We had the good fortune of connecting with Hannah Hughes and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Hannah, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
I’ve always enjoyed working. I’m very driven, ambitious, and goal-oriented. (Part of the reason I was able to write and publish two books before the age of 22.) When there’s a task at hand, I won’t stop until I see it through. It wasn’t until recent years that I realized my life was revolving around work. I didn’t notice that I was setting myself up for burnout, and honestly, depending too much on my achievements for my sense of worth. After I had my son in 2019, and then the events of 2020, I was forced to slow down. At first, I was frustrated by the inconvenience. I wanted to keep plowing ahead and I kept adding things to my plate to make myself feel like I was being “productive.” In the end, I was just exhausted. For me, it took getting to a place of burnout to realize my life was moving in a direction I never meant for it to. I took inventory of my life and noticed I was neglecting things like family, rest, even my own health. And especially now that I’m a mom, I knew something had to change. I realized that if I’m building a life based on “hustle,” then it would take hustling to maintain it. That’s not the kind of life I want for my family or myself. I want to be present. I want to work from rest and make sure I’m working around the important things in life, not planning or building my life around my work. I started limiting screen time, scheduling in uninterrupted time with friends and family, having more fun, and it’s changed everything for me. When I prioritize rest and relationships, I’m so much more aligned and grounded, and my work is all the better as a result! It may have taken some discomfort to get here, but I’m so thankful I’m learning these things now, while I have time and opportunities to make changes in the structure of my life and business.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I’m an author, and that still feels surreal to say sometimes. I’ve always loved writing. Even as a little girl, I would dictate stories for my mom before I could write by myself. In school, I used journaling as a means to process the things I was going through and in high school, I started writing my first book. When I told teachers or classmates about it, I don’t think they thought I would actually do it. But here I am, two published books later! For me, the hardest part of the process was letting go of what others think. Some people wouldn’t take me seriously because of my age (I was 19 when I published my first book) and others would pity me or seem embarrassed for me, as if they were expecting me to fail. I’m thankful to have a solid support system around me and plenty of people who did believe in me. They are the ones who encouraged me to keep writing and eventually release my second book. I’m very passionate about helping women discover their purpose and pursue their dreams with confidence, and a lot of that passion comes from my own experience. If there weren’t people who helped me discover my purpose along the way, I wouldn’t be where I am now. I want to help other women achieve their goals and believe that they don’t have to settle for normal just because someone else says so!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I love thrifting, so we would definitely do plenty of that! Haltom Thrift is my favorite. We would hang out at some of my favorite coffee shops like White Rhino, Wayward or Summer Moon, and eat at Flower Child or HG SPLY. I love being outside, so we would probably go for a walk by the Trinity or our local park. Maybe even the zoo. We’d have to have some meals in the Magnolia area, maybe Cane Rosso, Spiral Diner, or Salsa Limon. I also enjoy going out to Bishop Arts, where I used to work. We would have to grab a juice and a snack from Tribal Cafe, and of course we’d stop at Emporium Pies! I’d take them to a Tacos & Tunes show to hear some local artists play live music. And to end with a bang, we’d for sure have to go to Beto and Son’s and get one of their nitrogen margaritas – the BEST!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I have to thank my husband, Christopher, because he has been the most supportive and encouraging partner through all the ups and downs. He has always cheered me on and believed in me, even when I didn’t believe in myself. I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for him continually reminding me how much my work matters, even if for just one person. He never lets me give up, and I credit a lot of my success to him for that.
Other: My online community for women: www.facebook.com/groups/ByWordsTogether
Christopher Hughes, Destynie Plotke, Hannah Wermich