From an Unbalanced Life to Living My Best Life, by Michelle Gagliani

Michelle was born and raised on a very small island known as St.Thomas, United States Virgin Islands. Since 2014, she has been living in the states, moved  a few times but now, resides in Austin, TX. In October 2020, she created, The Balanced CEO blog where she talks about how to have balance as an entrepreneur and the importance of a holistic approach to life. She hopes to inspire and help others reach their highest potential, become the best version of themselves, and live their dream life on their own terms.

I can’t do this anymore! 

I have said these words to myself so many times. The time I worked in the hot bakery kitchen at a 5-star hotel. Or, the time I worked in the states as a customer service representative and spent 12 hours a day chained to the phone. They clocked every break and watched employees like a hawk. If they thought our bathroom breaks were too long, we heard about it. Each time I reached a point, I said I can’t do it anymore.

Of course, I came to my senses and left those jobs. But, when I decided to start my company, I reached the point that I said, I can’t do this anymore.

What?! I was living the dream. Working for myself, making my hours, and not answering to anyone. Hearing myself say those words, I was in shock. I wondered what I was doing wrong. I questioned why I felt this way. 

After some much-needed reflection, I realized I was living to work and not working to live. I was so focused on growing my business that I stopped taking care of the most important aspects of my life; myself and the well-being of people I love. My passion for my business led to burnout. Life was passing me by, and I didn’t even know it.   

How many of you have bought into the toxic mentality of entrepreneurs and business owners, like I did? It’s the hustle culture that says burnout is an accomplishment and an indication that we are fully vested in our business. 

But, I kept going. 

I kept running on the hamster wheel. Work! Work! Work! That was my thinking. Why would I put my well-being first? The result of my efforts was weight gain, hair loss, and chronic back and hip pain. 

Then everything changed.

November 2019, I remember it like it was yesterday. My sweet and strong daddy passed away.

Something about this tragedy had me seeing the world and my life through a different lens. I used to take life for granted and stress about unimportant things. His passing showed me that true happiness is not burning myself out but focusing on myself and the people I love.  

When I found life balance, everything changed.

My new perspective had me asking, what do I need to do to have a balanced life? The answers were:  

  1. Create a morning routine. So, every morning I take time for myself; by drinking coffee, reading, working out, meditating, listening to personal development podcasts, and making a healthy breakfast. After all, a morning routine sets the tone for the day.
  2. Adopt a plant-based diet to heal my body. I lost 30 lbs. in a year, am healthier, and my confidence is soaring. 
  3. I stopped seeking approval from others. What I think of myself is all that matters. Cutting the negative, non-supportive people from my life made this possible. 
  4. I set work boundaries. I have a set schedule that I work. When the time comes to clock out, I do. 
  5. Be present. After work, my focus is on loved ones and being present in the moments I spend  with them. I apply this rule to vacations, dinners out, and all non-work-related activities. My new philosophy says work can wait and enjoy the the little moments.

Today, I am more grateful, happier, healthier, and less stressed. I highly recommend saying “NO” to the hustle culture, obtaining a healthy balance, and enjoying life.

I live to inspire others.

To help people find a life balance, I created “The Balanced CEO brand.” I spend a lot of time sharing my story and teaching people that a healthy mind, body, and spirit are possible. Recognize the path to self-evolution is dynamic, and the first step in this journey is learning to take care of ourselves. When we work towards becoming the best we can be, our dreams become our reality. 

We all deserve to be happy, healthy, and thriving in life.

Follow your dreams. Grow as a person. And, always stay true to yourself.

Cheers to you balancing and living your best life.

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About Me

This is the story of my life transformation journey and how I went from poverty, homelessness, and emotionally broken to thriving and living my purpose.

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