We had the good fortune of connecting with Michelle Edgar and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Michelle, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
I have always been a high-achiever and finding enough energy to get me through the days to perform at my peak was always a challenge. People talk about “having it all” and I think it’s about prioritization and the stage of life you are in. My focus has been to live my healthiest and most vibrant life and my goals align with my purpose. It’s essential to get clear and establish a timeline so you can work towards achieving your goals and objectives.
As an executive in the music business for over 10+ years, I’ve always been very dedicated to my work and went above and beyond to complete a task and see it through even if it meant sacrificing my personal life – working crazy hours and weekends, at shows and with clients at all hours. The entertainment business is all encompassing especially when working with talent it’s a 24-7 job from attending artist shows to business commitments after regular work hours. I love working with talent and creatives, and have always made sure to be available to my artists and clients, but that requires making personal sacrifices.
As my career evolved and I advanced to leadership roles, I set better boundaries to live a more balanced life focusing on wellness and having healthy routines around eating, sleeping and exercising to perform at my best, and help inspire and empower my teams. As I made the commitment to myself and my well-being, my life transformed.
To be your best, you first need to take care of you and nurture your mind and body and get it in a healthy rhythm to increase your productivity and effectivity. Listen and know your body so you can tap into your true potential to maximize opportunities physically and mentally in both your personal and professional lives. As I balance work, training, running The XX Project women in leadership membership community and non-profit Music Unites along with being a first-year Master’s in Legal Studies student at UCLA Law School, I have to stay hyper focused, discipline and commit to a daily schedule.
Everyone always asks how I do it. I’m a creature of habit and super discipline. Every morning I train with my coach for two hours starting at 6 AM and start my day off with a healthy workout and meditation on the Calm ap. I then am ready to take on my day and have energy for law school after work and studying. Every night, I’m in bed by 9:30 as my Coach ensures I get enough sleep for my body to rejuvenate and I make sure I sleep 8 hours every day. I work all weekends on law school, but I know this investment is well worth it and there’s no better time to do it during the pandemic. I’ve committed to better myself both physically and intellectually, and making the most out of the time I’ve had as I’m investing in myself.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
At the age of 5, I discovered the piano and fell in love with the sound as it was a creative outlet that enabled me to express myself. I would sit and study at the piano for hours. My parents recognized that I had a gift and invested in me through professional lessons to unleash my talent. I studied at the Manhattan School of Music for 13 years and then went to Northwestern University to train as a concert pianist, while double majoring in journalism with a business minor. My father always told me to have a back up plan and I ended up following his footsteps as a businesswoman. I always knew in my heart that with my business acumen and understanding of my craft, I could uniquely help shape artists careers through the lens of marketing and branding. My journey to the entertainment business was unconventional as I spent a summer in the mailroom at CAA and interning for Vanity Fair in London. My job in London, led to an opportunity at Vanity Fair in New York and I started my career in publishing, which led to my career as a journalist and beauty editor at WWD. One day my boss said to me, “Follow the Music” and at that moment I realized that music was missing from my life and I had to get back to my roots and passion. I got my first job in the music business in strategic partnerships at Warner Bros. Records and worked with a diverse roster of artists from The Black Keys, Josh Groban, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Flaming Lips, Gary Clark Jr. and Andra Day.
Determination, discipline and hard work were essential to my success. I’ve taken that same training and discipline as a concert pianist and applied it to my training as an athlete. Be relentless in your pursuits of goals in order to see them through. I remember when I set out to be an agent, there was nothing that could stop me from achieving this goal. I lived in a culture of “yes” and wouldn’t take no as an answer and truly believed in myself and what I could offer my clients. If you would have asked me if I would see myself doing this a year ago, I would have never dreamt of racing on the Olympic Training Track for the second time. I am forever grateful to my Coach for believing in me, instilling his wisdom and pushing me to the next level of my athletic ability as we train to compete next weekend – marking our one year of training together every day.
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.
I would start off our day with a hard core workout with Coach on the Santa Monica beach. Workouts start with a 5-mile warmup from the Santa Monica to Venice Pier, followed by Coach’s fun workouts on the hill on the beach right behind my apartment. From there, I would venture to my happy spot at Little Beach House in Malibu and relax to the waves. They day will finish off with my favorite hike at Zuma Ridge Trail, followed by a walk on Point Dume in Malibu. Also, for an amazing sunset workout go to Barry’s Bootcamp in Santa Monica as it overlooks the ocean and is the perfect way to end your day with some fun energetic music, while getting a serious workout.
My local favorite spots in Santa Monica include Cafe Gratitude for breakfast/ lunch and Manchego, Elephante, Wabi for dinner and a sweet treat at Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams on Rose Ave.
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?
My Coach Richard Rucker, head Track & Field Coach at UCLA Club Track & Beverly Hills High, has been my rock during these challenging times and I’m forever grateful to him. He’s an incredible coach and teacher, who has taught me so much above and beyond my athletic potential but LIFE. He always says, “It’s not the age, it’s the stage.” At 38, he helped me discover a whole new side of me and unleashed the inner athlete, along with my true calling and passion opening my eyes up to a whole new world. We’ve set many goals from competing to achieving All-American status, and together as a team we continue to bring them all to life. There’s nothing I look forward to more than getting up early morning when its still dark out and doing our crazy intense workouts to UB40 or Bob Marley some old school hip hop soul or smooth jazz tunes.
Coach taught me that it’s never too late to find your true purpose and calling, and one thing you must do is believe in yourself and commit. I was on my wellness journey for 90 days before I met Coach on June 4 and my life changed forever and I was able to make All-American on my third track race after nine months of training day in and day out.
Coach always says, “Life is a marathon, not a sprint” and I’m grateful to have a mentor who took me under his wing even though he said when he saw me on the UCLA track at 6 AM for the first few weeks, he had to teach me from scratch how to run and retrain me as I was a hybrid of Forrest Gump meets Charlie Chaplin.
Photo by: Jordan Andrade, Andrade Visuals