We had the good fortune of connecting with Joey Szolowicz and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Joey, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
That is a question that I have pondered for a long time. H3Living is technically my 4th or 5th small business endeavor. Suffice it to say there have been successes and failures in these various businesses. This has given me plenty of time to think about work life balance and specifically what my ideal lifestyle would look like if I had 100% control over my life’s design. When I opened my first business my priorities were, frankly, completely distorted. I put everything I had into that business because at that time in my life, I believed that the all-mighty dollar would bring me happiness and solve any issue that might arise in my life. This mentality left me with a business that generated healthy cash-flow but came at the expense of my emotional health, physical health, and many of my relationships.
The ironic thing is that ultimately grinding away 16 hours a day at that first business endeavor is largely what led to it not working out in the end. Talk about being out of balance. Here’s why… you know that line on the airplane safety check-in, ‘put your own oxygen mask on first’? Well it is completely true about so much more than just airplane safety. If you can’t help yourself, then it becomes exceedingly difficult to help other people and to perform at peak capacity. The same logic applies in business. I think a lot of small business owners and entrepreneurs fall into this trap of being owned by their business because ‘the grind’ is so glorified in our society.
Once my first business shut down a number of years ago I was forced to reckon with what I saw when I looked in the mirror, and frankly I didn’t like that reflection very much. I saw a man who was unhealthy on so many levels and who had put serious stress on some relationships that were very dear to him. But that experience was a massive impetus for change for me. From that moment forward, every decision I’ve made in future business endeavors has been with my family and my own well-being in mind. I knew I never wanted to be chained to my work ever again. The thing is that there is always a bridge to gap between what we want (our goal) and what it’s going to take to get there (the plan of action). So I had to learn some strategies and do a lot of mindset work in order to become more systematic in how I structure new endeavors while keeping balance in mind. I don’t always get it right (I say that as I mis-managed my schedule today and find myself writing these responses at 10PM at night)… but that’s ok because I know I’m giving it my best go.
Ultimately what I have learned is that a shift in how I perceive and think about balance was needed. Chasing money is one thing… we all have to make a living. But chasing happiness and true fulfillment from your work is where I’ve learned true balance can be found in my life. To do this I had to recognize a few things such as what my unique skill sets are and work towards operating within them (because we’re all happier when we’re working within our our desired skill sets). Another thing I am still working on is learning to relinquish control and delegate. A big deficiency I see in leaders and business owners is their need to ‘know everything’ ends up being their biggest hindrance… building a support network of experts who are all working within their unique skill sets towards the common goal of the team is what builds lasting businesses and allows for each player on the team to find balance between their work and their life.
Ultimately I am still a goal oriented person with a Type-A personality. I have to catch myself almost every day of my life to make sure I maintain some balance and don’t get consumed by whatever the project of the week is. While I’m certainly not the wisest person in the room, I have learned a thing or two in my couple decades long professional life. Not the least of which is that my relationships and pursuits of personal growth are what bring me fulfillment and a balanced mind far more than any dollar sign in a bank account ever could.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Happy Human Healthy Living specializes in nutrition & fitness coaching, specifically by creating content that simplifies nutrition and movement for busy professionals and aspiring athletes, so they can get lean and gain the vitality to have the energy for the things that really matter. We’ve been in business for a few years now and work with a client base of folks who are truly committed to living their happiest and most healthy lives. Our clients range from professional athletes looking to optimize their performance for competition to busy professionals and families just looking to edge up their overall lifestyle and health.
What I’m most proud of about Happy Human Healthy Living is the approach we take to healthy living. We don’t subscribe to a single diet culture or fitness paradigm and we are NOT a weight loss company. Rather, we help our clients to find their passion for good health, nutrition, and movement. Anyone can go online and find a variety of free nutrition plans (keto, paleo, vegan, carnivore, etc.…. The list honestly goes on and on). These plans all can work but frequently do not because they are very restrictive and focus on telling a client what they CANNOT do, rather than focusing on what they CAN do. Our goal is not to tell you that one nutrition plan is better than the other, but to help clients build skills that work for them as individuals and then to help the client implement sustainable habits over time to optimize their health and well-being. This combined with the idea of trying to just be 1% better and healthier every day helps to get our clients high level results that are sustainable for the long haul.
My motto is that no one should go on a diet to look good but rather that looking good should be a by-product of a healthy life being well-lived. At Happy Human Healthy Living, we believe in this motto and want to help as many people as we can to optimize their health and nutrition sustainably and for the long haul. It is never easy to grow a business from the ground up. There are challenges around every corner, but when you have a true passion for your work and a deep understanding of your own personal ‘why’ behind what you are trying to accomplish, the challenges just become hurdles to overcome along the way. I’ve learned a lot of lessons along the way while running Happy Human Healthy Living, not the least of which is that if we can change our mindset, we can change our life. Anyone can get the healthy body they deserve, if they’re willing to make small changes over time and stick to the process.
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?
Phoenix is a vibrant city. Given that I have a propensity for health and wellness I’d be inclined to introduce them first off to the farmer’s market community here. There is no better way to spend a Saturday morning than at one of the multiple farmer’s markets around town (my favorite one is Roadrunner Park Farmer’s Market). The markets are filled with local farmer’s produce, vendors selling artisan food and products, and a lot of good people to chat with.
Once we were done at the market, heading over to Press Roasters and Coffee is a no brainer. Press is a local roastery on Shea and 32nd St. that makes the best beans around. Additionally, they have a pretty spectacular breakfast menu with locally sourced food. The Downtown Phoenix art district is another personal favorite (particularly if you’re visiting on the 1st Friday of the month when they host the art walk). Imagine a giant outdoor art festival filled with local performers, artists, food trucks, and galleries.
If you’re looking for a cold adult beverage and a great locally sourced meal in the evening, then OHSO Brewery is a must have as well. OHSO is an outdoor brewery filled with fun and interactive games to play all while drinking a brew made right on site. The food is outstanding and the community social environment this restaurant creates is a must do experience for anyone visiting Phoenix. Honestly, the list goes on and on… this is a big city with something for everyone. Your best bet is to send me a message when you get here and let me know what your personal likes/dislikes are and I’ll point you in the right direction for what to do while you’re in town.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My journey has been largely shaped by the education I received from the folks at Precision Nutrition. I started this journey by enrolling in their Level 1 Nutrition Coaching Certification and since then have been through every one of their certs and programs. Their lessons on mindset and breaking any task down into bite sized pieces has been instrumental in teaching me how to make the best decisions for myself and my clients.