Ashley Rouse of Trade Street Jam Drops Gems on Balancing Entrepreneurship

What does work-life balance look like, especially when working from home?

Modern technology has made it virtually impossible not to work around the clock. While being an entrepreneur has its perks, working twenty-two hour days does not.

If only there were a way to eliminate the battle between all work and no play..

With to-do lists growing by the minute, there may seem as if there are not enough hours in the day. Rest assured, work-life balance is attainable.

Same Story Different Entrepreneur

Recently, we sat down with Ashley Rouse, founder of Trade Street Jam Co., to learn how she balances running a business. As a Brooklyn-based, minority business owner, Ashley is busy creating unique new recipes, cooking flavorful small batches, and planning for the future of her one-of-a-kind business creating craft jam.

Set a hard start and end time for work each day

“Like all things, work too needs boundaries. By setting a hard start and end time for work each day, you are committing to a designated amount of time for work. When said time comes and goes, it is now time to close the laptop, shut off the computer and stop checking emails,” Ashley shared.

Make a To-do List

“I like to keep a list going called ‘revenue generating opportunities’. I make sure that I’m working on at least one of those each day. That way, I’m not spending hours on some creative design project (which I’ll do because that’s my jam) that isn’t directly making me any money. I also, ironically, take as much time to rest as possible. When I can, I sleep late (until about 8), go to the gym and maybe take a nap. These self care practices give me the energy I need to focus and put in longer work hours,” Ashley told us.

It’s the Little Things That Matter 

  1. Be open to change
  2. Get out of the house (no matter how comfortable it is)
  3. Don’t allow yourself to get burned out.

 Being your own boss has its perks, such as making your own schedule, but taking time to rest and relax does not mean you are throwing in the towel.

“I usually listen to one or the other,” said Ashley, when asked what is her que to take a break. She elaborated by stating that it is usually her husband or her own body that says, ‘hey it’s time for a break’. 

Let Your Hair Down

A little self-care does not have to be expensive.

“The cool thing about Brooklyn is that there’s always free things to do. My husband and I will grab a bottle of wine out of the ‘fridge and pack some snacks and head to Brooklyn Bridge Park or Red Hook for a picnic. There’s also a ton of free concerts in the park. I love craft cocktails, so I’ll scope out a good happy hour,” said Ashley.

 As an entrepreneur, you are the boss. There is no one standing over your shoulder, micromanaging your every move.

What steps will you take toward work-life balance this summer? Let us know in the comments.

Written by Izzy Spears

As both a public relations and marketing professional and an entrepreneur, Izzy Spears has a passion for using the power of words to connect with others. As a body positivity activist and promoter of self-love, Izzy has written two books, “The Adventures of Jaylen Newman” and “Diary of a Curvy Gal”. When not writing she can always be found with a cup of coffee in her hand while rocking a fro and a red lip. Learn more about Izzy at www.izzyspears.com