Ever wondered, “How does she do it all?” Spoiler alert: she doesn’t. We want to normalize the conversation around successful women asking for help.
ICYMI: House of Wise went live on Clubhouse with Hitha Palepu last week for a 30-minute (okay, 45) empowerment convo. Clubhouse is an audio-only social platform for participants to drop into rooms of various topics (currently iPhone only).
Setting the stage
Amanda Goetz, House of Wise’s founder, and Maria West, our head of content, led the session with an interview-style Q&A for special guest Hitha Palepu.
About the series
This monthly series sets out to interview women who seemingly have it all together.
There's tons of articles that say, ‘Women have it all! Just look — they're working, they’re mothering, they're homeschooling.” As Amanda says, we’re learning that that is bullshit. You can't have it all without help.
So we want to know: how is that actually happening? This interview series dives into that.
About our special guest: Hitha Palepu
Hitha is a force of nature. Not only is she the CEO of Roh Pharmaceuticals, but she is also an author, an investor in female founded companies (including House of Wise), and a mom of two sweet boys. She's living in New York City and is a mentor to Amanda.
Here are our favorite highlights from our interview with Hitha on Clubhouse.
There is no “having it all”
Hitha says “having it all” is a social construct that is unattainable. “It makes me feel like a man came up with that phrase to guilt women into thinking they should have it all. It's holding us back from our power, which lies in being very, very pointed and focused on a few priorities vs. this ubiquitous all. I categorically reject that narrative.”
That’s why Hitha has detached her guilt from making choices (not sacrifices) for her family.
Outsourcing and delegating is key
As a mom, business leader, author, and more, Hitha is busy. She is also aware of where her best energy is spent. To balance, she manages her time with a little help:
Hitha says time with her family is all about quality > quantity, and “I am a better mom when I work.”
Hitha says self-care really comes down to a few core questions:
- Are you sleeping enough?
- Are you eating something green every day?
- Are you moving your body?
- And are you spending some conscious time away from your devices (aka unplugging) during waking hours?
- Did you hang out with your kids without distraction?
She says, 3/5 of those things means it’s an okay day, but when things are hard, it’s important to prioritize all of them: “I know if I can't change my external circumstances, but I can change how I show up for them. And taking care of myself in that sense is a non-negotiable.”
Self-care products she loves
- House of Wise’s STRESS, SEX, + SLEEP CBD products (she keeps some in every room!)
- A celebratory glass of wine
- Peloton (since 2016!)
- Hill House Home robes (because #clouds)
- Romance novels (currently the Bridgerton series)
Advice: Write a letter from your future self
Perhaps our favorite tip from Hitha’s interview was the practice of writing a letter from your future self. She says, “By doing that habitually, you’re planting seeds in your mind and slowly putting in the work to make that a reality. And why shouldn't it be?”
For example, think of yourself 20 years from now. Maybe you’re in a cabana on the beach, retired and texting with your grown kids who are away at college. Maybe you’re running that nonprofit you’ve always dreamed about and telling your younger self to make the jump.
Hitha says don’t keep it to yourself: “There’s great strength in sharing that vision with other people who share your goals for this highly ambitious life. This is unapologetically your own life. It's a little way of doing accountability, which I think is also the secret to succeeding at anything.”
We get that! Here’s to old, wrinkly you being proud.
Hitha’s proudest moment
She just turned in the draft for her second book, which she researched and submitted in less than three months. This is unheard of. Hint: she now knows everything about Kamala Harris, including what she eats for breakfast (generic Raisin Bran with almond milk; black tea with lemon and honey).
All during this book scramble, Hitha was negotiating a very large deal for a strategic partnership for her company. Whew! We’re proud of her, too.
Thoughts on starting a family
Successful career women who came before her as mothers played an important role in her expectations: “When I became pregnant, I was terrified that I would somehow lose myself.” Those friends told her “that’s a false narrative.” Hitha says motherhood made her laser-focused on what really matters.
Considerations for starting a family as a career woman:
- “You can be maternal without ever becoming a mother.” Fertility, pregnancy and postpartum can be really hard. If it is for you, it doesn’t make you any less of a maternal being. The unsexy advice? Talk to your doctor. You can consider egg-freezing, too.
- “Who your partner will be will be the biggest decision you make both for your career and for your life.” You want someone who will mutually help you achieve your wildest dreams the way you would do theirs. Hitha suggests scheduling check-ins with your partner to explore whether you’re not on the same page about what you want.
- Don’t fear motherhood — it’s a superpower.” Hitha wishes women knew about the wonderful ways motherhood can make you a better leader, worker, and more as much as they knew about early hardships.
Where to find Hitha
We could write a whole book on what we learned from this conversation and can’t wait for the next one! For updates on our next “How Does She Do It All?” Clubhouse series, follow House of Wise on Twitter and Instagram (@house__of__wise).
You can also follow Amanda (@amandagoetz) and Maria (@mariawest) on Clubhouse.