We are thrilled to welcome Larisa of the We Heart Beauty Blog as this week’s #welldesignedlife series! Larisa not only shares our love of the paper planner, but also in finding joy in the details of life and pursuing the things she values most. Keep reading to learn more!
Let’s start off with an introduction! Tell us about yourself. Roles you play and what you do.
Hi! My name is Larisa Love and I am a full time marketing and operations director and a part time/freelancing brand planner and lifestyle blogger. I was born and raised in California but have been living and working in NYC since 2007. I spend my weeks working 45 hours full time, about 5 hours on freelancing projects, avoiding laundry, and pretending to be Pocahontas. I am currently engaged and both my fiancé and I live and work in the city.
Tell us about your big dreams. Where do you want to go, what do you want to do, and why?
I thrive best when I know I make a direct impact on the bottom line. I’ve worked many corporate jobs where my position was so low tier that I never felt helpful or important enough. I felt replaceable. I have finally found my footing working for an entrepreneur and helping her in almost every aspect within her six businesses. I want to continue to work in a small business or start up environment – hopefully one day owning and operating my own. And of course, I want to be able to have this fulfilling career and still be able to start a family. I love spending my time creating, leading, and loving. If I can continue to have these three passions be my paycheck, I will forever be a happy camper!
What are some struggles you’ve faced in achieving your dreams so far? Have you learned anything from them that you want to share?
My biggest struggle is truly being able to identify my dreams and staying true to them. My life goal is very simple: I want to be happy, financially independent, have a career I am passionate about, and be surrounded by people that I love. I have a very strong work ethic and can be passionate about a lot of different things, but identifying the right thing to be passionate about has always been tricky for me. I thought I would be great working in the corporate world, and for years after I graduated I was lucky enough to hold corporate positions at some really great fashion companies. But I was chasing the wrong dream, pretending to be someone I’m not, and I was misusing my talents.
My biggest struggle has always been staying true to who I am. I understand that in work you do have to be a more elevated version of yourself. But early on in my career I mistook being an elevated version for being someone completely different.
I am not someone who can get up at 6am and get coffee for other people and call it a rewarding career. I am not someone who can put in years climbing the corporate ladder and playing office politics. I am someone who needs to be able to see the direct impact I have on the company. I am best when I lead because I know the best way to lead is by example. I set the bar high so others can follow.
Do your dreams look different now than they used to? If so, what changed about them?
My dream 5 years ago was very NYC Carrie Bradshaw/Devil Wears Prada dreamy. I wanted a huge apartment in the city, and I wanted to work in marketing for a big magazine. But now I realize that this version of a glamorous life is not who I am at all. My dreams are more realistic and more family oriented. I’m so excited to be getting married next April, and really the focus is on our relationship and not so much on a walk in closet.
What three daily things can you not live without?
Number one will always be my Day Designer. It has absolutely changed my life and upgraded my productivity level in ways I never thought possible. I love tracking my progress and being able to do it in such a beautiful book.
Lip Balm is absolutely my number two. I grew up with eczema and am prone to itchy skin and chapped lips. Lip balm (specifically this Pomegranate Pucker Stick) is always in my bag, everywhere I go!
Last but not least is iced coffee! You know how I know I’ve lived in New York for 8 years? My coffee addiction is real, and I’m unapologetic about it! lol
What is something you strive to be intentional about? How do you design it into your life?
Right now I am striving incredibly hard to be intentional about what I eat. I am trying to be mindful about it in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle. I am getting married in April 2016, and I definitely want to look my best! It might seem silly but that’s my biggest thing at the moment: being mindful of the food I am eating, eating intentionally, and not mindlessly snacking.
How do you create balance in your life?
I was so bad at balance for a long time. I mistook business for achievement and that was wrong. I would work until 7pm, then come home and open my laptop and work again until 11pm while eating take out and basically ignoring my family and friends. As I’ve grown into my role I’ve learned how to create balance and work on what really matters
When I’m at work I’m at work. I rely on my Day Designer to get me through the days and I make sure that I plan tomorrow before I leave the office tonight. My days are action packed with lots of deadlines and different responsibilities, so I always have to be on my A game. When I’m home I am home and unless it is a “do or die” work emergency I don’t touch it until business hours.
I only take on one freelance branding client at a time. This way I can concentrate on website building and customizing on my evenings and weekends, and not have a super slow turnaround time. If I took on too many clients at once no one would be happy!
I only blog when I’m inspired. After all, what is the point of forcing yourself to write? Sure, it’s “better for the brand” but I created my blog as a creative outlet. I don’t want to turn that into a job.
I balance my life not by having thick lines and boundaries, but by acknowledging that all these wonderful things I do fuse together to create who I am. I love my life and am very lucky to be able to do what I love for a living, and to be able to do what I love on the side as well. It’s an incredible feeling.
What does your daily routine look like? Is there anything that helps you feel most successful at the end of the day?
I’m very fortunate to live only 15 minutes away from my office. I try to stop for iced coffee every morning, but if I’m running late I’ll usually just make some once I get in. I always start the morning my reviewing my Day Designer. I look at what I didn’t finish yesterday and make sure it carries on through today. I’ll eat a quick breakfast at my desk while reviewing emails and some daily reports before logging it into my Fit Book. From there, the routine is usually different each day!
Lately my work days have been auditing client accounts, making scheduling changes, and reviewing website details or video scripts. On Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays I do my best to make it to a Yoga or Pilates Class after work. On Tuesdays I generally work from home and get a lot of freelancing and blogging done. And Fridays I reserve for Netflix and take out with my fiancé! We always stay in on Friday nights and tend to go out more on Saturdays. It’s a great way to decompress and spend time together. Nothing says love like binge watching House of Cards.
What checklist(s) do you live by?
My To Do List in The Day Designer is my big bad checklist. I love it and I write down every single thing to make sure it gets done by the end of the day. Without it my days are not productive at all.
I also have a monthly project list that I live by. Projects require lots of different moving pieces, so in order to keep me on task and within my deadline I always make sure to have a big project list on my desk.
What do you wish you had more of in life? What about it makes it so special?
Truly I wish I had more time! If I had my way I would take a yoga class every day, I would visit every corner of this beautiful world, and I wouldn’t go broke doing it!
Do you have a life motto?
I have so many! But my current favorite is this: No one is judging you except you. No one cares what you look like, what shoes you’re wearing, or that you’re eating bread except you and someone who is a complete jerk. If someone is judging you for what’s on your feet then that person is a monster. Don’t be bothered by other people’s opinions of you. Your vibe will attract your tribe, so just be who you are and surround yourself with people who bring out the best in you.
If you could share one thing with our readers, what would it be?
The biggest thing I’ve learned from living and failing and living and failing again in New York City is this:
Know your worth, fight for it, and make it happen for yourself. Be an advocate for yourself. Nothing will get handed to you. Don’t let anything stop you from hustling and making moves, and if you feel like you’re stuck just know that you are not. You’re just in the horrible montage phase of your life and it gets so much better. Don’t let your doubt discourage or destroy you. I’ve been on unemployment, I’ve taken jobs I am ridiculously overqualified for, I’ve cleaned toilets, I’ve been laughed at, I’ve had people tell me to just give up and move back home, and I’ve had lots and lots of heartache. Mistakes are experiences and life is full of them. One day you’ll look back on your heartache and be thankful for it, because the struggle is a part of your story.