I love when a simple meeting turns into a friendship. Toni Carey is the co-founder of Black Girls RUN! and founder of Keeping Balanced. She is an amazing friend. She keeps me accountable and prays for me when I need encouragement. Today I am so excited to feature my dear friend and a trailblazer. Read more about Toni and why I am so honored to have her as our Boss Profile today.
Name: Toni Carey
Her Business: Keeping Balanced
Location: Washington, DC
Toni Carey began her career in public relations and marketing, working with the top agency in the Southeast, before venturing into corporate communications at a Fortune 500 company. After finding running in 2008, she co-founded Black Girls RUN!, a nationwide movement to empower and encourage African-American women to get healthy and fit.
It wasn’t until she was let go from her seemingly dream job that she realized how out of balance she truly was. She began to slowly, but surely rebuild her life in a way that was more fulfilling and complete, physically, spiritually, and mentally. What became a two-year journey led her to create Keeping Balanced, a way to further explore the true meaning of work/life balance, while helping others in their own journey to reclaim their time, health and sanity.
What products does your business offer?
Keeping Balanced explores the true meaning of work/life balance while helping women reclaim their time, health and sanity.
Why did you start your business?
I started Keeping Balance after one of the lowest times in my early 30s. After finding running in 2008, and subsequently co-founding Black Girls RUN! I found myself in the middle of my own work/life balance crisis. Between launching a new company, being newly married, and relocating several times, my health started to take a slow downward spiral, leaving me completely depleted. My marriage, health sanity took the back burner as I was completely immersed in building a business.
By 2013, I had stopped running and I could barely find the energy to workout. I was experiencing severe digestive issues, extreme adrenal fatigue, and depression. My world seemed like it was crashing down. Everything was out of balance.
I realized I wasn’t alone. I heard more and more women thinking they had it right with just working out and I knew it was so much more than that. I wanted to help women discover their own definition of work/life balance to truly live their best lives.What challenges did you face launching your business?
Why did you enter this industry?
I entered the health and wellness industry because I realized early on the importance of physical activity and living a healthy lifestyle. Both were key to getting me through rough patches in my mid-twenties. Whenever I’m going through something, or not feeling myself, I always turn to how much I’m working out, what I’m eating and if I’m feeling centered. It typically means one of these areas lacking.
What challenges did you face launching your business?
One of the hardest challenges has been experiencing the maturity of the company. It starts literally as your baby and you watch it grow into a legit company. There’s a fine balance you have to navigate to stay progressive and innovative while holding true to the values and core of the business when it was born. It takes wisdom to know when you’re being the guardian and when you’re actually handicapping the company.
What corporate experience helped you with your business?
Everything I learned in Corporate America has helped with the success of Black Girls RUN! and my newly launched platform Keeping Balanced. My background in public relations and marketing, particularly when working with agencies, helped me to be agile and learn the art of working on multiple projects. For most people, this is super stressful, but I thrive in these conditions. It’s why I will ALWAYS have multiple irons in the fire.
What helped you transition from employee to full-time entrepreneur?
Before I became an entrepreneur, I was an account executive for a healthcare public relations agency. I was miserable and at work I found myself thinking more about Black Girls RUN! then my actual work. As more and more opportunities began to come our way, I knew that it was time for someone to 100% focus on the growth of the business. It was a total leap of faith and it all worked out perfectly.
What tech tools do you use for your business?
My new favorite application is Canva which is an online design tool. While I’m pretty dangerous when it comes to using Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop, it’s so helpful when you need to quickly and efficiently develop social media or e-mail graphics.
Morning/ Evening Routine:
I’m fortunate that I can start my day as early or as late as I want and self-care comes first and foremost. I’m a late riser, so I don’t roll out of bed until 8:30 a.m. I start most mornings with warm lemon water to get my digestive system going. After walking my dogs Callie and Legend, I spend 10 – 15 minutes meditating and another 10 minutes setting intentions for the day. After, that I start to get ready for my day with an ayurvedic massage, abhyanga, before I go to mid-day yoga. I don’t do any work before 2 p.m.
“She is clothed with strength and dignity and laughs without fear of the future.” ~ Proverbs 31:25
3 Things in your purse you cannot live without:
Red lipstick, alkaline water, and a moleskin.
Advice I would give to my younger self:
Life isn’t a linear path. You will have twists, turns, and maybe even backtrack. However, you’re always where you are supposed to be in that moment.
Your life has a divine purpose.
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