We had the good fortune of connecting with Leyla Sarper and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Leyla, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
I’ve learned that the idea of “work life balance” in the traditional sense that we’ve been taught is a myth. You can’t be successful in all areas of life, at the same time. The book “Settle Smarter” by Dana Look-Arimoto taught me this. At any given time, you can choose to dedicate your time and attention to a select few areas: work/career/business, social life, and personal health for example. Or maybe it’s kids/family, community, and health/vitality. But the notion that ALL areas should be balanced and we should be “doing it all” is not only a myth, it’s highly toxic. It sets us up for failure that if we’re not doing it all, something is wrong. In a 24 hour period, and a 365 day period, you can only be successful if you focus in on what’s important and let the rest go. I learned that the idea of what one “should” be doing needs to be thrown out the window. Do what you WANT to do.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
This is such a tough question for me. I’m currently staying at home full time with my now 12 month old daughter. My other girl just turned 4 and is at school, so it does allow me to have some time to work on me during her two naps. I am proud of the work I’ve done as a marketer over the past 8 years at various organizations. But I’m not ashamed to say, I don’t know what I want to do “when I grow up.” I’m on a journey, as I write this, to figure it out as I also experience being a SAHM. When I was little, being in my 30’s sounded SO OLD. But now, as a 34 year old mom of 2, I feel younger than ever and know that there’s so much possibility before me. Trying lots of different things is a good thing. That’s the only way to know and not live with regret about not at least giving it a shot. All I know is that I’m grateful for living in this time period, where we have the internet to allow us so many more opportunities than generations before. It’s wild that we can work from home or work from anywhere for that matter. I guess that’s what I want the world to know about my story. That it’s OK to feel sort of lost at times and to not know “what’s next.” Start with what you’re naturally good at or something you’re super interested in. If you start there, you’re bound to find “the next thing.”
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If you’ve followed me on Instagram, you know I’m REALLY into skin care and spas. It’s my thing. So, if you were coming to Denver, I would recommend you check out a couple sort of “hole in the wall” spots that not a lot of people know about, to get nice and relaxed first and foremost. Denver has a small but amazing Korean Spa. If you’ve never been to a Korean Spa, go, and thank me later. Get the body scrub. It’s such an affordable way to feel amazing (I’m talking like $30 to $70). It’s called Havana Sauna. I just discovered the joy that is a Russian Banya (spa). I went to Izbushka in Parker, CO, Not enough time to describe why it’s so heavenly. You’ll have to find out yourself. We’re so lucky to have fabulous food in this city. If I want comfort food, I would recommend D Bar. If you’re looking for some fine dining try Sushi Den or Tavernetta. And no trip to Denver is complete without going to an event or concert at Red Rocks. Yoga on the Rocks was a fun thing my friends and I used to do. It’s just a magical place.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I want to dedicate my shoutout to my mentor, Gary Vaynerchuk. I first was introduced to his content in 2012 at Denver Start Up Week where he keynoted. Ever since then, I’ve been a proud member of his community that focuses on kindness, going after your dreams, and not having regret. In 2019, I finally took Gary’s advice of creating my own content and started my podcast, which opened up so many doors and created many new relationships. The other shoutout is to the VeeFriends (Gary Vee’s NFT project) community as a whole. I’m continually inspired by the people I’ve met there since May of 2021. I get so much encouragement from them. I am very grateful to have a supportive online community there and I can’t wait to meet everyone at VeeCon.
Other: My podcast, Life With Leyla, is available on Apple and Spotify & most podcast apps. I just relaunched and rebranded it after taking a year off to be with my baby full time. I like to interview people in Denver and beyond who are pursuing their dreams. A lot of selfcare, wellness, and business conversations happen here. Going forward, I plan to include a lot of content about blockchain and NFTs because that’s what I’m into right now. I’m excited to get back into it and see where it takes me.
Desiree Johnson Photography Kim Rodgers Photography