wrote in 2008.

 The Grid, Stephanie's tool outlined in her book, teaches you to evaluate your goals and how you spend your time and determine if the two are aligned, allowing you (or your organization) to achieve your highest potential.

The Grid, Stephanie's tool outlined in her book, teaches you to evaluate your goals and how you spend your time and determine if the two are aligned, allowing you (or your organization) to achieve your highest potential.

2. How do you tackle a week’s worth of meals? Prepare over the weekend? Or day by day?

I have been working to change this up lately. I used to shop every Friday after my last client meeting. Now, I have been pricing meal delivery systems. I very much enjoy having healthy foods on hand however, and cooking. I am currently in the process of completely remodeling my kitchen, so I imagine I will stick with cooking for myself…for a bit longer. Until the newness wears off. I even downsized the refrigerator during that process and have gone very minimalistic. I enjoy going to the grocery store. But my go to is now a toaster oven and the microwave. It must either go into a tortilla, is cold or raw, or is snackable. That’s how I cook!

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

My mornings are sacred. I have a long quiet time each morning with coffee, my phone and other encouraging items on the side table. I have prayer and meditation during that time. I in one leather chair in my kitchen and my black lab Bosco in the other. He knows the drill and the routine. So he sleeps during that time.  I review my emails and mentally work through my to do list and look at the day, the week and the month and begin prioritizing my day. One thing I do to enhance my life is audio books. I am an avid audiobook listener (business/leadership books) and I do all of my reading in the car. (wink)

 Bosco, Stephanie's faithful companion

Bosco, Stephanie's faithful companion

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

You know, in this world with so many wonderful gadgets, I can’t imagine it’s not already out there. I would have to answer this, then, by saying, wine with no calories.

5. We talk about balance all the time--- What do you do that’s just for you that enables you to balance life with your career?

I have recently hired a Task Fairy. Some might refer to this position as a personal assistant, but I think this term fits her much better. She has helped me organize my basement, order my new cabinets and appliances for my kitchen, helped my mother with her computer and even styled and selected my clothes for a recent business trip to name a few things. She also scheduled a spa day for me and made me go. I am considering having her come over once a week to select my clothes/outfits for the coming week.

6. What keeps you motivated and positive when inside you are neither?

Wine and prayer…in that order. But what I guess, what I should say is, it’s the realization that things truly could be much worse. I had the privilege of experiencing quite a bit of travel early on in life and it left a deep impression on me. I even had a chance to go behind the Iron Curtain before it fell. Even on my worst day, I know it’s better than what I have seen others go through. I can walk, breathe, eat, drink and pay my bills in complete freedom. Does it get much better than that?

7. Do you have specific boundaries that you adhere to separate work from home?

Yes. My team knows I very much try to take Sunday’s off. In marketing, that’s not always possible, and as we have a more “white-glove” approach with our clients, it’s a challenge, but I do work hard to keep that time for me.

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

Yes. I decided to remodel my kitchen and began that Labor Day weekend so it would be ready by Thanksgiving. Then, had to go out of town to a conference. Right after I returned home, my mother went into spine surgery and I had to care for her 24/7. The cabinets arrived at that time. 50% were damaged and they had to re-order. The electrical was all wrong and so I had to bring in an electrician for additional work. Now I am being told I’ll have my shell of a kitchen through November and then the real deal Christmas. If I do go ahead and provide Thanksgiving dinner, I will do it sans countertops. Sigh…

9. What is your dream job?

I actually think I am living it. But if I can move into more speaking full time, that might be the icing on the cake.

Thank you Stephanie for your valuable insight. We admire your daily journey of balancing a career in doing what you love while putting processes in place to prevent burnout. You can catch more of Stephanie's wit and wisdom on www.stephaniehuffman.org and read an excerpt from her book here. Be sure to check out the Holidays chapter on page 55!