In Real Life | Doing it all, having it all and enjoying it all
Hi and welcome to a new episode of Mom Bosses Abroad podcast. We are here today with Hadas Kushelevich and she is a multi-passionate entrepreneur who is doing all the things, and we can't wait to dive right in into how she's able to do it all and have it all, an enjoy it all.
Hadas is Israeli, and she has actually been living in Kyoto, Japan for the last 10 years so we are actually in fact, pretty much neighbors, so that's pretty cool. She is married to a Japanese artist and she's a mother of two boys under three years old. So, she's got her hands full. She's also a PhD candidate and active NPO founder, a business owner, business consultant, and a women network leader. She's extremely active as a member in her own tribe, and she is a daughter because she does really talk to her mom in Israel on a daily basis. So Hadas us we can't wait to talk to you today.
Thank you. I was looking forward to it as well.
Welcome Hadas and I think the main thing that is on our mind at least I know it is on my mind is just reading about everything that you have going on while still having little ones around and just wanting to know how you're able to do it like you're a supermom you're like the ideal personification of what a supermom is- so share with us please what is your recipe.
Sounds like it. I don't feel like it most of the time. I, first of all, don't do it alone.
I have my partner, I have my mother for support, and I have my tribe, And there is school, that we introduced with the concept of send your child to school only lately, and then COVID and then he was actually more home than -hi Leon, we have Leon with us-,
Yes! We forgot to say that we have a special guest with us as well. His little nine month old, Leon so he's joining us today as well.
So it sounds like it, I don't feel like it most of the time, but how do I do it, I don't do it alone. First of all, I don't do it alone. My partner is not helping, he is a partner in the house, he’s a partner in helping me manage multitasking, everything I need. We consider one each other passions. And we keep on each other place to actually accomplish ourselves.
I wouldn't say we're even partners, because I have, I'm nursing, like I have the boobs so I cannot do much about it right?
He can do other things that I'm less good at, he’s doing the dishes and laundry, making sure the space is nice and clean. And we do split our days during the week, so we have equal time to work.
And my mum for support my tribe to meet, to get inspired, to get tips, everything I need. And so if it was only me, I probably wouldn't do even a third of what I wanted, but not alone.
Yeah, I'm so glad you mentioned that, you brought that up because I think that's something a lot of moms are so scared off, you know, just like being so overwhelmed with doing it all alone. And that's also I think a message that Iva and I was so passionate about just putting out there is, you're not alone. That's why it is so important to have these like other either mom friends or other people that you're working with partner don't forget your partner of course you're in this together and to have the support network around you and, Hadas you're also away from home, right you're away from your family. So how did you build your tribe, living in Japan?
With 10 fingers, started with my student tribe, so when new students come along, usually I'm trying to convince them to be around me, so they can take part in different projects, a lot online, and with much of physical help that we need for the kids. And it's, I think the emotional support and the online support is not less than that. so, you know, maybe no one can watch my kids for two hours a day when I need it, but I can do much of it online. So, I built up my projects around that, so we can bring from everywhere. And having people everywhere, and to actually take things into actions, helps a lot.
And good people around, you know, one person one good person, introduced you with another good person, and you kind of explaining you're very busy, you don't have time to have a cup of coffee at Starbucks, but it doesn't mean you're not a friend when they need you are there.
And, you know, do your meetings when you're on the bicycle running into a friend, or bring her some medicines or around my tribe, my mama tribes the only ones that I can manage around in Japanese.
And it seems to me Hadas from hearing how you've been building yourself that support network that we all need, and also, being very clear in what your capabilities are right, within how much you can spend time doing friend things – doing outings, going out for drinks, interacting, and just having people that fully understand what season in life you're in. But I also I also wanted to ask you, because within all the things that we're you're doing by raising your family and also all the different projects they have going on. What is your time management approach. Do you have a system, because I know you mentioned that the good thing is that a lot of things are digital, so it seems to me like you can work your own schedule around what you need to do, but there has to be some organization behind it, so I wouldn't be really keen to know what is your approach to that to make yourself be able to do all the things.
So rule of thumb is multitasking is a skill but it's something you can definitely adopt. But multitasking.
it's not when you know when you're texting your bestie, or something related to work, and we always can text something related to work, or whatever, and your partner's asking you something and you can hear, and you reply, but you're not really there, right? So that multitasking is not working. And so, find how to multitask with the right tasks.
Exactly, so I can commute from one place to another. And at that time
that for example. So I can commute somewhere in my bicycle and at that time, I can be a friend. So I can call that friend that needs me at the moment. I can make some phone calls.
I can reorganize my office, while I'm doing an interview, while I'm listening to a class that I need to take. To find the right tasks that I can do together. And to know that some things you cannot multitask.
Make the right time for it, so I work late sometimes on Israeli timezone. And then I do it on my 10-11 o’clock when most people are watching their favorite TV show, or just cuddled with their partner. It's not the right time for me to cuddle with my partner on a daily basis. We schedule the right time to do that. So just choose the right task to multitask, what you can and all the rest to do what you need to do at the right time. Spread the time for that.
That's a really really good point and I remember that Iva and i actually spoke about that in one of our episodes and season one about like the time management like productivity myths that work and do not work for moms and mompreneurs, and there was that one about multitasking where they’re like you shouldn't be multitasking and I was like what, what do you mean? My whole life revolves around multitasking! But it's really true that you need to pick and choose what you can or cannot multitask and that's excellent.
Yeahthere’s things you can pair it together like what we’re sharing
Right, exactly. And the thing is, I'm always learning how to do it better. So, there are always new, like programs you can use, or different tools you can use to manage your time better too. I always check if something is not working for me. If we say that I’m spending too much time on planning, my planner is not good enough. I need to change. If I wish to do some things in the mornings, and it's not working for me. I need to change so always try to find the right system, and each interaction needs different systems. So, the way I manage my interns, it's not the way I managed within my networks.
With my networks we have always another project, a new project, everything changes. So we have to be we fully conscious of what needs to be done better, and find the right system, and we know what? it's exactly like cleaning your closet. You have a system it works. You have another baby, the system doesn't work anymore. It's always a mess right, you need a new system.
So I have to find the right system for time management, because that always changes.
And yes in a previous episode with Desiree, we also tackled that the whole idea of failure and thinking that things don't work and scratching the whole thing away and saying, “Oh, now I need to start from scratch” but as you say, sometimes it's just going back to one thing that needs tweaking and doing a retest on it so that when we were talking about doing A/B Split testing, and we do it very very intuitively as parents, because as you said, there are stages in our children's lives where a routine sort of works, and maybe it doesn't work right? Or it works until it doesn't work because they are already at a different stage and then we have to try something different we have to give it a completely different approach. So I love that you are having this this amazing mindset of trial and error, but never considering that you were failing or that it's now failing, somehow, but rather that things are changing, and you need to change with them.
I think that I'm lucky enough to have around me this amazing tribe of entrepreneur women. So I know that we_ everyone feels like they’re failing, but I’m looking at them like they're successful, they're not failing and reflecting to myself when I talk to someone, they're always like, wow, you're doing so much and you're doing it so well I was like, “No, I feel like I'm failing, you know, seven years to do your PhD I feel like I'm failing”.
But then I say, “Okay, just a second, Hadas, there are some projects that are long term. And you can choose when to put more effort in it”, and what the consequences of delaying them for a little bit or to do it slower. And there are some projects that you have to do right now and if you don't do it right now you might lose some opportunities and there are greater and more important in the moment. So always evaluate what is important for you. What is urgent; what is urgent and not important; what is not important and not urgent, and you do not have to do it in the moment, right, for example, drinking coffee with my bestie at Starbucks. I would love to do it, but in the moment, it's not the most important and it's not urgent, we can do it any other time when our kids will be like, 10, for example.
That's how it feels like sometimes you need to, you need to start planning ten years ahead, for, for all those things that somehow can wait because we're in the middle -in the thick of it,
But also look at all the things you've done, for example in those seven years right where you think okay I'm still not done but all of the businesses that you've opened, all of the startups you've been involved, with all of the organizations having two kids in between as well you know that doesn't come without any delay.
And one thing like having witnessed I think, you as a mom and as a successful entrepreneur within the past year, is really seeing your mindset as well, about your flexibility and your mindset around things. There's many days where we've had conversation we're like oh my god I wanted to do this and this and I couldn't. But you never let yourself get down. You always think of other ways to manage it, and you do manage to do everything at the end, you just have to probably reshuffle or reorganize the next day. But yeah, having kids is also unpredictable so it's nothing you can really map out completely, but having that mindset of I'm going to get it done, no matter what- It'll be very creative, sometimes a little bit unconventional, but you do get it done. And that's what I really admire about you.
I think that you know, when I meet my male colleagues, mainly, and, you know, they tell me, Oh, I had such a busy week, I didn't manage to do all the tasks we said we will do for this meeting, I was like, “Seriously?!? Let's talk about it for five minutes”
Let’s analyze exactly what busy means to you
How your time management was wrong so you arrive to this day, a week later and it didn't do what you have to do. And then I was like, Okay let me tell you just how my day look like, what it says, you know. And my understanding is as much as you do more, you manage it better.
When you don't do much when you get into this. I cannot keep on with the task, I'm giving up so I'm doing nothing, next day, it will be harder for me. It's not right for everyone, maybe, but for me, it will be harder the next day to get up and do. So if I do everyday a little bit of my PhD, it feels I didn’t put it in the back. Once I don't touch it for a week. It will be so hard to start everything again.
And this reminds me of a quote I heard somewhere and it says, If you want something to get done, ask a busy person to do it, because it's already in that energy field of go-getting and getting things done. And because I mean that momentum, things will get done- I mean that that field of sorts, right?
You're right. I'm the most productive and really, really busy times. When you think your your time, like your schedule is already exploding and someone comes around the corner is like, Oh, can we still do this? And you're like yeah sure, no problem, and you will get it done.
But Hadas, I want to go back to something that you mentioned at the beginning of the episode, and I wanted to touch upon that because I thought that it was so interesting how you refer to your spouse as your partner. And you also attributed the fact that him knowing that you are equals in the relationship, and also him knowing that he has to respect your space for getting certain things done, and how you're organizing yourself to make that happen for each other, that requires a lot of obviously good communication skills, but also that goodwill between two partners coming together and saying, you know, as much as you have your goals and things that you want to achieve. I also have mine, and how can we make this work within the scope of being parents to a young family, and all the things that are thrown into, into our plate. So I would love to know a little bit, how did that came about? Was it certain conversations at specific times that you that you sat down and you said, “Listen, this is moving forward how we need to work it out” or was it more intuitive and organic and it's sort of things falling into place as you saw how things were coming up for you?
As I said, is all about communication. So first of all we both of us are very, very lucky that we are self-employed, we can manage our own time, but you know, we have to bring money to the table, we have to bring food to the table so we have to work. He works with two artists, and when there is a client, customer, then you have to make a design and schedule it. So a from being two singles, with all the free time and I was traveling alot, and you could work any day of the week, we didn't have to consult one each other we're just, you know, give a heads up, you know next week I'm going for two weeks seminar somewhere. You know I'm going to guide for a month, somewhere, and see you in a month and you know just make sure you water the plants, right? But now it doesn’t work like that.
But it's communication. I don't know if our communication is good, because, first of all it's something we work on all the time. But I don't know if it's our communication is in a different level, because of the cultural differences, because you don't want to get lost in this cultural differences, you communicate on even the thing that looks so basic. Right. So if he answers to me in a way that I feel offended, I will tell you. I will ask him why you said that, he will be like “What are you talking about? It's just an expression”, you know. But if you were in the same culture, that wouldn't be thing right, and sometimes even in the same culture, someone will tell you something and you’ll feel so offended even though they didn’t mean to. We have to communicate on language a lot, and that brings a whole new channel of communication. And second, you know, my grandfather used to chase me yelling at me “Be smart, not just not like don't search, just be smart.” Okay.
And you know sometimes we don't have patience, we had a long day, our to do list is this way high and I'm pretty sure, and we don't have a good communication day, then don’t push it.
You know we're not listening to one another. Don't push it. Don't push it. Just like okay you know what today doesn't feel like it's working. Let's try to move on. And then we are fresh, that's like, you know, I want to talk about something we mentioned yesterday, and I feel uncomfortable about it, and we communicate. And the same with, you know, so he decided he want to shift and do something else, and he had to go to school for that. At the age of 40. And that wasn't an easy decision to make. And I said, “You know what, you will get by year by year, but with the first year you will get a priority. So this is your priority, and we are expecting our first child. I understand, I would have to be with him more. But on your days off, you're going to be with him, because you get priority for the whole day, morning until nighttime three times a week and I get another one day, two days a week.
But in one year or two years when you finish the program, then, I'm getting the priority back. So, you will have to be more conscious and thoughtful on my routine. And then 3 years pass and then we have another child. And on the weekend you can work one day during the week. One day, unless it's something that is not in the routine, then we find another day. Twice a week you're staying with the little one, twice a week we send him to somewhere, and twice a week I'm having both of the kids. One day in the weekend, and one day I do working days. And we keep up with that and if there is something to discuss on the same week’s schedule we just discuss it. And, you know, reschedule, our things. In the evenings, I'm not available, you know that I'm working, and he provided me with the environment to work is exactly as he is getting during the days.
Yes. And that is so important that what you mentioned Hadas because it's true there are seasons also that I have experienced in my life that required me to be full on most of the time, but with good communication, my husband was aware of that. He was aware that my attention was not towards him, that you know most nights probably I wouldn't be able to have dinner with him because I was busy jumping right back into my work, and as long as we had discussed it previously, he gave me his full support and he was fine with it. And we were able to navigate, but hadn’t the channels of communication being open, it can lead to resentment, it can lead to, you know, to not feeling supported by your spouse, and then you also feel resentment as well and then it becomes this negative loop that we absolutely we don't want to get into.
So, so that's great about knowing that everybody gets to have their priority, depending on whatever stage that is right and it's not about being equal, it's about what is just for each one depending on the situation.
It’s the same with House desk, you know, I'm a clean person but very messy, and he's OCD, you have to have everything in place. And he knows this and we don’t always see the eye to eye and I cannot reach his level of put everything in place right away. And so, I know what things he doesn't like to do around the house, he knows what things I'm not capable to see they need to be in place. And we discussed about it and we know that I do ABC and he does the rest. And we know that I put the kids to sleep, because sometimes he has less patience for it. And at that time, he will just put the toys in place, do the dishes, make dinner. We know the kids prefer his food better than mine. I'm not complaining at all. Next, I will do the dishes, so we split it, he would it 3 times a week, I do it 3 times a week. It’s our abilities to complete the missions, and keep the house clean, the kids happy.
And coming back, really to the bottom line, is that you're not alone, right, and, and taking away that fear from other moms saying I really want to do this, I want to strive for this goal of, you know, whether it's starting a business, whether it's going to work or whether it's just doing a certification or something like that, it's like you're not alone. You have a support network, you know, you can ask for help, and there's nothing wrong with it. Like last year I did my clinical Aromatherapy certification which required a lot of time which, under normal circumstances, I would not have been able to do but because I had a very supportive partner, like my husband took our little one on some days to give me a whole day to study and to work and all of that and it wouldn't have been possible otherwise. So that's it's just such an important factor of being a working mother and balancing, not well, balancing is that word we're trying to toss right but finding harmony and what we're doing, I'm sure Hadas your life is not in balance, you wish you would have more time with your partner to cuddle at night or to go on lunch dates. Right now, it's just not, not that part of the scale, It's not.
But we partner enough.
That's the thing, but your life right now is, we discussed this before, is in harmony, just because you're happy with what you're doing with where you are at the moment in your life with everything you’re accomplishing, achieving, so is he. And you have two beautiful boys, and, it's just harmonic at the moment. No in balance.
You're enjoying the season that you're knowing that season comes with its pros and its cons, to some extent as well, like everything in life
Yes we’re pretty privileged to choose what we are doing. We are thankful for that. And we appreciate it and we know we sometimes have to work harder than someone that goes to work at 9 and comes back at 5, five, six days a week. So it works for us.
So Hadas one last question, to the moms that feel that they may not be able to, or that they might say ‘Oh my god, all the things that I want to do because I'm a multi passionate entrepreneur and a mom and I have all these interests and all these things that I want to do but are they realistic or not. What is your main advice to give to somebody that's on that space. And what words of encouragement, can you give them to feel that they can step up, they can make a step forward?
Jump into the cold deep water. Once you start to swim, it will get warm. And you will not drown you will swim. That's it, just jump into the cold water, and do it. No one will do it for you. People around you will encourage you to do something, but to some extent they cannot do it instead of you. Partner up on things that you cannot do- this is how my best business starts, I had good partners that couldn't do what I can do, and understand that even in partnership, like, all types of partnership, if it's business, if it's your love life, it’s with your children, it's not equal, it will never be equal. It needs to be in harmony.
So, to any mom out there who's on the fence about pursuing all the things and wanting to do all the things and enjoying all the things. Just jump right in.
Awesome, thank you so much Hadas for chatting with us today. If you want to connect with Hadas, you can find her on Instagram, her Facebook and LinkedIn links in the show notes.
So until next time remember that you are unstoppable. You've got this, and keep thriving,
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Hadas is Israeli and has been living in Kyoto for the last 10 years. She is married to a Japanese artist, she is a mother of 2 boys under 3 YO, a PhD candidate, an active NPO founder, a business owner, business consultant, Women network leader, an active member in her tribe and a daughter (talking to her mom in Israel daily!!)