We had the good fortune of connecting with Anne Kim and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Anne, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
When I first started my business, I began with no concept of work life balance. I had been bombarded with ideas about the entrepreneur’s hustle and how it took a great deal of perseverance and struggle to become successful. Most of the people I followed online (and looked to as motivational mentors) emphasized the importance of working hard and long hours, doing whatever it takes to get the job done. So I began with reckless abandon, intent that my story would become something to share so that I, in turn, could also encourage new and budding entrepreneurs to do the same. Grit your teeth, bury your head and do the work.
As an entrepreneur and especially a new business owner, there is usually a minimal working budget which requires a great deal of out-of-the-box thinking. The beauty of this is that it pushes you to build partnerships faster. I began to plan events and pivoted to include digital marketing and business development services as I started working with an increasing number of hospitality venues asking me to help them in these areas. As the workload began to increase, I realized that I needed to take a step back. As a small business owner, I had to evaluate how I was spending my time. When you have fewer clients, there’s always the temptation to throw time into fixing a problem and doing repetitive tasks. But as my business continues to grow and scale, I’m finding the value of looking for efficiencies whenever possible. Creating systems and outsourcing is an integral part of growth that helps businesses find balance. Deciding what to outsource and what needs your personal attention are important things to consider as well. For example, bookkeeping and administrative tasks might be better handed off to a team. This opens the door to work with more new clients. Although there is definitely no substitute for hard work, there is also something to be said about self-care and finding moments to reset. The moments of stillness provide opportunities for creativity to emerge. Counterintuitively, taking a step away from the balancing act of owning a business, can bring fresh eyes and a renewed energy to build better momentum.
Sometimes the hardest thing for a business owner to do, is to take a break. My goal now is to use my experiences to help others learn the shortcuts and avoid the mistakes that I’ve made along the way. For those who want to learn, I’m creating content on my blog with advice on getting started as an entrepreneur, marketing advice, and how to plan your own perfect party! I also continue to work with private clients for brand marketing and event production. Now more than ever I’m understanding the value of work life balance. In the long run this benefits everyone, especially the clients. And who doesn’t want that?
What should our readers know about your business?
My company, LA Socials, helps others to shine. Whether you’re planning your office’s corporate holiday party and want it to stand out, or you’re a bride planning your big day, our job is to make you look good. We also work with hospitality clients creating ways for them to grow and stand out in a saturated market. We drive business in meaningful and measurable ways to our brands.
What sets us apart from others is the individual focus and attention that each of our clients receive. Our clients are considered guests that are treated with personalized service. They’re not treated as another number with a generic marketing sales script and/or formulaic approach. We create unique and customized strategies for each individual client.
The thing that I’m most excited about with my work is the opportunity to be creative and give voice to a story. Whether we’re creating branding and images for clients or building an experience, we get to leave a signature mark on every piece of our work. Our job is to make things beautiful and my inner artist thrives through this unique outlet. We get to share people’s stories, experiences, histories, and loves. Getting to this point has not been easy but extremely rewarding. Entrepreneurs have an intrinsically optimistic outlook that despite the odds, they keep at it. Overcoming challenges requires resilience and persistence. One of the important lessons I’ve learned along the way is to say no to the things that don’t align with your plan and your purpose. It’s very easy to get sidetracked and distracted. Being strategic with your time and goal setting are important in achieving long term successes. And the desire to always please others can work against you if you don’t set the proper boundaries.
I’m often just as grateful for the clients that I choose not to work with, as I am for the ones that I do. Not everyone is going to be the right fit and you can choose your projects selectively. The Pareto Principle (also known as the 80/20 Rule), says that 20% of the input leads to 80% of the outcome. This is especially true in business and you get to decide what 20% you choose to focus on. The LA Socials brand has a unique aesthetic that takes your will and we find the way. Let us take your ideas and run with them, elevating experiences and expectations. We love what we do and it shows! If you prefer DIY and how-to tutorials, visit our site at www.lasocials.com and learn our tricks of the trade (coming soon) .
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
This is a great question! I’m a local Angeleno and I love highlighting the landmarks of this great city. Here’s a list of my top 5 Fun Things to Do while in LA, in no particular order. (Keep in mind that the pandemic has changed the hours and availability of the activities below). 1. Griffith Observatory – View the stars and catch a show at the planetarium while enjoying breathtaking views of LA. 2. Santa Monica Pier – Ride the ferris wheel at the Pier, bike on the beach boardwalk and dine at the rooftop of the (Kelly Wearstler-designed) Proper Hotel. Make sure to make an appointment before you arrive, as that’s the only way they’ll allow you to take the elevators to the rooftop (at the time of this writing). 3. Shop at the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market on a Wednesday or Saturday morning and get fresh organic produce. Cook for a night in or create a picnic to dine out at a drive-in movie (yes they’re making a comeback). 4. Walt Disney Concert Hall – Savor the sounds of the LA Phil at this beautiful structure designed by Frank Gehry. Arrive earlier and visit the Broad Museum nearby. You can view the generous art collections of LA’s well-known philanthropists, Eli and Edythe Broad. 5. Malibu – Visit the Getty Villa and splurge on a meal at Geoffrey’s or Nobu. Drink champagne while dolphin watching for a very posh day.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My Shoutout goes to the village that helped me to raise my business, LA Socials. Beginning with my mom who has been my biggest advocate from Day One. And my family that has been by my side through the thick and the thin parts of this journey. I’m grateful for the small business owners I’ve encountered along the way, whether it was my mechanic or dentist who’ve shared their stories with me. Learning of their struggles getting started, encouraged me to keep going. I’m also indebted to my church community of believers, and ultimately the glory goes to God who provides direction and discernment in all things.
Gloria Mesa, Alex Drachnik, Hee Shin