We recently attended a panel of female business founders hosted by The Honest Company founder, Jessica Alba (heard of her?). Alba moderated a fascinating conversation with some of our favorite women in business – ClassPass founder, Paya Kadakia, Arianna Huffington of The Huffington Post, founder of Dry Bar, Alli Webb, and founder of Clique Media, Kathrine Powers.

We loved the panel’s candid discussion of today’s current business culture, especially as it concerns women in the workplace. We were especially drawn to all that was said on life balance, mental health and achieving long-term success without burnout. Watch the full video above and take note of a few of our favorite learnings from the women below on mindful planning, compassionate leadership, and a career infused with meaning…

ClassPass’ Payal Kadakia – On Time Management

Everyone on the panel and in the audience was intrigued by ClassPass’ Payal Kadakia’s method of goal-setting. Every year, Payal shared that she creates a quarterly ‘diagnostic report’ about how she spends her time – in all areas of life. She first started the reporting process when she realized that she wasn’t achieving what she wanted in her personal life in the same way she was in her professional life. She began creating the meticulous reports about how she spent her time and found that doing so every quarter let her stay more connected and honest with herself and to make quick changes when things wern’t working. Payal insists that executing this strategy quarterly is better than making 2-5 year plans – the frequent assessments let you quickly make changes big and small.

women in business panel hosted by honest company founder jessica alba

The Honest Company’s Jessica Alba – On Success + Haters According to Jessica, rest and balance leads to the best version of yourself. It can feel counterintuitive when there’s a never ending pile of needs on your plate, but building balanced habits are key to succeeding in the long run. She also discussed that, in both entertainment and business, there’s nothing that makes people more angry than your success and happiness. Jessica advised to make the inevitable criticism that comes with success ‘white noise’, and noted that it’s essential to ignore distraction from haters. “Don’t be distracted. Be happy. Be successful.”

Arianna Huffington – On Taking Breaks + Dealing with Doubt

Arianna, with the longest career of anyone on the panel, dropped quite a few gems of knowledge. One practical tip Arianna shared from her own teams’ practice was to take a “thrive day” after to decompress after a huge push or deadline. Allow yourself and your team to rest and adjust after big projects. Finding that sweet spot between working hard and taking care of yourself means redefining values, personal limits and balance. Learn how to prioritize tasks day-to-day, and get comfortable letting go of completeness. “For most of us, our work is never done. Get comfortable setting goals for the day and knowing when to stop and walk away.” No one can ‘do it all’ in a day. Arianna also noted that women in business need to recognize that internal voice of doubt for what it is: a reality to be dealt with, but not the truth.

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