We had the good fortune of connecting with Crystal Gonzalez and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Crystal, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
Work/life balance is something I’ve had to really work at over the years. When I founded RevComm Consulting in 2017 I worked around the clock and lost sight of “my WHY” – which was to spend more time with my newborn (now 4!) son and to never miss a milestone. The first year and half was spent juggling a full-time job and building up the business at night (combine that with baby nighttime feedings and this mama was a zombie most days). When I finally quit my full-time job to focus on RevComm Consulting, I continuously felt the need to prove myself, which I thought meant responding to emails within minutes and always being available. Yes, I had a flexible schedule because I was my own boss, but I continued to fill free time with working on the business as I felt I always had to be busy to prove that RevComm was working and wouldn’t fall flat on its face. A client email at 8pm? You’ll get a response. Need me to squeeze in a meeting with less than 24 hours notice? I’d make it happen. I was setting myself up for burnout and missing out on quality time with my son. I slowly began marking my emails as unread to revisit later, I put my phone on do not disturb in the evenings, I set my work/family schedule for the day and stuck to turning off my phone when planned. I’ve spent the past 2 years really working on work/life balance and I’m finally in a really sweet place. I got a new phone for work only that I shut off when my son gets home from school and do a quick check before bed (no responses). I’ve implemented a 24-48 hour response time, with emergencies of course being priority. I have a set work schedule for the week that allows me to be with my son when he’s not in school. Sure, sometimes we have a client in crisis and project deadlines that crept up too fast so we have to move things around, but for the most part I have a schedule that allows me to be both a successful social entrepreneur AND a mom (+ wife, friend, daughter).
What should our readers know about your business?
RevComm is dedicated to [rev]olutionizing [comm]unities through the power of philanthropy. RevComm Consulting provides Grant Funding, Web Development, Creative Design, 501c3 Formation, Data Solutions and Business Planning, all tailored to nonprofit organizations. We pride ourselves on being “mission-agnostic”, meaning our clients serve diverse backgrounds with focus areas ranging from mental and behavioral health to racial justice and domestic violence support. I always say that we are more than consultants, we are thought partners. After working in the nonprofit sector for more than a decade, this line of work is important to me and something I am passionate about. I see a lot of consulting businesses out there, but not many that market specifically to nonprofits. At the root of our work is to create a community where children thrive and adults succeed.
After working in the nonprofit sector for so many years, I always thought I’d maybe jump into consulting one day, later in life. Then I got pregnant, and my life goals looked different almost in an instant. I didn’t want to clock in ever again and I didn’t want to miss any of my kiddos milestones, so I started dreaming of what a consulting business could look like and I never looked back. It wasn’t (and still isn’t!) easy – every day is a new challenge and I don’t think I’ll ever stop growing and evolving. I still face imposter syndrome and have moments of self-doubt, but I continue to grow more confident in who I am as a social entrepreneur each day. The most challenging experience for me has been pricing and learning to ask for what I deserve. I look back on what I was charging when I first started and can only laugh about it now. It has taken a lot of conversations with mentors and those who support me to learn how to price my services to match my worth and expertise.
I want the world to know that RevComm is here to stay and will continue to play a role in filling critical gaps in services throughout our communities. In late 2020 we added a 501c3 entity to our own work in an effort to support nonprofit organizations still in their infancy stage. By adding our own nonprofit entity (which is 100% volunteer-led by our dynamic and growing Board of Directors!) we’re hoping to help start-up nonprofits establish a foundation and secure the resources and funding needed to sustain services, leading to more opportunities for individuals and families in need. To anyone reading this, please remember to Do Good//Be Good – our world depends on it.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Where to start! To preface, we are located in Riverside (Inland Empire) but service clients all throughout Southern California, so my favorite spots are all over. I’m a foodie and I’m thankful to have married and birthed (haha) fellow foodies, so my go-tos will revolve around just that… food.
Riverside hotspots: my favorite coffee is hands down the Daily Brew in Riverside (2955 Van Buren Boulevard). Their regular ol’ brew always hits the spot, the seasonal lattes are always a win, and their almond butter toast and scones are *chefs kiss* we’d fuel there to start and check out the Hidden Valley Nature Center for a walk or bike ride. Sushi for lunch? Yes please. Big Tuna (4270 Riverwalk Pkwy) has the BEST sushi in Riverside. A great dinner spot is the Salted Pig (3750 Main St STE 103) for some different and always delicious meals. Big Tuna and Salted Pig were my family’s go-to take out meals during the pandemic!
When we meet with clients in OC/LA we have to squeeze in trips to the following: Loving Hut for some vegan goodness (237 S. Tustin Street, Orange), Halal Guys for the *best* gyros (2883 Park Ave, Tustin), and can’t forget our favorite dive bar Jimmy Bones for a drink (1815 E Chapman Ave, Orange). For an evening out in LA, Perch (448 S Hill St) is a must!
When I’m not business-running and mom-ing, you can find me in our garage gym training. So if a friend comes to visit I would drag them with me to my home gym, SoCal Powerlifting (17855 Sky Park Cir A, Irvine) for a session! I know, I know, who wants to workout on vacation, but the community at SoCal makes a workout feel like a good time, and I always want to push my friends to step out of their fitness comfort zone and lift some heavy metal.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I wouldn’t be where I am with RevComm Consulting without the support of my husband, Daniel. Before I ended my 9-5 career to focus on RevComm I was in a leadership position that allowed us to promote Daniel to a stay-at-home parent, the most rewarding and challenging job around. I took a promotion at work while he left the mortgage industry to be a full-time dad. We live in a society where gender roles tell us that women should work in the home while men should bring home the paycheck. We reversed the script and our family thrived. Fast forward to December 2018 and it was his motivation and encouragement (plus what had turned into a toxic work environment) that pushed me to make the jump and believe in what I was building with RevComm Consulting. We set a plan in place and we made the jump – as a family. If I didn’t have my husband rooting me on and believing in my work, I wouldn’t have ran with it in the ways that I did. He went back to work temporarily while I built up my clientele of nonprofit organizations and by January 2020 he came to the business full-time to support our creative projects – marketing, web design, system implementation. Now having worked together for 2+ years, it’s his love and support that continues to drive me. While I do consider him my business partner, he never shies away from saying I am the owner, the founder, the leader of RevComm Consulting.
Instagram: @revcomm.consulting // @revcomm.foundation
The Mustard Seed Collective, Monica Reif Studio