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Conversations with the Inspiring Jessica Louw

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jessica Louw.

Jessica, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
By day, I work as a program manager in the cancer diagnostics space. I love what I do and all the people I do it with, but I started to notice early on that we work so hard to try and cure cancer and then while working, take on some pretty bad habits that may even end up causing cancer. So, I took my passion for entrepreneurship and started a health and wellness accessories company, aLign, to bring busy women products that helped make staying healthier just a little bit easier in their day. I bootstrapped the company investing a lot of my savings into it and had our signature product, an elegant laptop and workout bag manufactured in China. Over the course of about 3 years, I learned a lot about working a side hustle. The discipline and perseverance needed the highs and lows of being an entrepreneur and the balance between enjoying the present and striving toward your dream. After some reflection, I realized that what I loved most about this business was thinking up new products and I started turning that passion into DIY projects and home decor. It’s funny because as a kid, I would re-arrange my room all the time or sketch out designs in a notepad, and so now it feels like I have really hit the perfect balance of combining all pieces of my passions. With that, I started Beyond the Clock, a place to find inspiration in life before or after your 9-5 and make the most out of the little things. I feature DIY projects, lifestyle tips, and inspiration, featured decor out and about in San Diego. It’s a journey that continues to evolves and I am so thankful and appreciative of everyone supporting it.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
A phrase that my husband and I use often to keep us motivated is, “If it were easy, everyone would do it”. Running your own business, especially as a side gig, is HARD. There are a million times where you feel you don’t have enough time, you’re exhausted, or your hard work isn’t paying off. For me, the toughest struggle to date is being consistent. I have started in new directions a few times and after a few months of hard work, I’ve allowed it to taper off and then, whatever momentum I may have gotten, comes to a halt. To help change that mindset, I started tracking metrics around what I was doing. Being able to measure the input of my effort with the output of results, helped create a formula of sorts. This way, even when I’m tired, or don’t feel like there is enough time in the day, I can come to the formula and equate the loss of results if I don’t do it. That way, I know exactly what I’m giving up and it normally pushes me to get the work done no matter what. The other piece of advice I would give is, don’t be afraid to change your course. Minor adjustments to what you are doing along the way can be really good to find your path. A lot of people decide not to ever try because they don’t have a clear picture of what they want to do. I’ve found that just getting started with something (even if it’s not perfect) helps to find more clarity and focus as you go.

what should we know about Beyond The Clock? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I specialize in design and decor as well as DIY projects. I also focus on healthy lifestyle tips and decor out and about at restaurants and hotels both locally in San Diego as well as my travels. I feel strongly that the space you are in every day can make a difference in your mood and how you carry yourself each day. Combining comfort with function in a way that makes ultimate use of your space at home and at work is what makes the lives of busy women working fulltime jobs, happier, healthier and engaged with the ones they love when they are beyond the hours of the 9-5.

For good reason, society often focuses more on the problems rather than the opportunities that exist, because the problems need to be solved. However, we’d probably also benefit from looking for and recognizing the opportunities that women are better positioned to capitalize on. Have you discovered such opportunities?
Women are the ultimate multi-taskers! As such, they are able to excel in areas both in and outside the home and create a big difference in their communities. I think with the world being so instant with technology, women are really well poised to take advantage of the many moving parts and distill them into truly impactful and creative solutions for themselves and others.

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Beyond The Clock

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