Romi Neustadt Tells Women They Can Have It All, Just Not at the Same Damn Time
Women are suffering from a condition called 'Unrealistic Expectations' and are overwhelmed, stressed and unfilled. The cause? We’re confusing having it all with doing it all.
Romi Neustadt, Entrepreneur, Author, Business Coach and Speaker
Romi Neustadt is a mom of two, a wife, daughter, entrepreneur, a sought-after business coach and speaker, and a best-selling author of two books. Her latest is You Can Have It All, Just Not at the Same Damn Time, and she’s on a mission to fight an epidemic affecting women.
Romi argues women are suffering from a condition called 'Unrealistic Expectations' and are overwhelmed, stressed and unfilled. The cause? We’re confusing having it all with doing it all. In her latest book, Romi provides a no-BS blueprint for women to figure out what to focus on and what not to. She explains why saying YES to everything and everyone really means saying NO to the things that matter most—your goals, your dreams, and being true to yourself.
"I want women to understand that it is possible to have it all if they give themselves permission to define what their unique "all" looks like, and to unapologetically let go of everything else. That’s the only way to live a fulfilled and authentic life, which is what we all deserve."
You say we are confusing being productive with being busy. Can you explain?
How many times has someone asked you, 'How are you?' or 'What's going on in your life?' and you've answered, 'I'm so busy!' The logical next question they ask is, 'What are you so busy with?' And you pause and think for a minute and then respond with a laundry list of the tasks on any given day's to-do list. Or maybe you offer up an exhausted, 'Oh, you know, life.' I'm not judging, truly. I've given those responses many, many times.
We, women, are spending our time on the wrong ALL. Imagine what we could do and who we could become if we were clearing out all the crap that isn't serving us and focusing on what’s really important to us. The things that are our Priorities and Goals.
You say Goals and Priorities are not the same things, and serving our priorities is non-negotiable. Can you explain?
Priorities are the things that are so important to us, right now, that not serving them is non-negotiable. And we declare them in the present tense. For example, a perennial priority of mine is that I make healthy choices every day because I know if my body and mind aren't healthy, I can't do anything else.
Goals are different. These are things that haven’t happened yet, but they’re important enough to us to put in the work to achieve them.
Most women (and me until I was around 42) confuse Priorities and Goals. I had been setting goals my entire life. I set goals, and I slay them! That's just how I'm wired. And I thought my Goals were my Priorities. And because I didn’t understand or declare my Priorities, I was setting and slaying Goals that weren’t actually the things that were most important to me or would get me closer to the life I really wanted.
So it’s not only essential to understand the difference but to also do the whole process. Once you figure out your Priorities, you’ve got to set Goals that serve those Priorities. Because if you don't, the goals you're devoting all this time, effort, and energy to aren't serving your priorities; that's when you're unfulfilled. That's when you feel scattered, stressed and unfulfilled. It’s because you’re not living authentically.
"Priorities are the things that are so important to us, right now, that not serving them is non-negotiable. And we declare them in the present tense. Goals are different. These are things that haven’t happened yet."
This one hit home for me. You say so many of us are consumed by our To-Do lists, and I'll admit I am a To-Do lister! And you say that this To-Do list is often filled with "Should- Dos," which focuses on other people's expectations rather than our own personal and professional goals (aha moment for me!) Can you explain?
We women are Should-ing all over the place, and it's taking our time and emotional energy. It’s one of the primary reasons we're not getting to the stuff we really want to do in life.
The word 'Should' should become a red flag. Anytime you find yourself thinking or saying, But I should accept the position on the fundraising committee because if I don't, I'm going to disappoint these people. I should be the one to always carpool my kids around to their activities because if I don't, the other moms might think I'm not a good mother. I should continue to do everything required in my business instead of hiring an assistant because I’m not successful enough to deserve one.
'Should' is a signal to you that you're not serving your own Priorities and Goals. You're giving the power of your life choices and where you're spending your time over to preconceived notions or some BS story that you're making up in your head about what someone else expects of you. These are the things you need to delegate to somebody else or delete altogether. In my book I teach women how to find the Shoulds in their day-to-day lives and whether to delegate or delete them.
What does authenticity mean to you?
Authenticity is showing up as the real you in all parts of your life, every single day. Not the you that you think you're supposed to be or who others expect you to be. When you do that, you're able to be honest with yourself about what you really want, what your unique ALL is. Every woman has their own ALL—yours likely looks different from mine. The point is to figure out what you want and then make it happen. And if each of us were living our truth, there would be a lot less judging each other and playing the comparison game, and a lot more supporting and inspiring each other.
Who or What has been your biggest inspiration?
The tens of thousands of women I get to mentor through my business are an endless source of inspiration. They dare to take risks, get vulnerable, strive to become better versions of themselves. And the two incredible humans I’m raising inspire me, teach me, challenge me and raise my game daily.
What is the best business advice you can offer women?
To focus on what really matters to you, so you can ditch everything that isn't serving your dreams. To recognize and embrace your true worth as a provider, partner, and all-around kickass human. To create habits that protect your time and energy. To establish boundaries that stick. To stop feeling like a fraud and understand that you are enough. And all of this is important not just in business but in our entire lives, which is why I had to write my second book. If we’re not living our lives fully and authentically and implementing these tools, even if we’re professional successes, we won’t be healthy and fulfilled when we get there.
What advice would you give your 25-year-old self?
You Can Have It All is the advice I wish I had when I was 25. And I want to make sure my daughter Bebe has it too. I’d also tell her that she can do anything she puts her mind to and that one day she’ll wish she had the body she’s bitching about.
Who are the 5 people- living or dead- you would invite to your dream dinner party?
And my dad. I lost him when I was 28, and he never got to see any of the best parts of my life. He’d have to stay to do dishes with me and meet his son-in-law and his grandchildren.
What is your motto?
Life begins at the end of our comfort zone. And lead with love, always.
Purchase Romi's Book, You Can Have It All, Just Not at the Same Damn Time