ZEN Hustlers
Balance on the edge

The Balance Blog

Vanessa Mason • Zen Hustler Profile

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Age: 33

Title: Creator

Company: Healthy Hustle Habits

HQ: San Francisco, CA, US

Web: Vanessa C Mason • healthyhustlehabits.com

Social: Facebook @healthyhustlehabits + Instagram @vanessamason

Fav #tag#issaglowup2018

Favorite place to visit in the world?
Any tropical beach although my favorite to date has been... Seychelles 

Who do you want to meet?
Michelle Obama

Who did you want to meet?
Maya Angelou 

How does your work fulfill you, your purpose in life?
I’m building a legacy that increases equity in the world.

What are you reading now?
Grit by Angela Duckworth

 What are you watching?
The Walking Dead

 What do you do to really relax?

When are you most in flow?
When I wake up without an alarm clock, I can spend a lot of time in sunlight, I’ve had the opportunity to workout, and I’m able to talk about ideas and solutions and focus on action and execution


Do you meditate or practice mindfulness?
I do, but not the sitting variety. Movement works best for me: yoga, nature walks, dancing. I do have four silent alarms that remind me to have moments of mindfulness through the day. I wrote about this practice for a Black Girl in Om article.


Who taught you how to hustle?
My grandmother, she was the first in her family to go to college and top of her field in adult education in Florida.


What keeps you up at night?
My impatience and desire to be more impactful

Do you exercise?
Mostly strength training now with some dance classes. I want to get back to regular yoga after I recover from a shoulder injury

What community’s inspire you?
Two in-person fellowships that I’ve done: Starting Bloc and New Leaders Council. I’ve met brilliant people who look at empathy, innovation and social impact as things that are as normal as breathing air. Online communities like Black Tech Women help stretch my professional horizons.

Are you more Hustle or more Zen?
Definitely more hustle, but working to bring in more zen

What would you do if you did not do this business?
I would be a beach bum creative. I would write in the morning, go for an ocean swim, take photos at golden hour, and dance in the evening.

How do you define work/life balance?
I define work-life balance as waking up refreshed and excited and going to bed satisfied and relaxed. Work-life balance is everything.

Are you married? With kids? How has this affected your balance?
I’m in a long-term relationship. It has supported my balance in countless ways as well as challenging some of my unhealthier tendencies. Intimate relationship are like looking at yourself in a magnified mirror.

What is some advice you would give to new or struggling entrepreneurs/hustlers that seem out of balance?
1. Take time to pause.
2. Listen to your inner voice. Distinguish your angel from your devilish inner critic.
3. Do things that make you feel happy and satisfy the needs of your inner angel (ie. listen to your instincts or intuition)
4. Learn how to say no to everything else. Every soft yes is a hard no to something you truly want or need.


What advice would you tell your younger overworked self?
There’s no need to prove yourself to anyone but yourself.


What is one issue you are out to change in the world?
Perfectionism because it keeps too many of us from taking risks on ourselves and investing in our futures in major ways.


Your last 2¢?
We already know we have to hustle hard to get what we want and need. Why not hustle for yourself instead of somebody else?

ZEN Hustlers is a new community resource to support entrepreneurs, founders and professionals seeking balance on the edge.