Founders often say that running a business can be a 24-hour experience. 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 remember their north stars.
Meet Ally Love, Instructor at Peloton, Founder & CEO of Love Squad and Host of Brooklyn Nets
The multifaceted Ally Love wears multiple hats, but with each job she holds, the most important thing is listening. As a Peloton instructor, she is keeping her ears to the streets for trends and insight. She looks for music to incorporate into her rides and listens to members’ feedback and engagement with her programming on the Peloton platform. As the founder of Love Squad, a community for women that empowers through the facilitation of motivational and educational conversations, she is listening to her community’s needs. “Whether our community is looking for advice around how to get back into the workforce after taking a hiatus as a stay at home parent, transitioning jobs, negotiations or figuring out what they want to do in life, it’s our responsibility to make sure we’re able to service and meet the community where they are to give them that insight,” Love shared.
The Peloton instructor prioritizes her wellness outside of her responsibilities of teaching her class and empowering her members with routines and practices to fill her cup. For Love to output, perform and maintain her health to have her career, she understands the importance of fueling herself to show up as her best self. “Your approach to life is only as good as the time you take off, and the awareness and intentionality around taking a recovery, vacation or break,” Love shared. Read how she kicks off her day, manages her time and finds her peace.
Water and breath work is how she starts her day.
When many people consider you their favorite part of their morning, you have to wonder what Love does to get her day started. “I want to start this answer off by giving a shoutout to all the people that start their day by taking my classes,” she said. “I’m sending so much big boss energy to those folks because I know how important it is to start your day off right, and I know how important it is to start your day off with people you enjoy.” A few of our Off the Clock features start their mornings off with Love helping them get their mind and body right for the day, but the way this Miami native starts her day is pretty simple. She begins with breathing, water and setting intentions. “I take three deep inhales and ask myself the same question every day: ‘What kind of day do you want to have today?'” Love shared. “Now, the answer isn’t always that I’m going to have the best day of my life. The reality is that I want to have a good day, and most of the time, a good day or an okay day is great.” It’s during this time alone in her bathroom, sitting on the floor and breathing when she is picking out how she wants to feel throughout that day and hoping that she can experience joy, a nap and get through her to-do list.
Quality time and content is how she unwinds.
When Love is not wearing her multiple hats, you can catch her listening to Audible, a podcast or a sermon. “I love to diversify my content consumption in terms of artists, stories, writers and perspectives,” she explained. She enjoys putting in her Airpods and getting wrapped up in an Audible and relaxing. With her job requiring a lot of talking, her “me time” allows Love to be silent and enjoy someone else doing the talking while doing other things like cleaning her house.
Love also enjoys spending quality time with her husband. “When we spend concentrated time together, we turn off the TV and have dinner together or we’ll just have hours of conversation,” she said. During her time with him, she ensures they are locked in. Love described her husband as her rock and a safe place to go to for emotional support. “I think that’s what I really enjoy because when it comes to my career, performance or personal emotions, he’s just honest and knows how to reach me,” she said.
Balancing her career.
“Preparedness and thoughtfulness are my love languages – it’s how I give and receive love,” she explained. With the help of her assistant, Love lives by her calendar to manage her day.” I carve out time, so I can work out, get my hair done, and do all of the things that I need to prepare for what’s upcoming,” Love added.
Love is realistic about what she can and can’t do, and she lets go of the pressure to do it all. “The reality is, to be honest about where things are on your list and keep in mind that not all things can be important because by definition, if all things are important, then nothing is important,” she said. Over the years, she has learned how to communicate with friends, family, jobs and teams about what she is focusing her time on. Love uses ‘no’ as her guide to ensure that she protects her time and peace.
A 24-hour getaway is all she needs.
“I am known for a 24-hour getaway. You can’t tell me I can’t do a lot in a day,” she shared. Love will take a morning flight and be on the beach by 1 p.m. She’ll take a 6 a.m. flight the following day to be back for anything that needs to be done at 9 a.m. “I like to own my time, so in taking a quick getaway trip, it’s a way for me to reclaim my time and own the space I’m in,” she said. Make no mistake, Love enjoys the luxury of an extended vacation, but sometimes her schedule only allows for a quick turnaround trip. “A few hours of concentrated peace on the beach in the sun and with good food is amazing. I like to go somewhere sunny to retreat,” Love added. The Miami native loves to visit her hometown, but she also is a fan of visiting Riviera Maya, Mexico, and staying at the Rosewood Mayakoba.
Why is being off the clock important?
“Because one influences the other,” she said. Love believes that by taking time off, the rest you give yourself makes room for productivity. “Many people try to separate their personal and professional lives, but the reality is, you want to live at the intersection of both lives. You want your family to know about your work, and you want your work to know about your family,” she said. Love makes the comparison to teaching a Tabata class. “Tabata is a two-to-one ratio of effort to recovery with 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off in four-minute blocks. In order to push your hardest and give your maximum effort during those 20 seconds, you have to take that 10-second recovery,” she explained. Love added that you can’t expect to produce and perform at a high level without recovery. It’s how she looks at life. “I make sure that I can take the recovery and break because that’s when I’m able to ideate, think clearly, breathe and it’s when my best ideas come,” she said.