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Hi, I'm Kate...

...and I've been right where you are.

About

Kathleen Byars holds her young sons

My boys and me.

In 2003 I began a journey to understand what it really takes to live a balanced life.

As a single mother, I spent my daughter’s entire childhood keeping up a frenetic pace while I built my corporate career. I was constantly running, multi-tasking, and feeling guilty for the hours and hours I spent away from her.

Kathleen Garrett Byars and her daughter, Jessica

My daughter and me at a corporate event in Spain

I felt like I was failing at work and failing at home. I never had enough time to fully focus on my work, yet I never had enough time to be the mom I wanted to be either.

I thought the problem was me. If only I could work harder, smarter, or more productively I could achieve the balance I was missing.

Yet, there seemed to be a new “hoop” to jump through. Every time I thought I might get a break from the pace at work, there was always a new project or deadline that kept me from getting real downtime with my child.

And when I was with my daughter, I wasn’t focused. She would often have to repeat herself because I wasn’t tuned in – my mind was always at the office.

I spent a lot of time pushing my daughter away. I was constantly telling her “In a minute…” or “I’ll be right there!” or “Let me send this “quick” email and then I can spend time with you…”

Our life together was always on the run. We rushed to go to school, rushed to work, rushed to finish dinner, rushed to do homework…”

And yet I felt guilty for not appreciating my life more. I had an incredible executive career traveling all over the world – a dream come true! I had a beautiful daughter, a beautiful home, and wealth that I never anticipated. Why wasn’t I happy?

How I Overcame the Status Quo

Finally, something had to change. At the age of 15, my daughter moved across the country to live with her father. At the same time, my company underwent a significant management change. And I met my husband.

So I put my life on hold and moved to an island. Seriously.Kathleen Byars Drives a Dive Boat for Dive BVI

Thinking that a simpler life would bring me the lifestyle balance I craved, I stepped away from the corporate world and became a dive master in the British Virgin Islands. There was only one problem…this didn’t solve the problem. Although I now had a different pace of life, I was living meagerly and missed my former VIP self.

Frustrated and highly focused on finding the answer to creating a balanced life I began a decade-long journey beside my husband to discover how.

Everyone told us we were nuts and that we just needed to appreciate the life we had.

I refused to believe the dogma.

Our research often felt impossible. We took two steps forward and three steps back. We read every philosophy, psychology, and personal development book available, yet nothing worked for us long-term. We finally stepped back and began to realize why.

Everything we needed to create a balanced life was inside of us. The problem is that we don’t grow up learning how to balance our needs – we grow up learning how to work hard and make money. And we keep trying to make life fit around this warped idea of success until we burn out – or worse live lives of deep regret.

The minute I stopped putting all my energy into finding the ideal career and started putting my energy into making effective life decisions based on my needs – my life transformed remarkably.

It didn’t happen overnight and it wasn’t easy. But seriously, if I can do it, you can, too.

My Balanced Life

Today I enjoy a balanced, flexible life that allows me to be the mom I want to be and spend hours of high-quality time each day with my kiddos and husband.

When the boys were infants, I worked full-time creating award-winning marketing that resulted not only in sales growth for my employer but also gave me the opportunity to work on the cusp of the content marketing movement. My work was highly creative, demanding, and rewarding – yet I only worked 20 hours per week outside the home. The rest of the time I played with my two young sons.

I then took two years off to be a full-time mom. I had to learn how to transition from glass-chewing executive to cookie-cutting mommy, but I did… and loved it.

Now it’s my husband’s turn to stay home and I have a meaningful career that allows me to live authentically according to my values and be the mother I always wanted to be. It’s my mission to help other corporate moms create their own authentic, balanced, beautiful lives. If I can do it, you can, too.

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