Sarah Hofstetter is one of those people who seems like an expert balancer–she’s a mom and CEO. You know, NBD, right? She runs the ad agency 360i, all while being an observant Orthodox Jewish mom.
Recently, Hofstetter wrote a piece for Fortune about how motherhood actually makes her a better CEO. She started off the blog in a tongue-in-cheek way, stating, “At face value, perhaps someone like me shouldn’t be in the advertising business at all, let alone run one.” She went on to say, however that her “vulnerabilities can actually be major assets.”
So, how are they assets? This is what she says:
1. Keeping kosher and observing Shabbat has taught her to resist temptations–and thus, discipline herself:
“Strict observance means, among other things, that I don’t conduct business or use anything electronic from sundown Friday until sundown Saturday. Outsiders see it as painfully restrictive; I see it as a lifesaver. Being unplugged for 25 hours every week is one of the ways I’ve managed to not burn out.
Keeping kosher, too, has proven to be an asset rather than a liability, and lets me be as picky about who I share meals with as with what I eat. While many folks in the advertising business rely on fancy dinners and trips as mechanisms to build relationships, I can assure you that nothing builds a bond like spending two hours trekking around St. Louis with the CMO of Enterprise trying to track down the only kosher joint in the city (which, of course, ends up being a greasy spoon in the middle of nowhere).”
2. Being a mom has taught her how to actually balance her work and life:
“My biggest learning has been to eschew the false notion of work-life balance. There is no such thing. Instead, I’ve learned to make choices, to play whack-a-mole with my time. I only wish I could get frequent flier points for the number of times I’ve visited Urgent Care for one of my kids’ needs, whether it’s a trampoline injury or getting checked in basketball (yes, that’s a reference to the merging of two sports that should never be merged).”
What I love most about what she wrote is the fact that she’s not afraid to expose her “vulnerabilities” and work with them, as opposed to trying to pretend they don’t exist. And really, what else can we do?