Not many people can say that they know a president, so here’s an opportunity to get to know ours. We asked Heather Chastain, President of Shaklee U.S. and Canada, a few questions about how she approaches health, family, work/life balance, and her daily routine.
- How do you start your day?
I start my day with a pretty early alarm (not one of those who just pop out of bed sans alarm), check any email or social posts that require my attention, and get those responses complete so I can shift to mom mode for the next couple of hours. Get my little ones up and provide appropriate encouragement (usually shouted up the stairs from the kitchen, where I am making their protein shakes for breakfast). Make lunches and do the homework/backpack/sports equipment/science project/permission slip/lunch/snack/water bottle check. Then it’s off to the drop-off line and on to the office!
- Tell us about what balance means to you?
Balance is a tricky one. Balance doesn’t mean equal time to all important things in your life every single day. In fact, I think the key to balance is to NOT keep score daily. You’ll feel like you are failing all the time! Instead, I try to look at longer chunks of time—I look back over 2- to 3-week periods and do a little self-evaluation. Do I feel good about my contributions at work? Did I focus on the right things? Do I feel connected to my girls? My husband? What adjustments do I need to make? Also, I make a point of deliberately checking in with my team and my family to make sure that we are in sync and understand the focus for the next chunk of time. That helps take the focus off of “balance” and put it back on what matters—the connections we make and the value we bring to the world.
- What advice would you give to other women who are trying to excel at work and be there for their families?
My only advice to women who are having to figure out this unicorn of “balance” and are still measuring themselves against these mythical, Hollywood-driven ideals of “having it all” is to just stop. Stop comparing. But also stop settling. Don’t settle for less than makes you happy. I am so grateful that the work I do helps tens of thousands of women every year find a way to give themselves more choices. Choices about how they spend their time, how they make a living, how they can get professional fulfillment without making all the sacrifices that we have for so long thought we had to.
- What was an early job that taught you something important?
One of my very first jobs (after babysitting and typing term papers) was working as the Swiss Colony Cheese Girl in the mall. Glamorous, I know! But from that job, I learned the most fundamental people skills. My job was to approach strangers, convince them to take food from me, and then get them in my store so I could sell them cheese. That’s not as easy as it sounds, and I learned to read people very well. I grew to understand that body language is more important than words spoken, that most people just want to feel important and understood, and when you can acknowledge the human-ness of everyone and make them feel like they matter…then amazing things can happen. And, they buy a lot of cheese!
- How do you motivate yourself?
I am grateful that I’ve never really struggled with self-motivation. When tackling big projects, I always take the perspective that sometimes you have to believe enough for everyone. When you take the focus off yourself and instead focus on how you can help others be successful, how you can encourage and motivate others—I find that self-motivation just follows along naturally.
- What was the last book you read?
The last book I read was The 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins. She is speaking at an upcoming event that I am hosting, and her perspective on getting into action is pretty transformative.
- What is your must-have Shaklee product?
I couldn’t accomplish half of what I do in any given day without taking care of myself and paying close attention to how I get my body the nutrients it needs. My Shaklee personalized health plan makes it simple for me. My daily Life Shake™ fills me up, keeps me full of energy all morning, and gives me simple, healthy choices every morning. I’d hate to have to choose between the Life Shake and my Vitalizer™ multivitamin strip—the daily combo gives me the base I need.
Thanks for sharing your advice and words of wisdom with us, Heather! Stay connected with Heather…follow her on Instagram @heatheratshaklee.