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

Hi Robert, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
I am constantly trying to figure out the right work/life balance. Everyone’s situation is different, so finding the right mix that works for you is key. Being a father of four, with two daughters age 6 and 8, you can imagine how hectic life can sometime get. One thing that I have learned throughout this process is the importance of giving your family the best of you and not what’s left of you at the end of your day. Being a new business owner, I often found myself working long hours, and would be exhausted at the end of the day, which would result in my family getting the “scraps” of what I had left to give. I began to notice the resentment that it was starting to cause and I knew that I need to make a shift in my approach as it pertained to my work life balance. I try to make it a point to give my family the best part of my day. I’m naturally a morning person, I am at my peak performance during this time, so it’s important that I give my family my the attention they deserve when I am at my best.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am a 22 year Airforce Veteran, who retired from active duty in 2018. Upon retiring, I started teaching Air Force JROTC at a local high school. Ever since I was a kid, I always had an entrepreneurial spirit. Being my own boss has been a passion of mine for a long time. One of the things that I am most proud of is that I decided to step out on faith and follow my dreams. I felt the fear and did it anyway…”If not now, when”, is a saying that keeps playing over and over in my head, and I have to keep reminding myself that nothing worth having comes easy.

My wife Melissa and I have been married for 10 years and between us we have 4 girls. Alanis (19) who’s in her Junior year at Howard University, Julissa (17) who just started her Senior Year at Highly HS (Go Knights!), Reese (7) who’s in second grade, and Maleah (5) who just started kindergarten and now goes to San Tan Elementary with Reese. When were not slaggin’ smoothies we love to travel. As a family, we’ve visited most of Europe and almost each of the 50 states plus a few cruises to Mexico and the Caribbean.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Being in the Valley of the Sun there are so many things to see and do. One of my favorite things to do is to wake up and go for a hike. There are countless mountains to choose from… San Tan, South, Camelback, Superstition, McDowell, and Estrella just to name a few. If hiking isn’t your thing, then grabbing some good food is my next favorite activity. The food scene here is awesome! We have everything from tacos (of course) to chicken and waffles, local coffee shops, and craft beers. Over the past few years the popularity of food trucks have exploded, and Phoenix is no exception. You can find a weekly food truck festival in any part of the valley with trucks offering up all of your favorite eats. Finally, Phoenix is the MAJOR sports town in the U.S. We have all four major sports leagues (NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL), along with the WNBA and Cactus League Spring Training, and the yearly PGA Phoenix Open.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would not be able to do what I do without the help of others. Whether it’s learning from other peoples mistakes, to having mentors that offer up sage advice when I need it the most. Without hesitation, the first person that deserves recognition behind any amount of success that I have achieved this far is my wife Melissa. She is the unsung hero, and does not get nearly enough credit for all that she has done and continues to do. When I first started out on this journey I had the opportunity to connect with Devin Butler of Arizona Entrepreneurs. The mission Arizona Entrepreneurs is to provide entrepreneurs with the resources, support and connections to bring their business to the next level. Being a military veteran there are numerous resources available that are designed in helping with your entrepreneurial dream. One of the programs that has proven to be invaluable and I highly recommend any eligible person to attend is the EBV-SPARK at Syracuse University and Institute for Veterans & Military Families (IVMF). The purpose EBV-Spark is to help participants begin the process of developing a basic set of skills and competencies focused on entrepreneurial opportunity recognition, innovation, and small business management.

Website: www.mauiwowi.com/alohamcneal

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mauiwowigilbert

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mauiwowiofgilbert

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutArizona is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.