Founder of Life in Balance, Christina Grice, has been in business for herself for years unintentionally. Her friends and family even colleagues would reach out to her, knowing what she did for a living, asking for Money Management advice. Consultants she had worked with in the past began to reach out and ask if she would consider keeping their financial books for their own business’. Before she knew it, she had a growing clientele. I had the pleasure with Christina Life in Balance’s mission and success, the importance of self-care, and balancing your life.
What inspired you to create Life In Balance?
CG: “Life in Balance is a result of my desire to help those who have the tenacity to go dream big and make things happen. I look up to those who are courageous enough to go against the grain. While creating their legacy, the last thing they should have to worry about is interpreting a balance sheet, figuring out how to generate more profit, or how they’re going to pay themselves next week. Life in Balance creates the harmony needed for business owners to view their businesses opportunities to do things great things in this world – not as a hassle or source of anxiety or stress.
I was always in a place of servitude growing up, as the oldest and the only girl of four children. I carried it into my 40’s and created a life where I was too fearful to release control or allow others to help. Needless to say, I was tired, worn down and bitter. A very good friend of mine asked me to attend a women’s retreat with her. Normally, I never would have agreed to do something like that, but on that day, I woke up committing to say yes to anything that would only serve me. It was the first time I was surrounded by a group of women that looked like me..their pain felt like mine and most importantly we were given the space and the freedom to be selfish.After the retreat, I became very intentional about Life in Balance. “
When you created Life In Balance, what was the mission you wanted behind it and what is the greatest lesson you’ve encountered so far?
CG: “I recognized how important it was to continue to grow your community, to lean on each other for strength and encouragement, and that networking didn’t have to be stuffy. Networking is a form of empowerment and triggers a higher knowledge of self. My journey started as an accounts payable clerk and I worked my way up to a junior bookkeeper. After I decided to go back to school and earn a degree in business with a minor in accounting, I was promoted to Financial Controller over 10 years ago. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve helped personally and professionally with money management assistance. Each had one thing in common: generational cycles of lives that were dictated by how they were spending their money. We would just sit down and crunch numbers, retrace their steps, and determine what broke their financial spirit. Then we would start again, but in a way they never knew. You may hear people say “Money is the root of all evil”, but that is not what the Bible says. It says “for the LOVE of money is the root of all evil”. My point is that there is a place for money in our lives, but it should not be in place of what we should value most: our self worth.
Today I am a continuing contributor to a digital publication were I discuss money management tips for your everyday entrepreneur. I host workshops where people come together to not only hear what I have to say about bookkeeping and budgeting but to express themselves through laughter and tears. It is very difficult to stay within budget when you are raising children, working, running a business, helping an ill parent, doing the laundry, making dinner, helping with homework, and taking the trash out. The greatest lesson I have encountered during this journey is knowing when to say when. When it’s time to stop working, STOP. When it’s time to rest, REST. When it’s time to laugh, LAUGH. And when it’s time to love, LOVE. There is really no such thing as a Life in Balance. But my aim is to get you as close as possible.”
How would you define success? Has a mistake ever led you to success?
CG: “My financial trauma started as a single mother raising a daughter. My father died when I was 24. We had no money for a funeral and back then insurance policies did not pay right away. His social security only paid out a $250.00 death benefit. But there was my tax refund check in the mailbox that allowed me to make the down payment, buy my brothers’ suits, and even the flowers for the casket. My Dad left me a small policy, and when it came through, I purchased a house that I couldn’t afford to serve my family’s needs. My daughter was 7 years old at the time and within three years I was barely keeping the lights on, was three months behind on my mortgage. The IRS levied my bank accounts because I had not filed taxes in three years. When I did, I claimed exempt to try to keep as much money in my pocket as possible, unaware of the immense amount that I would owe on the back end. I filed bankruptcy, sold the house, and paid off anyone I could before going into hiding. Almost 20 years later, I remember it like it was yesterday. It was the moment I said never again would I be a victim to my finances, or have to beg the electric company to keep my lights on, or worry about keeping a roof over our heads. I worked nonstop and positioned myself to increase my salary. I got an education and, in a matter of 10 years, went from a credit score of 485 to 825. I taught my daughter to be self-reliant and the importance of managing her money well. She now owns two businesses at 26 years old with 2 degrees and a high credit score.”
Which of your traits are you most proud of?
CG: I am completely self-aware. I may not have the solution right away, but I know where my flaws are so I can focus on addressing them in a healthy and efficient way.
What is the best financial advice you have for someone starting a new business or brand?
CG: “Be obedient, but don’t forget to grant yourself grace. The only person you should be competing with is the you from yesterday.”
How do you practice self-care and self-love?
CG: “I have always been used to spending a lot of time alone. So now, I make time to connect with women who are facing similar struggles. I attend events that revitalize my spirit and connect with empowered women and it is like magic. I may burn rubber to get out of the house, but once I fill my cup with great conversation and bonding, I can’t wait to see my children and my husband again.”
How do you manage to apply balance in your everyday routine and life?
CG: “I now know when to say no and I use the Power of Pause. Some of us assume that everyone can read our minds. But they are only aware of their own needs and desires and how to fulfill them. You cannot be afraid to just say “I can’t today”, or “that doesn’t work for me”. The Power of Pause is magnificent. I am always running full steam ahead, and, as a result, I find myself in a panic. When you pause you give yourself a chance to reset, you can regroup and reevaluate.”
Name the biggest overall lesson you’ve learned in running a platform.
CG: “That there is no such thing as a life that is perfectly in balance. We have to be intentional about taking the time to ensure that we have what we need each day to operate at full capacity without burnout.”
What’s your favorite thing to come home to after a long day?
CG: “I work out of my home, but once I close my laptop and leave the office, my favorite thing is laughing with my children. It’s the real laughter, the kind that you feel, not just hear. They are all getting older and feeling them laugh lets me know that they’re truly happy.”
What is your biggest goal for 2019?
CG: “I am in the midst of writing an ebook about understanding that your finances have everything to do with the space you are holding in your life. It will be out by the 4th quarter. I am putting my heart and soul into it and know that if it even affects one person, it was all worth it.”
Cristina’s Contact Info
Christina M Grice | Founder
Visit us at www.BalanceWithChristina.com