We had the good fortune of connecting with Teo Martinez and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Teo, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
For most of my career I tried to strike the so-called work/life balance, hoping there would come a time when my workday ended and my personal time began. I finally realized that it’s all one life. When you own your own business it is tough to set fixed working hours–stuff happens that often you can’t put off to the next day. It’s very similar when you are advancing your career because you want to be seen as someone that can be counted on. Nevertheless, spiritual, mental and emotional health is everything. Without it, you’re just a mouse in a wheel. So, I realized that the tradeoff for having to take a client call at an off hour, for instance, was that by the time I finish a regular work day I have already done everything I want to do with my day. Ironically, COVID has made this so much easier since I don’t have to report to an office anymore. Instead of commuting, I begin my day with spiritual practices, quality time with the kids and exercise. Then I’m ready to get working undistracted. Once I’m done with the my workday, there is nothing really left for me to do on a personal level. The result is that I get to truly enjoy the time being with my wife and kids, cooking, and just being present. The other trick I learned is that I must have an extracurricular activity that excites and challenges me. The activity changes from one season to the next. Right now it is long distance trail running. It gets me out into nature, has me push myself in ways I never thought possible, keeps me healthy and focused on my health, and most of all I look forward to it. I have a very full life and my secret is that I only say “yes” to things that feed my soul.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Growing Generations is a full service surrogacy and egg donation agency. This means that if you are seeking to have a child through either means, we take you step-by-step through the entire process, coordinating all the work with your donor and/or surrogate and the associated professionals. What sets Growing Generations apart is that we obsessively focus on quality, safety and service, to the point that we could take our team and put them in any service industry and just rock it! It is incredible to help someone have a child. Especially being a parent myself, I love that this is what I do. But surrogacy and egg donation is a human process, meaning it is unpredictable and evergreen. So, while many of our cases have perfect processes, there are many that have obstacles. There are many that had huge obstacles before they even got to us. This is where Growing Generations excels. For us, we stick with our clients and get them to the end. From the top down, we are one team making it happen for each and every case.
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 vegan and like a lot of vegans I am secretly trying to get everyone else to become one–sometimes I’m not so secretive about it! So, the week would include visits to my favorite vegan joints in the Valley (the Vegan Joint in Woodland Hills being one of them–love the house fried rice there). We would visit Vinh Loi in Reseda. a Vietnamese vegan restaurant so good that despite all of the negative reviews for its outspoken owner Kevin, it still has close to 5 stars on Yelp and Google. Kevin is hilarious by the way, but it is totally possible that he will tell you that you shouldn’t order what you ordered and insist that he make you something of his own choosing (he’s never been wrong in my experience). Then there is Follow Your Heart’s cafe in Canoga Park. This is my personal fave because you can get truly healthy, whole food meals alongside perhaps less healthy options for those vegan skeptics in your party. Ok, now we need to walk off all of this food. I live near Topanga state park, and my two favorite local outdoor activities are the Eagle Rock hike starting at Trippet Ranch and a run up dirt Mulholland. Both are magnificent, one giving you an amazing view of the ocean and the other of the city. I’m not even sure if it’s legal to do this, but theoretically I am going to take you to both before the sun rises so you can experience the parks bathed in moonlight–truly an experience not to be missed.
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?
Rich Roll is a huge inspiration to me. He’s a local guy, who wrote a book called Finding Ultra that details a beautiful and grueling journey of discovery that began in his forties. There are so many layers to his story, you just have to read it (or listen to it, as I did). It reinforced my love of plant-based eating and was pivotal in my own foray into long distance running. He has a podcast, which is also excellent. Through listening to Rich and following his journey, I realized how to make big things fit into the limited time we have for our families, careers and just life in general. The guy is awesome.