“How does she do it all?” This discussion is far from over, and we turned to a badass engineer-turned-health tech founder to weigh in.
House of Wise went live on Clubhouse with Lola Priego, Founder and CEO of Base, a company that helps you monitor your health via at-home blood testing and regular tracking. Clubhouse is an audio-only social platform for participants to drop into rooms of various topics (now open to Android users!).
Setting the stage
House of Wise head of content Maria West, and Jess Sanfilippo, our head of marketing, spoke with special guest Lola Priego. Our founder Amanda Goetz was busy flying to and from Miami for a housing plan B, but she recently chatted with Lola on the "We Met At Acme” podcast.
Priego is not only leading the charge at Base, but she’s also a software engineer with a Silicon Valley-studded resume (including Facebook and Amazon) and leads a nonprofit for current big-tech engineers. To top off her badassery, she’s working toward earning a pilot’s license (maybe to make that NYC → Spain trip more exhilarating?)
About the series
Our monthly series interviews successful women who seemingly have it all together. We want to know what’s going on behind the scenes. Here are our favorite highlights from our Clubhouse interview with Priego.
Following big (tech) dreams
Priego grew up in Spain, where she learned early on how to pursue happiness and impact others. This good-hearted ambition was evident in her pursuit of medical school but never faded when she changed to engineering. Talk about big-heart and big-brain energy.
Priego learned about the impact of work — and how to be the most efficient — while working at Facebook/Instagram. “We had no limits,” she said. “I had as much impact as I wanted, and I could work smarter. That’s when I started my journey at being super-efficient.”
This performance-based work became addictive. Priego learned the difference between impressive busy-work and revenue-generating solutions. The former wasn’t always better. “I built a rocket to cross the street.”
Burnout to minimalism
Priego eventually knew she had hit a wall. Burnout was a wake-up call for her to manage her energy and break out of her breakless hustle.
Priego turned to a minimalist lifestyle, getting rid of things and activities in life that weren’t serving her. Staying true to herself, she left big tech, primarily because didn't feel good about her role in creating more ways for people to be addicted to their phones.
“You have it all” isn’t a compliment
Take it from a minimalist: “having it all” is subjective, especially when people go gaga over her life. “People love the story of it,” she said. “But being a founder of a successful company is a lot of worrying. Only a few people can do it. This lifestyle would suck for about 95% of the population.”
Priego's proudest moments are when she’s coaching people and leading a team. She is good at troubleshooting conflict and helping others pursue their purpose.
Her advice to younger women: “Put yourself out there. Ask for help on things you want to learn or do a deeper dive — not because you’re struggling, but because you want to learn.” That’s the mindset that took everything to the next level for Priego, including work and relationships.
How Priego practices self-care
Priego had a meditation lifestyle before she even knew what the word meant. As early as age 2, Lola felt like the “weirdo” kid who would go into a dark room, close her eyes, and deal with her thoughts.
This has become a habit and a way to recenter. “I play music in a dark room. I see my thoughts come and go.” For Lola, sleep, meditation, and moments of silence are crucial to her energy balance.
Priego is a pro at listening to her body, which we know from her impressive meditative toddlerhood. This goes for nutrition too. She may be needing a salad or want to up the excitement of her day with a croissant. A phone conversation with her mom or a friend will cheer her right up.
Where to find Lola Priego
For updates on our next “How Does She Do It All?” audio interview series, follow House of Wise on Twitter and Instagram (@house__of__wise).
About Wise Women Wednesday: We ask: How does she do it? Every month we interview women who are juggling it all. This is our space for real access and insights into women who juggle kids/careers/life and seemingly do it all.