We had the good fortune of connecting with Shanelle Sherlin and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Shanelle, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
Learning to have a work-life balance can be one of the biggest challenges for anyone with a job. As is the case in several industries, especially entertainment, it’s all about connection, connections, connections! This leads to a “FOMO” mentality of feeling like you have to show up at every networking event, panel, and screening so that you don’t miss an opportunity to meet someone whom you can build a mutually beneficial relationship with. And on days you have free time, you’ve got to meet up for drinks or coffee with an industry colleague to continue nurturing those relationships. For those extremely career-driven individuals, it’s easy for this type of lifestyle to quickly become overwhelming, almost an obsession. For several years, this was my life – I had industry events 5 days a week, and was meeting up with industry professionals 4 times a week on top of that. When I started dating my boyfriend, who’s not in the industry, he didn’t understand why I rarely had time to hang out with him. It made it difficult to develop an intimate connection and it definitely hurt our relationship. On top of the negative effects on my mindset of how to manage a relationship and a busy career, there were other non-career goals I had my heart set on – like competing in triathlons. I’d wake up at 5:30am every morning to train, go straight to work, and go straight to an industry event after work. Needless to say, I rarely had time to see friends or even my boyfriend. I’m a firm believer that having structure in life is good to keep your goals in line, but my overly structured life was leading to depression and anxiety. Once I had achieved my longterm goal of completing an Ironman Triathlon, I realized my work life balance needed to shift if I wanted to salvage the dwindling threads of my relationships. I read Hal Elrod’s ‘Miracle Morning’ book (I HIGHLY recommend this to everyone) which focuses on his SAVERS program – silence, affirmations, visualizations, exercise, reading, scribing. He says that every morning should consist of these 6 actions. You meditate for at least a few minutes; recite your daily affirmations; write down your visualizations for the day or year; exercise; read something inspiring; and write. I began doing this every morning for about 2 hours to get my day started on a positive note. This quickly reduced my stress and anxiety by helping set my mind on what I truly wanted in life, realizing that I didn’t need to do everything and be present everywhere. The next big change I instituted into my weekly routine to add more of a work life balance was allocating only 4 days per week for industry events or meetings. This included both events or coffee meetings. This freed up a lot of time in my schedule to focus on building my personal relationships and developing my passion project skills. It also helped me start saving money because I wasn’t going out all the time, which had previously been a big factor on my depression and anxiety. When COVID hit, I stopped going out and participating in industry events all together, like many others in LA. While 2020 was a difficult year for many reasons, it showed me that I really didn’t miss going to these events as much as I thought I would. I’m now spending a couple of hours a days developing my personal relationships and hobbies, which is much more meaningful to me.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’ve been working for The CW Network for over 8 years, and while I absolutely love it, it doesn’t always provide me the creative outlet I need in life. So, 3 years ago I started my passion project, a travel blog. I love traveling, writing, and taking photos, so a blog seemed like the perfect fit. The first two years, it was very much a hobby. Since COVID began and my social schedule wasn’t as busy, I’ve been able to focus more of my attention on my blog. I actually just rebranded it to Go Near Far a couple of month as I’ve added the niche of Frugal Living Tips AND my mom has decided to join me in my writing ventures. 2020 was the first year I was able to secure free accommodations and activities in exchange for promoting their destinations on social and my blog. It was such a huge win for me! On top of that, I’ve secured several paid collaborations on social and am excited to share that as of a few days ago, I’m officially monetizing my blog as well! You heard it here first 😉 Having no mentor in this space, I’ve learned everything the hard way…making LOTS of mistakes! But as long as you’re learning from your mistakes, it’s all worth the ride. Every little win I have, every time I figure out how to fix a little technical problem, I feel this new sense of accomplishment and pride.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’m a native Angeleno, yet I feel like I never truly experienced Los Angeles until a few years ago. Most people visiting Los Angeles head to Santa Monica and Beverly Hills, which are wonderful areas, but I want my visitors to experience REAL Los Angeles. Some of my favorite areas are the off-beat neighborhoods of Frogtown, Highland Park, and Boyle Heights. These are cultural melting pots that are where L.A. was founded, yet many locals haven’t even visited these areas. 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?
Hal Elrod’s ‘Miracle Morning’