Running a business empire 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 execs are spending time off the clock to refuel, recenter and to remember their north stars.
Meet Dia Simms, CEO of Lobos 1707, Howard County, Maryland, 46
Many people know Dia Simms as the mastermind behind the marketing and branding for some of our favorite brands. From CÎROC Ultra-Premium Vodka to Revolt TV, Simms has over 15 years of experience within the entertainment and spirits industry, building brands into multi-billion-dollar businesses. While the Lobos 1707’s CEO is shaking up the C-Suite and diversity statistics within these industries with initiatives like Pronghorn, she is also part owner of Saint Liberty Whiskey.
For Simms, she understands that to create the legacy and wealth that she wants her daughter to have, being off the clock looks different for her as a leader. Since the pandemic, Simms’ work travel has slowed down, giving her more time to create the off-the-clock routine that works best for her. “I don’t really believe in work-life balance as a principal. I tend to just try to be all in, in whatever moment I’m in,” she said. Read how Simms does her best to make every moment count.
Making the most of her mornings.
Simms starts her mornings at 6 AM to make sure she gets time with her daughter and a little personal time for herself before putting on her CEO hat. She has found a system that works for her when it comes to walking on the treadmill and catching up on the Power series on STARZ. “I’m trying to get like one episode in and a walk, and that’s actually been really working for me,” she shared with a laugh.
Giving her all with each moment.
She admits that she hasn’t taken seven days off, and Simms doesn’t plan to. However, when she’s not working, Simms makes the most of her relaxation at the moment. “What I endeavor to do is work as hard as I possibly can and retire early,” she shared. Her family has enjoyed getaways to Amanyara in Turks and Caicos and Italy, but it also knows there may be times when she has to work. To make sure she has those moments to relax, she ensures activities centered around family and “me time.” “What I just try to do is make sure the meals are with family, the special events, or like spa time that I’m all in, but I’m gonna always have to squeeze in work,” she explained.
Managing family time.
Although she’s never entirely “off the clock,” Simms ensures that her daughter gets her time. She enjoys their morning time, hearing about her day at school and putting her daughter to bed. “I will take time when I’m focused on what’s most important,” she explained. Simms enjoys spending time with her family and her dog. One of her favorite places for family activities is Robinson Nature Center. “I really love doing that. Like just going on walks with [my daughter] and seeing the world through her eyes is so incredible and inspiring,” she shared.
Baking is a talent of hers.
On the weekends, you can catch Simms baking cupcakes or carrot cake in the kitchen. Her extended family is nearby, so she also will bake something to drop off at a relative’s home. “Back at Combs Enterprises, they used to call me the ‘Cupcake Assassin.” I used to literally bring cupcakes all the time to work,” Simms explained.
Why being ‘off the clock’ matters.
Simms shared that her goal is to be able to retire early. Therefore she’s putting in the work to be off the clock ultimately. “All of my work is really about the freedom that the cash provides. So everything I do on the clock is just the fuel to have the best possible life in the real moments of life,” said Simms.