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

Hi Katie, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
Finding balance to grow a company, foster relationships, and give back to myself has been an ever-evolving process since day one. In the beginning, I thought I had to control being able to keep everything in perfect balance. That I was somehow failing if I couldn’t keep it all under control all the time. When I came to the understanding that finding balance works like a teeter totter, the weight of achieving this for myself lightened. A teeter totter never remains in perfect equilibrium for long. And that’s okay because that’s part of the fun. The side going down boosts the other to go higher! I’ve found when your support system is solid and your company is run with the intention to improve lives, the same effect is seen. The two sides boost each other. Your support system wants to see you excel and will support you to move your dreams forward. At the same time, in a client-based business, when you treat everyone like family, always trying to bring them the best of you that you can your cup is filled and you’re able to give back… give time to… your friends and family. While I wish this was a perfect system not everyone understands the crazy passion required to work weekend hours to improve a business. Not everyone will support you in the ways you need. This is where I find setting boundaries to be critically important to establishing balance and succeed at fostering and maintaining growth between my life and business. From both sides of the fence, I’ve been blessed with the people in my life that are supportive, that I would call them soft boundaries. Conversations that are open and honest help the important people in my life understand where I am coming from. They can catch the vision I see, and then understand why sometimes that means I want to and need to stay in on a Friday or choose to not stay out late, so I can get something done, because it will keep my stress low for the coming week by making sure a task gets done now. In the business world the same applies. In an instant gratification society, some people think you are accessible 24/7 and can use as much of your time as they need. Learning to set boundaries on time and accessibility has been paramount to maintaining that balance. Not only for the sake of those in my life and my business but also for me.

This brings me to my last and the most important lesson I’ve learned about work life balance while running a company. The most important is setting and keeping my non-negotiables. My non-negotiables are my scheduled and self-check times. This includes 15-minutes of prayer and meditation, 30-minutes of vitamin D, and 1-hour of movement DAILY! If they overlap that’s fine but setting these times allows for a self-check. This self-check serves to make sure my engine is still running at its best, to make sure I unplug, to make sure I step away from trying to always help others and make sure I’m checking in on myself so I can keep leveling up in my own life. This way I’ll have more to give and keep fueling my passion to make the biggest impact for positive change I can.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I have a couple of businesses and some side projects in the work. One I am most proud of is my Fall Prevention and Balance Training company, NBalance. While working with a Parkinson’s Disease organization I learned about the ever-mounting problem of falls in the aging community and the dramatic shift in independence this has on someone’s life. I was moved to make a difference. Some of their friends had wanted to be a part of the program but couldn’t because they don’t have Parkinson’s. I began working with their friends as well as one-on-one with some of the individuals I knew from the group to enhance their balance even more. I was later approached by a senior living facility to offer seminars and classes in their facility. I thought what a way to help more lives! I get so excited every time a client is able to gain some mobility back. Watching the increase in confidence, independence, and quality of life… the overwhelming feeling of joy is hardly a description of the fulfilling feeling I get to feel when I help one of my clients. NBalance originally started as a lifestyle company. Aside from being a kinesiologist, I am also a certified personal trainer, corrective exercise specialist, nutritionist, holistic health practitioner (is almost complete, covid interrupted some classes), and Marine Corps Veteran. The combination of these backgrounds has solidified my feeling that there is no one pillar that can stand alone in health. It takes them all, standing on a solid foundation, to achieve optimal health. These pillars, among other “sub-pillars”, are Movement, Nutrition, Mindset, and Rejuvenation. I work with people to balance these areas out. Diving deep with clients to see where we need to fill in some gaps so they can reach their highest and best.

Nothing worth having ever comes easy but when you are in line with your passion it sure is fun! I’ve never been the one to shy away from a challenge or hard work. I find pushing my limits, adapting to overcome, and surpassing goals to be an invigorating and fulfilling way to live life. I don’t want to look back and know I could have made a bigger difference. I want to look back and think I did my best and helped all I could. I’ve always said if you give it your best then that’s all you can ask for. I’ve learned to let go of controlling how something turns out. Stay in love with doing what you do best and let the outcome be what it will. Deal with it as it comes, make a plan, but know you’ll probably have to shift. That forcing things never works. And that there will always be another way. That just because it seems like something is over, if you have the courage to ride the storm you’ll eventually find your oasis.

If the world could know one thing about NBalance is that we believe everyone is in their own unique spot on their own unique journey. We see it as our role to meet you where you are, to ask the questions to best understand the areas you need help with, and then help develop the appropriate strategies for YOUR life. So that you will be able to make the changes, stick with them, and be the person YOU want to be.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I think we would have to make a day of each area. San Diego is such a fun unique city full of every ethnic and cultural background you can think of. Since I live in Carlsbad we would start up here by going over to the village for breakfast at Swami’s or a coffee and breakfast sandwich at The Sleeping Tiger before exploring all the hidden gems throughout the village. Something I had never seen before California was anything like the Barrel Republic! We would have to stop in there! Maybe even twice as we head up to Oceanside for the Thursday night market and to walk the pier as the sun goes down before heading over to Craft Coast for their amazing tacos and craft beer. To start off the next day, it sounds like a great time to walk off the day before over at the Safari Park! Before getting there we would have to grab a coffee from the Kettle. After all that walking and since we are in Escondido we would absolutely have to stop by Petersons Donuts. It’s a Friday night so we could go see Cruising the Grand then pop into H brothers or Plan 9.

It’s Saturday and if you have never experience PB on a Saturday night it’s just an experience you need to have in life. After a fun day exploring Balboa Park we would head over to Curry World before a little snooze and a night out in the iconic nightlife scene of PB. Starting the night out at Mavericks before making the crawl over to Moonshine Flats.

We would absolutely have to make a day of exploring old town. It’s been too long since I’ve been down there but I loved learning the history, exploring old missions, and trying various restaurants there all serving up the best Mexican food I’ve ever had.

We would need to make our way north for a good hike out at Dripping Springs in Temecula before spending the afternoon at the beautiful wineries.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would not be where I am today without the support of my friends and family. While this sounds cliche it’s spot on. I’d be lying if I said I’ve never doubted or gotten down on myself. It’s in these times that I’ve been so blessed to have the support system I do. Every person in my inner circle continually encourages me to keep going. They help in the ways only they can. The amount of review my mom and some of my best friends have done for me, the graphics my sister has created, the hours they have all let me soundboard and then given me constructive feedback… if I didn’t have them I’m not sure where I would be but it wouldn’t have been this far. I would also like to dedicate this to an amazing group of people called the AoA. Which stands for Alchemy of Awesome. And that is exactly what this group embodies. Here you will find a family who helps build each other up in life and businesses. A community of mentors, support, love, and encouragement from other entrepreneurs. One of the members Jeff Lavin is who connected Shout-Out with me. So without the AoA, I would not have had this opportunity.

Website: www.n-balance.com

Instagram: kd.nbalance

Youtube: NBalance

Other: Clubhouse: The AoA

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