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

Hi Kristina, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
Balance will look different from person to person, but I’ve always believed that building a personal brand is all about creating something sustainable and fitting to my lifestyle and values.
After all, you should have your business work for you, not the other way around, right? Feeling
good physically/emotionally + enjoying myself is important, so I try to make sure I have fun and
take care of myself while building a business and life that I love. To be more specific, work-life
balance for me looks like prioritizing family, friends, and taking care of my physical/emotional
needs along with my work. So, whether that’s getting in some exercise or taking time to process
my thoughts and feelings in a safe space with someone I trust. Balance for me looks like
covering my bases in business and in life so I can take care of myself and others the best that I
can. The look of balance changes over time in terms of specifics, but it’s always key to making
sure that my business continually aligns with the life that I want to build and live out daily.

What should our readers know about your business?
I did think my business journey was “easy” in the sense that I am a formidable and adaptable person and it was not hard to think “I need to keep going/pivot” instead of giving up, which helped me overcome mental barriers. In the very beginning, the biggest challenge was just that I really needed to hunt for information because when I started, blog education and tips weren’t as readily accessible as they are today.

Some of the biggest lessons I’ve learned along the way is that persistence is key. Just because someone says no to you, doesn’t mean that it’s a no forever, it just means it’s not a fit at the moment. I read this impactful book (honestly, one of the best books I’ve read to date) called “Go for No”, and it talks about the strategy of counting your nos versus your yeses which is a pivotal thing for your mindset. It essentially encourages people to look at things logically instead of emotionally. The more you put yourself out there, yes, there is a higher risk of rejection, but more opportunities for the right brands to say yes or for opportunities in the back pocket. Another big lesson I’d love to pass on: Use your connections. Those connections in the back pocket are so important and useful, you never know — maybe the person you sit next to at a friends’ dinner ends up being the person who helps you later on in business. It’s not about using people but knowing who might be willing to help (after all, people have the right to say no, and that’s okay) and of course, consider how you’ll credit or thank them. Be open to opportunities and treat everything as a next opportunity. You really could be one meeting or one phone call away from having everything you want.

No matter what challenges you come along with, keep going and be creative about ways that you can achieve what you want. Personally, I’m dyslexic and while it’s been a challenge creating content that is relatively text-heavy (emails & blogging), something that has been helpful for me is using tools like speech to text transcription or hiring talented writers. It’s still 100% your voice and vision even if it takes help and tools to achieve and execute your plans. Don’t be afraid of outsourcing or asking for help where you need it, because it’s support that will give you space and the capacity to grow your brand. Stick to your strengths and flourish in your zone of genius. Just because you have a challenge doesn’t mean you can’t be creative with solutions!

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.
Oh so many… In LA, there are a lot of cool things to research like exhibits (for instance, Van Gogh and Pink Floyd), outdoor drive-in movies, events/concerts, and cool pop ups. Using resources like LA Bucketlist or LA Things to Do, you’ll find promotions of cool events and themed things. Some pop ups I’ve been to include a wizards bar, a Bridgerton activtation and a drive-through for Stranger Things.

There’s so much to do in LA. If my best friend was with me, the first thing we’d do would definitely be dinner someplace near me, with a walkable downtown scene. A classy hotel to get drinks is always a great option and nightlife places like entertainment dance clubs can be fun too. Bar hopping is so fun. If there’s anything cool in the city at the time, maybe watching a show. During the daytime, going to the beach or setting up a picnic with a company (like The Picnic Co) can be super cute and picturesque. You can wade in the waves and get a good tan in too. The local boutiques can be great to shop at, and of course, going out to eat is an option! (Brunch is always a good idea… I love what it represents — starting the day right). LA has some great pizza and taco spots, from casual to classy, you’ll find what you’re looking for. Just read up on the reviews and make table reservations if you need to.

If you’re in the downtown area, I love Little Tokyo. I love rooftop bars as well!

LA Itinerary Suggestions

Mornings:
Coffee – Blue Bottle
Walk from Santa Monica to Venice
Hollywood sign, run/walk
Do a ClassPass with a friend
Brunch at Perch or The Ivy

Daytime
The Picnic Co – Picnic in Santa Monica
Poolside lounge at a hotel
Shopping on Melrose
Farmers Market on Sunday
Melrose Trading Post

Night
Bar Lisa
Catch
Craig’s
Beauty & Essex
Mama Shelter
Wood & Vine
EP & LP

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?
Ahhh, so many. Throughout my life, I would say that my partner, mentors, friends and family throughout high school, college and my working professional life have all played a role (and they know who they are because I make sure to thank them) in encouraging me and supporting me in my entrepreneurial dreams. But in the business area, my dad has really influenced me in a big way. He is a serial entrepreneur and I especially feel so empowered seeing everything he has created. His ability to problem solve in tough situations and see big picture, is something that not many can do. He’s phenomenal as a human and I come to him anytime I have a business idea, he performs at such a high level juggling different tasks and I have admired him since I was a child.

Website: kristinamcinnis.com

Instagram: kristinacatherinemcinnis

Image Credits
KCMCONNECT https://www.instagram.com/kcmconnect/

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