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 LaToya Elder-Moore, Founder of Her Tech Unicorn and Partner Solutions Manager at Meta, Orlando, FL, 37

When LaToya Elder-Moore is not managing the relationship with her e-commerce advertisers to find business solutions with Facebook and Instagram third-party partners, she is helping other women of color break into the tech industry. She founded Her Tech Unicorn towards the end of 2019 to do her part in helping to diversify the tech industry through community, content and coaching. “I do that by helping women of color understand their gifts, strengths, and superpowers. Not only to understand but to also know how to leverage those things to break into the extremely competitive tech space,” she said. 

Elder-Moore describes her days as living a “double-life” with managing a full-time job and building her side hustle. This wife and mother has a jammed-pack schedule, but she has learned how to ensure that she can show up as her best self by prioritizing her needs. Read how a decision to take a sabbatical from her full-time job helped Elder-Moore reclaim her joy and find clarity for what’s important.

Getting active helps kick off her day.

Since Elder-Moore has her own company that she is building, she starts her mornings off doing administrative tasks for Her Tech Unicorn. She prioritizes email requests from her community who may need interview coaching for an upcoming FAANG (Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix or Google) company. After that, she makes sure she gets active before she begins her full-time job. Elder-Moore opts for a Peloton class three times a week with her favorite instructor, Ally Love. “She has a lot of feel-good rides. So she plays like some old school hip hop, some nineties R&B, and it’s just like a really good time,” she said. On the other days of the week, she does couples yoga with her husband in the living room. 

A cup of espresso goes a long way.

Elder-Moore takes pleasure in the simple things, like having a cup of espresso each day. It’s that part of the day that brings her joy. “About four years ago, I went on a work trip to Milan, and I absolutely fell in love with espresso,” she shared. Since then, her husband has gifted her an espresso machine, and she makes a cup for herself and sits out on her patio to have her “me time.” “I need just a quiet time to sit and think about what I’m doing. I ask myself if I’m focused? Am I going in the right direction? I do that every morning, even on the weekends,” Elder-Moore explained.

Vacationing is a core pillar in life.

We all have core values that we live by, but vacation is one of them for Elder-Moore. “I believe that women should be prioritizing doing what makes them happy,” she said. She believes that happiness should come before significant others and children. Traveling is a thing that makes her “refuels her energy and resets her soul.” Fortunately for Elder-Moore, she has a husband who loves to do it. Their favorite place to visit as a couple in Bali. “In 2021 alone, we went to DR, Cancun, Tulum, Jamaica and we went to Dubai,” she said. Having time to travel may seem impossible for someone who has a full-time job and business, but Elder-Moore boils it down to intentionality. 

“One of the things that I realized is that we all have time. We do. It doesn’t matter how many hours we’re working or what we have going on. We have time for the things we want to have time for,” she explained. An interview with Michelle Obama inspired her stance on having joy. In the interview, our forever First Lady discussed how her husband, President Barack Obama, made time for fitness despite running the United States. “At that moment, I was thinking, if the president of the United States has time to do what he wants to do, then clearly we have time to do what we want to do,” she said. 

She decided to take a sabbatical.

“One thing that I had to learn is that, as Black women, we pour so much into our families. We forget about ourselves. I’ve been in a place in my life where my cup was empty, and I couldn’t fill my daughter’s cup or my husband’s cup because I’m empty,” Elder-Moore shared. When Elder-Moore started to feel like she wasn’t showing up as her best self to her family and her co-workers, she decided to take a step back. She admits that taking a three-month leave from work was the best decision she ever made. “If your company allows for those things to happen, if you are supported in that way, you should be leveraging that benefit and every other benefit that the company is giving you,” Elder-Moore. 

At first, she felt guilty for needing a break and leaving work for her teammates to take on. Still, Elder-Moore knew that it would be mutually beneficial for herself, her family, and her company to use her sabbatical benefits. “I just feel so refreshed, and I feel so much better. Also, the company now will get a better version of me,” she admitted. If your company doesn’t offer a leave of absence benefits for mental wellness, Elder-Moore suggests making the most of PTO, holidays and weekends. Disconnect from social media and avoid distractions to focus on what is happening in our lives. 

Why is being off-the-clock essential?

“Life is incredibly short,” she said. Elder-Moore realized from her time off that although we may have support systems in place, no one cares more about our personal self-care like you do or should do. Without self-care, she believes it takes us away from achieving the goals we set out for ourselves. It’s something she sees the women she coaches neglecting themselves. “You have the ability to expedite your journey by being unapologetic about the steps that you’re taking to get there and not allowing any distractions to come,” Elder-Moore said.