We had the good fortune of connecting with Hailley Rose Wollak and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Hailley Rose, why did you pursue a creative career?
I’ve lived my whole life doing what I thought I was “supposed” to do. I graduated from high school, got my college degree and then got a nine to five job in corporate america with a salary, health benefits and a 401(k). I had checked all the boxes and done all the things that our society told me I “should” do in order to be successful and happy. However, I wasn’t happy and I didn’t feel very successful. I was making money and I was excelling at my career… yet something was missing. I felt dim, uninspired and like I wasn’t truly living, I was simply existing. I got my yoga teacher training certificate in 2014 and found something that made me come alive. I started my side hustle and taught yoga after my corporate job – in the evenings and on weekends. I spent hours immersed in yoga teacher training programs and was working longer hours and harder than I ever had before. Yet somehow I felt more energized than ever before too. It was at that time that I knew, if I could work longer hours, do more work and feel even MORE free, vibrant and successful with LESS money, it was time for me to make a change. I saved my money, was patient and waited for the correct time… and in 2017, after seven years in a traditional corporate career in banking, I got the courage to leave my job and pursue a more non-traditional, creative career in yoga full-time. I felt elated, a little nervous and also surprisingly calm in my decision. It felt correct. It felt like me. It felt free.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I feel like I am truly living a slash career. I am a Yoga Teacher // Teacher of Yoga Teachers // Podcast Creator // Coach // Writer // Body Positive Advocate // Love Your Belly Movement Leader and more! I feel so grateful to get to create my career everyday. I truly get to be in the creation of my own life; my career by my design. I set my schedule, I say when, where and how I spend my time and I get to make time for ALL the things that I love to work on – teaching yoga, leading teacher training, supporting women, the body positive movement, recording podcasts and so much more. It’s not always easy and I am often working sixty to eighty hour work weeks. However, I am working on things that I love and so it doesn’t always feel like “work.” One of the challenges I face is that I find myself working all the time and not taking any official time off. I try to take scheduled time off and it doesn’t always happen. Instead of stressing about it, I focus on creating harmony in my weekly schedule. I like to focus on harmony, distinct from balance. Balance implies and is defined as an, “even distribution of weight” or when “different elements are equal or in the correct proportions.” I know that “work life balance” is a popular term these days, but I don’t like to think about my work and my life as needing to be in complete balance because that is a game I can never win. My work and life will never be in equal proportions because my work is my life, and my life is my work. Instead, I try to focus on creating harmony, which is defined as, “the combination of simultaneously sounded musical notes to produce chords and chord progressions having a pleasing effect.” That sounds way more manageable and way more exciting to me – having everything I do simultaneously work together to have a pleasing effect. I want to create harmony for all of the beautiful things that I do for my life. My work feels like play, my health and wellness is my career, my best friends are my teachers, students and co-workers. I want it all to be harmonized, not compartmentalized. That is my focus week by week – create harmony in a way that produces a pleasing effect for my life so that I can accomplish, be in creation and produce in a way that is dynamic, free and my own creation.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Oh my goodness – there is SO MUCH! I love H-Town. If we had a week together in the city – sunny day walks around Buffalo Bayou Park, Memorial Park & The Rice Loop are a must. We would go to BIG Power Yoga for a sweaty yoga class and stop by Soul Cycle or RIDE Indoor Cycling for another sweaty workout. We would eat brunch at The Dunlavy, grab an outdoor table at any of The Creek Restaurants, eat dinner out at Field & Tides, Calle Onze, Coltivare or El Tiempo. Honestly, we would probably eat at El Tiempo two or three times and would spend a Sunday afternoon or a Friday night at Eight Row Flint. We would make sure to end a Thursday or Saturday night dancing to live music at Goodnight Charlie’s!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I dedicate my Shoutout to Gina-Marie Vincent Runnels. She is my best friend, my biggest supporter, a fierce stand for my success and the other half of the podcast, SHE.inspires and of the Love Your Belly Movement. Gina-Marie sees a life for me that is oftentimes more beautiful, more loving and more grandiose than I see for myself and she won’t let me live into anything less than magic, greatness and love. She is a blessing and a true gift to this world. I am grateful for her everyday.