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

Hi Whitney, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
For me, work life balance is a continuous flow. It’s kind of my secret weapon and my kryptonite at the same time. I have the ability to do multiple things at once and be very good at them all. So, sometimes, when I have to sit one on the back burner temporarily it feels like I’m not doing well. However, I’ve begun to switch my thinking and know that all things can’t “cook well on high heat”. You sometimes have to let things rest or simmer. They’ll be put on high in their time. So I’m comfortable flexing through my priorities. However, when it’s time for something to be on high heat, I go full force so that when I put it down, there’s enough residual to keep it going until I can pick it back up.  In all of that, I make sure that I am my number one priority.  As long as I’m taking care of myself, I can be the best person at home and the best person at work.  When I let things with me slack, I can’t show up for anyone else.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
When it comes to my business, I think this keeps me the most busy because it’s also my passion.  I audaciously shift and refine the trajectory of ambitious women with chronic illnesses.  I do this through coaching, my accelerator program, speaking, and advocacy work.  After I got sick, I had to really have those hard conversations with myself about what I wanted my life to look like and who I really was.  During those conversations, I realized that my illness didn’t end my ambition, I just needed to shift it a bit and make sure that I was my top priority.  This is what I help my clients do especially those enrolled in my Ill Influence Accelerator.  The Spring 2020 cohort is happening now and we meet 90 minutes every week along with 30 minute office hours weekly.  Over the summer, I’ll be doing more youtube and my podcast just entered Season 5.  It’s definitely an exciting time and I’m loving it.

In my 9-5 life, I work in higher education. Currently I’m a Director at a Law School. I actually recently just started. I got that new job and moved for it during 2021. I came into higher education by accident because I graduated during the recession but quickly realized that I liked it and was really good at it. So, as I consistently do, I have set some aggressive goals to climb the ranks and learn as much as possible. It hasn’t been easy but I have a lot of cross-functional experience from several universities which isn’t the norm. I’ve learned to be flexible and knowledgeable. I am never afraid to ask questions and say I don’t know. I’m always learning.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
So I just moved to Baton Rouge, LA and I am probably the one who needs the tour. I moved from the New Orleans area. So, if I was there, I wouldn’t take them to the typical tourist spots. Bourbon Street is overrated. We’d definitely go out to eat at my favorite catfish place – Barrow’s. We’d go to one of my favorite events like Too Trill Trivia or Trap Bingo. We’d get some drinks and listen to live music on Frenchman. Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’d like to shoutout my friends and family who have supported me through my diagnosis and through all my changes and moves. Without them constantly cheering on my dreams and goals and supporting me, I don’t know if I would be able to do it.

Website: www.thewhitneywest.com

Instagram: @thewhitneywest

Twitter: @thewhitneywest

Facebook: facebook.com/thewhitneywest

Youtube: youtube.com/whithappens6

Image Credits
Devonte Williford

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