Juggling business, family and personal goals is daunting in today’s frenetic world; it’s hard to achieve a sense of balance. Yet it’s not impossible, according to three Morristown businesswomen who shared some tips on Monday.
She was joined in a panel discussion by Stacey Schlosser, owner of the Glassworks studio, and Priscilla Elms, recruitment/business manager of the local office of RE/MAX Properties Unlimited. Michele Reinhard of Staples organized the event for the women’s group.
Patrice Picard left a career in banking to follow her husband to New Jersey and raise their two children. Her husband traveled frequently for his job; she had her hands full.
To stay sharp, Patrice became involved in community organizations, volunteering with the Junior League and joining the board of Family Service of Morris County (which became Cornerstone last year).
She quickly discovered that she enjoyed community service.
“This is what I was meant to do,” she said. “The nonprofit sector is very challenging. But it makes a real impact for a lot of people.”
It was a career path she could not have envisioned as an MBA student at Purdue. Yet the transition from corporate banker to social services provider–while scary at first–perfectly suited her evolving situation and interests, she said.
When Morristown-based Family Service offered her its top job six years ago, she said yes and never has looked back.
“Your life changes, and you have to be open to changes in your career,” said Patrice, who oversaw last year’s rebranding of the 200-year-old Family Service and its merger with another venerable institution, the Morristown Neighborhood House.
The combined Cornerstone provides numerous services to 10,000 clients, from preschoolers to centenarians, across northern New Jersey. Patrice said a key to her success is hiring good people and trusting them to do their jobs.
Stacey Schlosser also cited task-sharing as essential for a balanced life.
“You have to know what your weaknesses are, and delegate. You can’t be all things to all people in your business,” said Stacey, who knew nothing about glass fusing when she launched Glassworks a dozen years ago.
The mother of two just knew she needed an outlet beyond the demands of parenting. A friend’s demonstration at the Corning glass museum in upstate New York fascinated her.
Encouraged by a supportive husband and father, she threw herself into her business, immersing herself for three years to learn the basics. She hired staff members with artistic and computing skills to plug gaps.
Stacey described Glassworks as a place where people of all ages and abilities can have fun creating beautiful objects in a relaxed setting. It’s successful enough to give her fulfillment, while allowing time for family and involvement in civic organizations like Sustainable Morristown.
“It’s not just all about me and my business,” she said. “It’s about me and my business and my community and my family.”
Priscilla Elms, who has three young children, made the bold leap from a solid, secure job as a corporate recruiter to help her husband grow his real estate business with RE/MAX Properties Unlimited.
“Sometimes you just get that feeling that you need to make a change… [You must ] not be afraid of it. Go for it. It will all work out,” said Priscilla.
She, too, stressed the importance of teamwork. Her husband, Councilman Michael Elms recently added Morristown First Lady Mary Dougherty to his sales force.
While she is glad to see more of her husband, Priscilla said life still gets pretty hectic. Taking good care of herself is essential, she said.
Every morning at 6 o’clock, she works out. “That’s my time,” she said. She practices yoga, and meditates regularly.
“It helps me slow down, helps me take things one thing at a time,” Priscilla said.
And good planning goes a long way.
“Have a good calendar,” she advised.