By Roberta O. Roberts, Esq. of Grace for the Grind™ • May 10, 2019•Careers, Other Career Issues, Issues, Balancing Private and Professional Life, Features, Guest Bloggers and Profiles of Women in the Law
A survey of 146 female lawyers revealed the “constant need to be the best” as the “single greatest obstacle to juggling career and family,” and that more than half of the female lawyers surveyed “reported difficulty delegating responsibility (compared with about 38 percent of the overall sample).” But the average woman lawyer probably doesn’t need a survey to validate these facts: many of us feel stressed getting it all done in our demanding careers while also being present and showing up in our family and personal lives. As women, we often want to “have it all” and may feel like we’re losing if we’re not able to keep all the balls in the air.
As a woman lawyer myself concerned with how I spend my time, I am happy to share this conversational interview I had with Kellie about her new Harmony Planners for busy moms, how she manages her time as a mom and lawyer, and how her faith in God plays a role in how she spends her time.
Kellie, thank you so much for taking time to answer questions for me as the May member spotlight for Grace for the Grind™ Career Mastermind! Let’s start off with an introductory question; where did you go to law school and what type of law do you practice?
I went to Hofstra University School of Law in Hempstead, NY. I practice Real Estate Finance as General Counsel of Supply at PeerStreet, a fintech company. I manage a team of attorneys and we handle all real estate loan transactions for the company. So we review and negotiate loan sale agreements, loan documents, organizational documents, title commitments and other due diligence items. My day-to-day is focused on handling all escalations for out of the ordinary issues that may arise.
Wow, that sounds interesting! How did you end up as a general counsel?
I started my career in commercial real estate finance at a mid-sized firm in Manhattan and moved onto Big Law at Bryan Cave. When I decided to start a family, I moved in-house seeking better quality of life.
Better quality of life is a great reason for a position change, and gets us into the origin story of the Harmony Planners. What made you create your own planner?
I think the best way to stay organized is using a physical planner and once I became a mom, I wanted a planner that fit this season of life.
Makes sense! Who is your planner for?
Busy moms of all ages. My goal is to help moms feel in control of their time so that they can manage all of their tasks and not feel overwhelmed.
I’m sure many moms appreciate that! What makes this planner perfect for busy moms? What features does it have that other planners don’t?
My planner has space for self-care, water tracking, tidying the house and weekly inspirational quotes for moms. The new 2020 planner will also have space to capture mommy memories.
That sounds amazing! I want a planner with space for self-care and tidying the house! Can women who aren’t moms use the planner lol?
Absolutely, the only things that currently screams, “MOM” are the weekly quotes.
Ah OK, great! So how do you manage being a mom and a lawyer and entrepreneur?
Well I lost my first daughter, Kerrie, during her birth and after that I prayed so so hard for children. I promised Jesus that if He ever allowed me to be a mom, I would do everything in my power to show up as a present and loving mom. I now have two children here on earth and I want to keep my promise to God.
My husband and I have help with a full-time nanny, which is truly a blessing. Aside from help within the household, I simply run a tight ship and I thrive off of routines. During the week, I wake up between 4:30-5am to pray, work on The Harmony Planners, do a short yoga practice and shower before my family wakes up. Then my husband and I divide and conquer the mornings. I tend to get home late, so my husband is often times on night duty.
Saturdays are devoted to my children, but I use their nap time to work on the planner or take a nap too.
Sundays are prep for the week ahead - grocery shopping, meal prep, and relaxation.
I do household upkeep little by little each day - small load of laundry daily, floors swept/swiffered daily, dishes daily and wipe down of surfaces daily
I want to make sure all of the mundane, but necessary tasks are completed so that I can spend focused time with my children and husband.
Thank you for sharing this, Kellie! It’s beautiful you are helping other moms and showing up as a present mom yourself, even as a busy lawyer. How do you manage being an entrepreneur as well?
Three ways. 1. A LOT of prayer because I want to make sure my actions line up with God’s plan for my life. 2. Actually using The Harmony Planner so that my priorities are laid out in front of me. 3. Mindset work. I need to believe in myself, set goals, and give myself no option but to accomplish those goals.
Prayer, prioritization, and the proper mindset are all so important! Before we wrap up this interview, what other productivity tips do you have to share for busy lawyers, moms, etc.?
- Pray for self-discipline (this is an ongoing prayer for me)
- Brain dump weekly
- Organize the brain dump into a weekly plan by assigning dates and times to complete each task
- Take action by doing the tasks or delegating the tasks to someone else or deleting the task because it wasn’t important
Self-discipline is an ongoing prayer for me as well! Thank you so much for sharing all these tips and graciously agreeing to host a time management live Q&A with Grace for the Grind™ Career Mastermind on May 21, 2019 at 8 pm EST. What will you be discussing in your live event with Grace for the Grind™ Career Mastermind?
Productivity and living a life with intention.
I can’t wait! Living life with intention is one of the keys to achieving your goals. I’ve also found that having like-minded people to fellowship with goes a long way in staying accountable. What is the importance of being part of a community like the one we’re in, Grace for the Grind™ Career Mastermind?
Community is so so important. Having the support of other women with the same faith, is powerful. Powerful because I believe where two are more are gathered, amazing things take place. Sort of like the idea of it taking a village to raise a child. There is strength in numbers.
Well said. How can people connect with you?
IG Handle: @theharmonyplanners
Coupon code for planners: HARMONY7 for $7 off
Thank you for sharing this wisdom (and coupon code!), Kellie! I look forward to attending your live Q&A hosted by Grace for the Grind™ Career Mastermind on May 21 at 8 pm EST and hearing you answer questions on productivity and living life with intention!
Women lawyers and law students can join Grace for the Grind™ Career Mastermind for FREE and attend Kellie’s Q&A, ask questions, and participate in other activities in the mastermind. Mastermind members are also eligible to win a FREE Harmony Planner! More details can be found in Grace for the Grind™ Career Mastermind.