We had the good fortune of connecting with Tiffany Huff-Strothers and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tiffany, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
The way I think about balance has changed a lot over the years. I now focus more on being in harmony than balance. What I know now is that while there are many areas of my life that are important, there will be different seasons or periods of time where one or two is dominant. Being able to create harmony in my life requires me to accept that and be okay with it. It also require accepting that what is dominant or primary focus today may not be next month or in six months. It is very important to be self-aware and clear about the mission of your business as to increase and maintain harmony as an entrepreneur.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am an Award Winning Author. One of the ways I use my creativity is to help other women tap into the power of their own stories and how they can be used to make both an impact and income. This can be through the literal writing of a book, or the development of a business, a career shift, a speaking side hustle, the possibilities are endless! Additionally, through When She Thrives, I work with small cohorts of single mothers to write, and self-publish books so they have an additional stream of income to support their families.
The journey to truly understanding the power of my own story started as I began to write college entrance application essays. I was able to eventually streamline my process and use the same essay for the vast majority of my applications. I garnered over 1 million dollars in scholarship money with that essay, including a full ride from The Bill + Melinda Gates Foundation to cover me through a PhD. it literally changed my life.
My ability to serve others in using the power of their stories started as a side hustle of helping people improve their resumes. Ultimately, using their stories to make an impact and income via new careers and opportunities.
The most challenging part of taking my skills to the streets was really understanding my power in the marketplace, who my audience was and positioning myself accordingly to be able to scale beyond family and friends. Really shifting my mindset from employee to empire builder.
One of the best lessons I learned is you have to have designated time to work in your business and designated time to work on your business. Additionally, it is important to constantly be investing in yourself as an entrepreneur because in doing so you investing in your business and your ability to serve your clients with excellence and integrity.
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.
Pittsburgh is an awesome place to visit. We have some great open green spaces to eat, hang out and people watch. We’d definitely go to Market Square to play with the giant sized board games and have a sandwich at the famous Primanti Brothers. We’d spend a day going to all of the museums including The Carnegie Museum of Natural History, The Andy Warhol Museum, and Randyland and end eating on the patio at Redfin Blues – the ambiance is amazing! We’d take the trolley to station square then take the incline up to the overlook at Mount Washington so you can take in the beauty of the city and get some great photos, then head over to The Carnegie Science Center and Sports Works and enjoy dinner on the North Shore.
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?
I have to say my father deserves much credit and recognition in my story. He always had an appreciation and understanding of my peculiarity and how powerful it was becoming. Because of this, he was not only there to support me, but understood how I needed to be challenged along my journey and never backed down from a courageous conversation with me.
Additionally, when I was in elementary school I became part of a program – The Role Models Program – based at Carnegie Mellon University. The program was founded and run by the AMAZING Elaine Atkinson. I learned so much from her, from how to speak “proper english” to the importance of a firm handshake, the possibility of different careers and becoming an entrepreneur.