We’ve often heard from founders that running a business can be a 24-hour experience. Still, recently, many of us are denouncing hustle culture for a balance of our own. As women who wear multiple hats, how we spend each moment of the day matters.
For Black women, time is precious, but often we forget that the time we spend outside of building our empires is just as important. In this ESSENCE.com series, we’ll get the scoop on how some of your favorite entrepreneurs and executives are spending time off the clock to refuel, recenter and to remember their north stars.
Meet Thai Randolph, Co-Founder of Sugaberry and CEO of HARTBEAT, Los Angeles, 40
When Thai Randolph is not merging companies and raising $100 million in capital as the CEO of Kevin Hart’s media entertainment company or a board member of LL Cool J’s Rock The Bells brand, she is a wife and mother of a four-year-old. The self-proclaimed careerist was inspired to team up with Tika Sumpter to co-found Sugaberry to have conversations around integrating motherhood into their evolving identities as Black women. The platform is the only audio-first media company for and by Black women and is home to content that focuses on parenting, health and wellness and is home to The Suga podcast that features conversations with Kelly Rowland, Cleo Wade, Tia Mowry and Tabitha Brown. “So often we’re talked about, Black women, particular as being strong, determined and magic, but you know, where do we get to be soft, indulge and cared for?” Randolph shared. Her hope for Black women is to feel lathered in sweetness after experiencing the Sugaberry content.
Randolph wears many hats, but she feels privileged to spend time on work that drives her passion. “All of my career experiences in advertising, technology and entertainment led me to the place where I am now, where I am, helming and advising celebrity [founded] businesses with much broader purposes,” she explained. However, doing what she loves means long days, Zoom fatigue and only taking breaks to eat or put her son to bed. “I think when you pour that much out, it’s so important to fill yourself back up,” Randolph said. The award-winning executive shared with ESSENCE her go-to things to find balance when she is off the clock.
Using the morning to prioritize herself.
Randolph admits to not having a morning routine, and with a four-year-old, anything can happen at the start of the day. Therefore she has found ways to incorporate her son into her morning practice of meditation and affirmations. “We do our affirmations every morning. When he’s saying, ‘I’m strong, I’m intelligent, I’m worthy, and today’s a great day to have a great day,’ I’m reminding myself of all of those things,” Randolph shared. Once she and her son finish their affirmations, Randolph goes over her rigorous to-do list while enjoying a cup of joe before dropping him off at school.
Working on her wellness is important.
Randolph recently turned her garage into a gym where she can slowly get back into a regular cadence. To help with her fitness goals, she invested in some popular gym equipment during the pandemic and had a personal trainer come to her home. “I never thought I would like rowing, but it’s great cardio exercising because they’re guided. You’ve got all these anywhere from a 15-minute session to a 40-minute session,” she said. Randolph has a hydro machine and a MIRROR that help her maintain when her trainer is unavailable.
She’s big on having personal time.
Before getting married at the age of 30, Randolph lived alone and her husband at the time often traveled for work. She was used to having personal time to herself. “I never mind having my personal space, and I always wondered what that would look like as a parent,” she shared. Now her days are filled with responsibilities as a parent and with her business ventures, but she has learned how to take moments for herself. “I’m trying to get to a point where I refuel before my body has to send me a signal that I’m just exhausted and depleted,” Randolph said.
Randolph also credits her husband for understanding her need to have personal space. He is supportive and often suggests she get a hotel for a staycation for the weekend. She admits it sounds like an indulgence, but she has now made it a monthly treat to have a staycation or spend the day at the spa. “I really just wanna normalize women, moms, Black women, to do those things that just make them happy,” Randolph said.
Solo trips are transformative experiences.
“I traveled a lot for work alone, and that never bothered me, but I’d never traveled for leisure alone,” she said. During her 39th birthday, she wanted to take a trip, but with the pandemic still happening, she tried to pick an easy and safe place. With the encouragement from her husband, Randolph took her first solo trip last year to Lanai, Hawaii, for a wellness retreat at Sensei Lanai, A Four Seasons Resort, for six days. “They have these wellness programs from sunup to sundown. I ate every meal by myself. I took long walks. I meditated under the stars, and I was hooked,” she shared. Randolph promised herself to make a solo trip every year from that moment. For her 40th this year, she spent time in the desert at Aman Resorts in Utah. “Those few days it was just reflection, quiet and alone time centered and fueled me in ways I didn’t know were possible before,” she said.
Leans on her team & partner.
Randolph credits her husband and her work colleagues for being supportive when she needs to have space. “Doing what I do professionally and personally, and having even the moment the space to carve out for me is directly tied to the strength of the partnership I have with my husband, Tika and at HARTBEAT,” she said. Randolph leans into her village of people that support her each day and suggests other women not be afraid to ask for help. Randolph might not get everything done in one day, but she celebrates her small wins. “I will say to anyone who’s trying to do it all, ‘Don’t endeavor it with the idea that folks are out here doing it all by themselves,'” Randolph admitted.
Why is being off the clock important?
“So much of what we’re seeing playing out in the world every day, I think, is a constant reminder of how precious and unpromised time is,” she said. “The time that we spend on this planet is finite.” With time being our most valuable asset, Randolph believes our time shouldn’t be used to work but to experience joy, pleasure and care because we deserve it. “Prospering isn’t just about being productive. Prospering is about being fulfilled,” Randolph explained. For the last five years, the Hollywood executive has been deliberate about ensuring that how she spends time on the clock is purposeful so that when she is off the clock, her me-time is only making her a better version of herself.