We had the good fortune of connecting with Alina Ugas and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Alina, how has your work-life balance changed over time?

I started my first business when my daughters were 3 years and 6 months old. I was young and considered myself a risk-taker. Ignorance is bliss. My business was started out of a passion for having fun and making other people happy. It was a party and balloon shop. How can that be stressful you may ask? As the business grew the demands for my time grew. Luckily, I was able to have my daughters at the shop with me from 10 am-5 pm. At this time, my mom was my business partner which allowed me the flexibility to take my daughters to preschool and pick them up. After work, me, my mother and the girls drove home together which gave us time to bond and enjoy seeing them interact. As an entrepreneur, I made the best of my time to make sure I didn’t miss much of their development. I, truely, loved watching them grow up. When my third daughter came along my life became more challenging. I had to admit it was hard to continue this work-life balance concept. If this was “having it all” then I may have bitten off more than I could chew at this point in my life. However, I tried my best to manage my time, energy, and focus to make sure I spent the necessary time with all three of my girls while running a business. As the girls became older it became harder to carve out the necessary time to spend with them due to responsibilities of my business and their different needs due to the girls’ age difference.

As a life and career coach, I work with busy executives who want to achieve work-life balance. My responsibility is to inform them that yes you can have it all just not at this time, especially if you have young children and a demanding career. My experience informs me that the most important thing a parent can do is to spend valuable time with their child/ren and be present while doing it. Yes, some days are going to be more challenging than others while other days will be much easier. As a parent and working mothers you must be mindful not to be overly self critical of yourself for not having this balance every day.  You must remember no matter what the universe throws your way you can only control what is in your scope of abilities and that is usually enough.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?

We are industry professionals with fifty-five years of combined experience. Alina with 33 years in the health and mental health field and Michael as a behavioral specialist with 23 years of interviewing people with emotional distress.

What sets us apart from the competition is that we coach, train, speak and work from the heart. Our 7 Step System to Self-Discovery and Awareness© a proven proprietary tool and our research based The Needs Based Method® are our primary coaching tools. With these tools we help you make sense of how limiting beliefs, generational curses, and negative thoughts impact your personal and professional development. We do something very unique in our industry in that we eliminate many of the negative social/emotional beliefs women entrepreneurs experience with society and family. 

We actually care about our clients’ success by giving them functional tools to use within the first 6 months of working with us.

Our research-based The Needs Based MethodⓇ will help you regain your wellness and develop a healthy mindset so you can experience the joy you always wanted.

Experience the power and possibilities of the “What’s Next,” to create a life worth living and be your best self, focusing on “where you are now and where you want to be”

It took a few years of trial and error to find our niche. Still to this day we want to help everyone that reaches out to us. This is why we have developed a new branch of our program called 360 Mindset Coaching which assists women executives to find work-life balance and removes imposter syndrome or the fear of not being enough.

It was not an easy journey to go through the challenges of entrepreneurship. We spent a lot of time finding our niche. However, we believe that it was well worth it. The lessons that we learned along the way have assisted us in defining who we are and the “why” of our business.

Our business started from the need that I saw in my own life. I was raised by an alcoholic father and lost a brother to AIDS dementia. However, being Cuban my mom never believed in asking for help, especially from a mental health provider. We kept everything bottled up inside. When I was in my forties I knew that I wanted to get emotionally free from my childhood and generational curses. At that time I started seeking answers from other professionals. When Michael, my business partner graduated as a Marriage and Family therapist I saw that as being the perfect opportunity to start helping others with their emotional challenges. And that is how Final Step International Inc. was born.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.

Well, I am a total foody. We definitely have to hit all of the great restaurants we have here in Los Angeles. I have a few favorites, one of them being Fixins Soul Kitchen at LA Live. Must stop at Porto’s bakery, a childhood favorite and still my favorite bakery. I have a list of 89 restaurants bookmarked on Yelp. Yeap, I like to eat. One of the things I always have wanted to do and for some reason have not had a chance to is The Star tour in Beverly Hills. When I see tourists taking the tour I get a little jealous. Enjoy a drink at one of our many rooftop restaurants. Go wine tasting in Temecula at Miramonte Winery. The view is breathtaking.

The Griffith Observatory is a must, that is one place that you can really take in the view of what Los Angeles has to offer. It’s funny every person I know that comes to Los Angeles wants to experience Venice Beach. If you want something interesting then I would take them there to soak in the beach vibe, experience the food, and people watch.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?

Along the way to entrepreneurship, I have had many ups and downs. I’ve had business coaches and taken plenty of classes, webinars, and training. I’ve been in business now for 10 years, so do the math. One of the most impactful classes and business courses I took was USC Civic Engagement, Economic Development Program. The support that I received in this program has been priceless. I graduated from the program in 2020 and to this date, I am still in contact with the mentors and alumni. Recently I took another cohort from the OmniWorks community. I am still involved with them and currently having accountability calls with Brent Imai, the co-founder.

In 2017 I started working with a mindset and personal coach, my business partner Michael Oden. I realized that if I was going to help others, I needed to help myself first. In this journey, I became aware of how my childhood was impacting my adult life. This led to being a co-author in the book “Own Your Dreams” forward by Les Brown. One of my all-time favorite motivational speakers. This opportunity was priceless not only did I get to meet and work with one of my favorite people in the world, but also allow me to “Find Inner Peace” title of my chapter.

I must say I have found myself surrounded by some great coaches and individuals who were willing to assist me along my journey.

As far as books, Nonviolent Communication by Marshall B. Rosenberg, Ph.D., Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss, The EMyth by Michael E. Gerber sits on my nightstand. But most of all I constantly re-read The Mastery of Love by Don Miguel Ruiz and The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown. I seem to find new information every time I read these books.

I’m currently on the board of directors to NSA-LA (National Speakers Association- Los Angeles Chapter) I am the Special Programs Director, and NextGen program that mentors young female entrepreneurs and CAYS (Community Alliance for Youth Success in Oceanside, a community that help teachers and schools, that inspires students to discover their purpose. I absolutely love not only assisting young professionals but also making a difference in their entrepreneurial journey.

Website: https://www.360mindsetcoach.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/360mindsetcoaching/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/alinaugas/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/360mindsetcoaching

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCW1LT1HccU6-MVJZZCoDU-A

Image Credits
I own and have taken these images. One of them is on my trip to Cuba after 52 years of not being there.

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