We had the good fortune of connecting with Shauniece Morris and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Shauniece, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
Since starting Naturally Shauniece two years ago, work life balance truly has a new meaning for me. I have a full time career as a Project Manager working 40 hours per week as well as wife and mother of two teen sons. My days are filled with demanding work projects and raising two active sons who are involved in school, music, and travel sports. So needless to say, work life balance has always been a struggle of mine. However, my work life balance has been even tougher since becoming a content creator and influencer. I always get a laugh out of the misconceptions of being an influencer/content creator. Before becoming one, I too thought that influencers just take pictures and post on social media. Boy oh boy, I could not have been more wrong! The fact is being a content creator is time consuming with very little rewards. Behind a photo, video, or blog post is hours of work; this includes planning the content script, finding a location, setting up equipment, shooting the content, editing the content, planning across social platforms, and posting. Then there’s responding to comments and DMs, engaging with other accounts, pitching brands, networking, and much more. Needless to say, part time is actually full time! Honestly, I wasn’t prepared for the amount of work that comes with being a content creator on top of my roles as a wife, mother, and full time employee. So for me, work life balance is all about systems, schedules, having a clear understanding of what’s important to me, and the unconditional support of family. When it comes to systems, I take full advantage of technology for my to-do lists and coordination for my household. I wake up at 5:30am Monday – Friday, to workout, read my bible, and pray. This is my time to take care of my body, review everyone’s schedules, and set my intentions for the day. This time is non-negotiable. I stick to a pretty disciplined schedule where working on my brand and content creation happens between the hours of 9pm to 12am, daily. I take full advantage of the weekends where I have additional support from my husband and can batch film and edit content over a period of a few hours. When I’m overwhelmed and having trouble balancing it all, I write out my top values and goals to see if my actions align. When it comes to work life balance I’m learning it’s a learning journey. What works for me today, may not work for me six months from now. What’s most important is recognizing when something isn’t working for myself or my family and be willing to make adjustments. It’s also really important for me to ask for help from my support system like my husband and parents. As much as I hate to admit it, I cannot do everything. I must ask for help and support when I need it.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My full time 14 year career has been in Project Management, and I’ve run my lifestyle and beauty blog part time since 2018. When I think of what sets me apart as a content creator I think of how I do not desire to quit my full time career as a project manager to be a full time influencer. I know this is unusual in this age of entrepreneurship and social media, but success for me as an influencer not only means making an additional monthly income, but creating content that inspires and helps women of color look and feel good from the inside to the outside. Throughout this journey I’ve also learned that I like having a guaranteed paycheck in the same amount every two weeks! LOL! Since I have a successful full time career, I’m able to be much more selective with partnerships and content creation focusing on my purpose to help black women and mothers love their natural selves and live full lives rather than focusing solely on profiting from Naturally Shauniece to support my family financially. I’m really excited to continue to grow the Naturally Shauniece platform. Naturally Shauniece is just two years old and I feel like I’m really just getting started. There’s so much that I do not know and I have to do, but I’m so excited to continue my journey in the digital marketing industry. This journey has not been easy and has been full of ups and downs. The most important lesson I’ve learned is to stop comparing my journey to others. As cliche and this sounds, it’s true for me. There are times when I may question when someone has grown faster than me, or why someone got a brand partnership and I didn’t. Comparison truly steals joy; when I focus on my journey and stop comparing, growth and partnerships come.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Wow, this is an extremely hard question because there’s so many cool things to do and places to eat in the Washington DC Area. If I were to have a friend visit I would take her to a few of my favorite places like the National Museum of African American History and Culture and Great Falls Park. I love the National Museum of African American History and Culture because not only is it free to visit, but it’s a true celebration of the culture and contributions of black people in the United States. Great Falls Park is another free place to visit that has beautiful waterfalls and trails perfect for relaxing and catching up with a friend. When it comes to eating I would have to take my friend to my favorite restaurant Cane, an intimate, small black-owned business, with a fresh take on Trinidadian cuisine. When I tell you Cane has the best Snapper Escovitch, you’ll be craving it weeks after your first try! I love visiting the spa for messages, manicures, and pedicure, so I will definitely take my friend to visit the Four Seasons Spa in Baltimore, Marland. The Four Seasons Spa is pure luxury with an amazing indoor pool and views of Baltimore’s inner harbor. The service is top notch not to mention there’s four star restaurants within the Four Seasons for drinks and a bite to eat afterwards.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
When I think of my story and journey as a lifestyle and beauty content creator, I definitely would not be where I am today without the support of God, my husband, family, life coaches and mentors, and friends who have advocated for me. God has seriously orchestrated this entire journey by placing me in the right events and connecting me to the right people. God grew my Instagram community from zero to 10K followers in nine months. My husband allows me to be my natural self recording our daily life, going to events, staying up late, and sometimes spending more time working than with him and the family. My mother, sister, and aunt are constant pillars in building my faith and belief in myself. I’ve had both old and new friends advocate and support me on this journey. In full transparency, my connection with Shout Out Atlanta comes through the referral of my friend Ashely France. Then there’s my friend Jen Jean Pierre, Fashion and Lifestyle Blogger, who has shared her contacts with me, taught me all about how to use a camera, helped me set up my social media, and so much more. I’ve had friends like Simona Noce and Nikki Osei-Barrett, Co-Founders of District Motherhued, pitch me for paid campaigns and gave me my first opportunity to moderate a panel. My friend Kristus Ratliff built my website and is the one who pitched me for my first moderating opportunity with The Momference. I have had life coaches like Michelle McKinney, Creator of Dreams Unleashed, help me identify my dreams and develop a path forward to reaching my goal. Long story short, I’ve been successful because of the countless black women who have poured into me and continue to support and build my brand with me.
Headshot – Photo by Heather McCall, Averisun Photography (https://averiesun.com/)