Lara Casey is a mom of two (including a newborn baby boy), an author and a business owner in Chapel Hill.
She is publisher and editor-in-chief of Southern Weddings, a magazine that she launched from the beginning. And she has created a thriving business that extends to consulting work, products and more.
The future wasn't always so rosy for Casey. In her new book, "Make It Happen: Surrender Your Fear, Take the Leap, Love On Purpose," Casey writes about her struggle as a workholic with debts, depression and marriage troubles. Buoyed by her faith in God, Casey turned her life around. Now she's working to help other women do the same.
Casey will be the keynote speaker at Vend Raleigh's Illuminate Conference on Friday in Raleigh. The conference is designed for women business owners with workshops that focus on everything from social media to building your own brand.
I chatted with Casey by email. Here's our email Q&A:
Go Ask Mom: You wear a lot of hats - business owner, speaker, author, mom. What's your typical day like? Does it include sleep (even before having your newborn)?
Lara Casey: These days with a newborn, sleep isn't easy to come by, but normally I get plenty of rest. I don't do all things all the time. I make rest and family my number one priority and intentionally hush distractions from what matters most. I believe that the true success equation isn't work + more work = success. Rest is essential.
GAM: You'll be speaking at Vend Raleigh's Illuminate Conference, designed for moms who own their own businesses. Why do you think so many women, especially moms, are working hard to build their own businesses instead of going the traditional 9-5 route?
LC: I'm encouraged to see many moms doing this and also many workplaces helping moms to be more present with their families. Having your own business certainly isn't an automatic ticket to a more flexible schedule or environment though. You have to be intentional with your time. I believe moms want the ability to live out what matters most to them and use the gifts they've been given to serve others.
GAM: How do you blend motherhood (you just welcomed baby No. 2, congratulations!) with your work life?
LC: I'm no superwoman. I have a wonderful nanny who helps me every day. I work from home so I can also be present when needed, which right now is always! For me, my priorities are God first, then my marriage and family, then work. My life fuels and inspires my work. I have to make decisions every day to make what matters happen though. I choose not to use social media on weekends or at night so I can focus on my family 100 percent. We don't have cable, so nighttime hours are spent talking. There's so much more, but all of this helps put my head and heart in the right place, and it makes me very efficient with work, knowing that at 6 p.m. it's family time!
GAM: What's your pep talk to a mom who is considering starting her own business or just at the beginning stages of the process?
LC: Don't believe the lie that you have to "go through the trenches" in order to succeed. For me, my faith is the cornerstone of all I do. So my pep talk is simply this: Do it God's way and you will never fail. He will always help you make what matters happen.
GAM: Your book, "Make It Happen," focuses, in part, on not striving for perfection and your faith. How has that brought calm and peace to your life as a woman, a business owner and a mom?
LC: Chasing perfect is comparing our worth with someone else’s. Chasing perfect makes us believe we are bad moms, wives, friends. Chasing perfect makes us believe we are average and insignificant. Chasing perfect makes us believe we don’t have enough friends, fun, or adventures. Over time the impossible standards we set for ourselves become the measuring stick for our worth. We start to believe that if we don’t measure up, we aren’t enough. We begin to feel worthless. I did. And it felt impossible to end the chase, but ending the chase for perfect changed everything for me. I have a peace that passes understanding. The lies of perfection ... tell us we aren’t enough, but the truth paves a path for us to an abundant life of joy where we are more than enough.
Go Ask Mom features local moms every Monday.