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 Jereshia Hawk, Business Growth Coach, San Diego, 31

The Detroit native always knew her calling was to help others, and today she has helped hundreds of founders grow their businesses through her group and individual online coaching program. Using the power of the Internet, social media and other marketing tools, Jereshia Hawk spends her day virtually working with her clients and creating content around her marketing expertise to her 29k Instagram following. “I’m also always working on client success and refining our program’s curriculum, enhancing client touchpoints, and obsessing over our client to ensure that we deliver what we promised the client when they enrolled,” she explained. 

The former engineer turned her marketing savvy into specializing in high ticket sales, permission-based sales and premium priced offers. Now her coaching business has reached $1.4 million in revenue, and as her business grows, so do the responsibilities she has. “I’m stepping into becoming the leader that my company needs me to be beyond the solopreneur I’ve always been,” Hawk said. “Now my shift is going into how I coach my team to support the clients and that leadership transition.” She now has three program coaches who were former clients and her program participants. Hawk spoke with us about this new season of leveling up and hiring employees while maintaining her off-the-clock routine.

Clearing her energy to start the day.

One thing that helps Hawk get her day started is focusing on her energy, and she does that by finding ways to clear it. Hawk started paying attention to her energy and when it felt high and low by keeping track of it using a calendar. “I started to notice patterns that normally about three weeks into the month, my energy started dropping, and I needed some level of recovery,” Hawk said. 

One way she does this is by adding activities to her mornings. “How can I release any anxiety and clear any energy before I move into my day so that I’m not unintentionally transferring that baggage over to my team or my clients? That’s the priority,” she said. She mixes up her mornings each day, but she incorporates journaling, walking, reading and ironically takes to social media to mindlessly scroll her feeds. “I’m scrolling through social media because it’s something for me that normally will spark creativity. I’ll see something, which will make me get a perspective and then post something on social,” she explained. 

She plans her time off for the entire year.

While Hawk is preparing her business goals for the calendar year, she prioritizes her time off first. “When I’m planning for the following year, I get a huge black marker, print out a calendar, and blackout all the dates I will take off before planning anything for the business,” Hawk said. She makes sure she is designing her business around the lifestyle she wants to have. For the last three years, she has set up her time this way and ensures that she takes no meetings on Mondays and Fridays. If there is a fifth week in any month, Hawk takes it off. “I’m building in a cadence of recovery throughout the year versus waiting until December to take vacation,” she said. She compares CEOs and business owners’ constant work to athletes who get long periods off to rest after their season. Hawk believes entrepreneurs have to plan recovery for long periods of working. “I no longer want to look at vacation as a way for me to escape from my life. I want to look at how I can design my week so that by the weekend, I’m not fully depleted,” she said. 

Check-in with herself as a business owner is important

“I will have a weekly meeting with myself the same way a manager might have a weekly meeting with their individual contributor,” she said. She uses these self-check-ins as her “me time” as a business owner to review her own performance. She learned this technique from Ray Dalio’s Principles book series from an American investor. Hawk started documenting her thoughts around the following questions:

What is a lesson that I’m learning? 

What is an insight that I’m having? 

What is a fear that I’m overcoming? 

What is something that I’m struggling with?

“I think it is really important to how I pour back into myself,” she explained.

Wellness retreats are her favorite getaways.

Hawk loves to travel with her girlfriends, husband, and herself, and she is a fan of weekend getaways and quick trips. However, she has an affinity for week-long experiences at wellness resorts. “I like really bougie high-end wellness resorts because I don’t have to make any decisions. You just go, and they take care of you,” Hawk explained. Mii Amo, a destination spa in Sedona, Arizona, is her favorite place to retreat. Still, she is looking forward to her upcoming retreat to the Golden Door Resort & Spa in California.

She believes in unplugging.

As someone who spends a lot of time creating social media content and engaging on pages during the weekday, it might be a surprise to know that Hawk logs off on the weekends. “On the weekends, I do social media cleanses where I will allow my phone to die on Friday, and I don’t even charge it,” she said. Hawk goes entirely off the grid and spends her time on the couch catching up with shows or exploring San Diego with her husband. She puts her work phone away during the weekday and switches to her personal phone in the evening to separate her worlds. 

Why is being off the clock important?

“I need to separate my identity from the work that I do in the world and who I am in the world,” Hawk said. With the help of therapy, Hawk has learned the value of just being and that it’s not always about what she is doing. Working on this has helped her prioritize rest and recovery. “I feel like I’m discovering myself for the first time after unlearning a lot of conditioning that has been placed upon me or that I’ve unintentionally placed upon myself,” she shared. She calls this stage in her life “dating” and is enjoying the time that she is dedicating to pouring into herself outside of her work. “I’m at a season where I’m giving myself the childhood that I wish I had growing up. It’s one of the best gifts I’ve ever been able to give to myself,” she emotionally shared.