How Lisa Watters-Lain runs Watters Garden Center while raising four active kids
From entrepreneurial small business owner to “mompreneurs,” women in high-stress, demanding leadership positions often find work-life balance to be a challenging one. While the excitement of being in charge can be a great motivator to succeed, the responsibilities of leading business on top of your personal and family life can quickly wear you down.
“Being a leader is more than just a being in charge and custom business cards,” said Lisa Watters-Lain, owner of Watters Garden Center. “It means passionately believing in the mission of your organization, and being responsible for inspiring that same passion in the people around you. It’s a challenging, exhausting, rewarding job that’s worth every ounce of effort you put into it.”
There’s an unspoken expectation to be on-call at the garden center 24-7, which is difficult if you have a family to care for as well. Making sacrifices and compromises at home is sometimes a necessary part of performing your job, but Lisa reminded female leaders to allow themselves time to be completely disconnected from work.
“If you are head of a company, or in a leadership role, you have to be available at odd times of the day, but remember everyone needs to have some time ‘off the clock,'” Lisa Watters-Lain told Yavapai Health and Wellness. “Even if it’s only one day a week, or one evening a week, mark out some time on your schedule when you will not be available. Make it strict; make it sacred. That time will keep you sane, help you avoid burnout and reconnect with your children and spouse.”
If the concept of having set office hours is a foreign one, you may need to carve out a chunk of your work day to commit to family obligations. “The days are long, but I have always made it a point to attend all of my kids concerts and games. It’s a high priority and my staff knows to cover for me during those times.” Lisa says. “Both work and home responsibilities should be given the same level of respect and attention that promotes a balanced life.”
“I wouldn’t be late for a meeting with a client or vendor, so I make it a point to never late for your kids,” Watters-Lain said. “If you’re going to pick them up after school, be on time. That sets a standard of respect and demonstrates that they are truly a priority. It also teaches them how to plan time. It isn’t easy to balance, and requires as much professional thought to your personal life as I do to my business life.”
“I’m an early riser, and with today’s technology, I have the freedom to answer emails, complete employee schedules, and hold conference calls from anywhere,” Watters-Lain said. “Much of my tedious office work is complete by the time the rest of the family is up. This gives me time to spend with the kids in the morning, time with my spouse and business partner, and plan the events of the day over a cup of coffee.”
Having a support system at home, including a great spouse and extended family, can be a tremendous resource when you get caught with conflicting commitments between home and work. “Be appreciative for the help, and that gift will be there again when you need it.” Lisa says.
Taking care of yourself is number one for your business, your marriage and your health. It’s easy to forget about your health and those that are genuinely there for you. “I have always enjoyed Bootcamp type of workouts with other women in the morning. It gets my blood going and clears my head. Plus, it keeps the weight off from all those late night pizzas with the kids.”
Take time to fall in love again with your spouse. It’s easy to forget where you came from and the ones you love the most. “Ken and I have always had ‘Date Nights’ away from the kids. It was as simple as popping up the tent trailer in the backyard when we had less money, catching a show and staying at an in-town hotel for the night, to flying the kids to visit grandparents as we took a separate Rivera vacation as we had more money.” Lisa shares. “Take time to reconnect, and fall in love all over again. It’s one of the secrets to our 31 years of marriage together.”
Published in the April 2018 Issue of “Yavapai Health and Wellness“