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The Wixii™ Project: Shelly Humbach

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Shelly Humbach Profile PicName:  Shelly Humbach

Location:  Colorado

Company:  Consulting-College

Professional Industry:  Humbach Education Consulting

Job Title:  Independent Education Consultant

WIXII-ISM™ FROM SHELLY HUMBACH: 

“Find and/or hang on to what you love and keep doing it.  That ‘it’ will make you a better mother, wife, partner, daughter, sister and friend.”

SHELLY’S STORY:

Meet our featured Wixii™, Shelly Humbach.  She is in her early 50s and mother to three daughters (ages 23, 19, and 16).  She received her B.A. in Sociology from University of Colorado-Boulder (after 3 years at DU), her Paralegal Certification from the Denver Paralegal Institute, and her College Counseling Certification-UCLA.  She is currently an Independent Education Consultant.

She shares, “I have survived the plight of three teen-aged daughters and we still really like each other, and I’m still majorly in-love with my husband.”

SHELLY’S CAREER PATH:

I enjoyed an exciting and lucrative 20+ years working as a paralegal, specializing in litigation.  My first job, after I graduated from Denver Paralegal Institute, was as a Private Investigator…oh, the stories.  I then worked for a Mom and Pop law firm, primarily in the Immigration field, where I utilized my Spanish speaking skills.  Finally, I landed a dream job with the law firm of George T. Ashen and worked alongside that wonderful man for 8 years.

Shortly after the birth of my second daughter, I began a freelance paralegal business.  I worked from home and continued to do so, until I transitioned to College Consulting, some 4 years ago.

I launched Humbach Education Consulting about three years ago, while simultaneously returning to school to earn my College Counseling Certification from UCLA Extension.  I LOVE what I do and look forward to many years, working with high school students to help them find their best-fit college.

SHELLY’S MINDSET AND WORK-LIFE MIX:

My mindset toward life is quite as it has always been—happy and grateful. One of the many blessings of becoming an “older woman,” UGH, did I just type that? is the gift of perspective and emotional evolution.  Like most people, it took me a long time to heed my mother’s wise words, “There is only Love and Fear in the world, which do you choose?”  “Live in abundance, not scarcity.”  “Be mindful of the energy you put out.  It mirrors the energy you receive.”

By the Grace of God, and for the most part, I really get these messages and not only have incorporated their truth into my life, but am passing them down to my daughters.  AND, they no longer roll their eyes into the back of their heads.

I am a firm believer in working, outside the home.  Shortly after graduating college, I received stellar advice, “Keep your finger in the pie.”  In other words, strive to achieve a thriving mix (unique to each individual) with regard to working within the home and outside of it.  Over the years, I never stopped working for more than 2 weeks (even after the birth of three kids, back surgery, etc).  I managed to create the best of both worlds, which for me meant 3/4 or part-time work, after I had my first child.

Today, I am working (outside the home) more than ever and I LOVE it!  Two of my children are adults and the third is 16.  When they are home, we work, together, in the function of our home. (My hubby travels nearly every week, for a few days.) I approached the girls, early this summer and suggested we see ourselves not just as family, but as room-mates.  I explained that we are all very busy working and playing and that if I had to handle laundry, shopping, returns, cooking and cleaning all myself, I would hate and resent them.  I reminded them that no one likes a bitter, exhausted mom.  All three immediately chimed in, divvied up the duties and it was the best summer, ever!

I love to exercise and do everything “Colorado.”  I love to garden, golf, ski, hike, walk, and go to the gym.  I am an avid reader and that is what I can be found doing, most nights, by 8 pm or so.

I do have a house-cleaner, every third week. *See above in-house cleaning people.  My husband and I fully appreciate the fact that a house cleaner is less expensive than a divorce.  Kidding, but not really.

Work:  how do you “think outside the box” with respect to your work-life potential and opportunities? 

My work-life potential is unlimited and this fact excites me, no end.  I know that with happiness comes success and not the other way around.

I am crystal clear with the truth of “the Law of Attraction.”  Everything that comes to me is based on what I’m putting out in the world.

Family:  how do you build meaningful relationships with the people who matter most in your life?

With teenagers, understand that, in their eyes and experience, it is a BIG DEAL.

Self:  how do you strengthen your own identity and not lose yourself in the mix?

Try, try, try to step back from the insane cultural and societal pressures, that all females feel, to be the end all, catch all, to the whole flipping world.  I am a fortunate soul, in that I like who I am and I always have.  I also quickly acknowledged the fact that as a mother of three girls, who are also growing up in this culture, I had better set the example of self love and acceptance. The blessing of three girls has kept it real for me.

And, keep your “finger in the pie.”  Keep working outside the home, even if it’s a few hours per week.  It’s empowering to earn income, to have adult conversations, to use your brain in all ways.  Moreover, I have witnessed many a woman try to re-enter the work force after a long absence and they often lack the confidence and skill set to do so.

Find and/or hang on to what you love and keep doing it.  That ‘it’ will make you a better mother, wife, partner, daughter, sister and friend.

Community:  how do you contribute and add value to the larger world around you?

In spite of growing up in an affluent household, my mother was frugal (in a lovely and valuable way) and taught five children to give of themselves.

Rob and I have raised our children to acknowledge their blessings and that because they were born into freedom and privilege, they have a responsibility to give of themselves.  They get it and I get to get it with them.

Describe a “day in your life” from waketime to bedtime:

Sleep is a crucial element to my well-being.  Sleep deprivation makes me a crazy bi*ch and the whole family has got my back on this one.  So, I generally wake up happy and ready to go!  I stretch and give thanks for a few minutes and then hit the ground running.  I personify, “Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground, the world says, Oh, Sh*t!”  Most days, I walk or go to the gym, then hit my office, meet with students or business contacts.  Most days, I do a little dinner prep, (I love to cook), run my youngest a place or two, make dinner and eat/hang with my fam.  They do the dishes. I check my schedule for the upcoming day, read, then sleep.

How does your current mindset/attitude empower and/or frustrate your ability to thrive in your work-life mix?  How has your mindset/attitude toward life changed over time?

My current mindset of “Thank You, God,” empowers me to enjoy so much of life and to receive the many, many blessings!!!  I do become frustrated with people, but I am able to come back around with perspective and focus on what is truly important, like health.

The premature birth of my eldest brought me serious perspective, as did the death of my mother.

What specific actions, choices, steps and/or decisions have you made (or would you like to make) to better manage your work-life mix?

I chose to lower my standards with certain things.  Additionally, the lightening-fast passage of time is a constant reminder to be very present, especially with interactions with my loved ones.

I am very comfortable with asking for help (was not always the case) and am so thankful for all the people in my life who can do things I can’t (or don’t want to).

Please share specific tips for effectively managing your time and schedule.

Put it on the books!  Exercise, sex, unplugged time, working “on” your business, concerts, meeting with friends, conversations with spouse/children, cooking/baking;  if it’s a priority, schedule it and treat it as a priority.

Be sure to schedule down time.  No one can nor should sustain a crazy-ass schedule 24/7.

Please share your favorite efficiencies and timesavers.

Block Scheduling – trial and error to find a formula that works for you and tweak it, as necessary.  Looks like this for me:

  • 2 hours, every Monday to work, uninterrupted, “ON” my business;
  • Strategic Partner meetings, clustered together.  In other words, on the days that I have showered and am feeling fierce, meet with people, back-to-back;
  • Planning days – in my home office, not dressed to kill and working;
  • Clusters of time to meet with students, one after the next.

If you could change one thing about your work-life mix, what would it be?

Hmmm, I’ll have to meditate on that one.  It’s just so darn good, right now!

What do you currently find most challenging/concerning about your work-life mix?  What areas do you most needs support?

More support and encouragement for women to stop seeking approval from the world.  Learning to embrace intuition.

What advice would you give an earlier version of yourself?

YOU ARE ENOUGH!  Self-acceptance goes a long way.

Is there anything you would like to share about work-life mix?

Women:  find and take very good care of your smart, strong, positive women friends.  Stop living in a world of division; we are all in the same camp.  Let go of the judgment—we are all doing the best we can.

My best friend, Brenda Abdilla, has been my best friend since we were 18.  She is my arm, my cheerleader, my reality-check, and the most amazing person I have been blessed to know and love.  Everyone deserves a Brenda.  Find that relationship and nurture the hell out of it.

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