We had the good fortune of connecting with Tamika Michelle Johnson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tamika Michelle, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
With the discussion of mental health increasingly being addressed in all areas of our lives, finding a work life balance that serves you is vital. To achieve it, you must be aware enough to make those necessary changes to find balance in order to live and work at an optimal level.
In my mid-20’s, a year after my first year of law school, I became a single mother and from that moment I was on a constant grind and hustle to achieve my goals. Finish law school, work, become an attorney, start my own firm. Not only was I single parent of a toddler and attorney, but I was also the owner, receptionist, paralegal, office manager, etc.. All of that, and a mother, daughter, girlfriend, and the provider who paid all the bills despite being in a relationship. I never wanted to be broke, so I worked a lot, and in between took my daughter to practices, games, and recitals. I was in an unhealthy relationship for 10 years that almost caused me to breakdown. I had no balance, and I had no peace.
During my legal career, I was also a court-appointed attorney who represented mental health patients, so I was very aware of what a breakdown looked like, and I didn’t want that for myself.
So, the first thing I had to do was find peace in my life which meant ending my long-term relationship. After fully attaining that peace, I reached a level of balance. Then, I married a great guy shortly thereafter and we I had our first son together when I was 41 years old. Less than 2 years later, I had another son right when Covid embarked upon the world.
Work, nursing, sleeplessness, anxiety, death, and 3 children, my life was completely unbalanced again. There was no time for me. I took off from work for 9 months. During that time, both my husband’s and my father died. My mother-in-law came to live with us. Always a new challenge.
What I learned was that there will ALWAYS be storms and disruptions in your life. Finding balance for me was not easy, but it was simple and necessary realizing that having the right relationships is also part of that balance. Here’s how I now have balance in my life:
1) I live by my calendar and all my time is scheduled. I don’t allow anyone to have direct access to me for work related matters. Either schedule a time, leave a message, or send a text or email. I’ll respond, just not likely outside of my business hours.
2) I have one day during the week where I don’t schedule any appointments. I take that day to spend time with my young sons during the day and that night my husband and I have our date night.
3) Sundays are my day. That’s when my husband gets up earlier or we get a babysitter to watch the kids so I can do what I want, and that very well be me just laying in the bed.
4) Family trips, couple trips, and me trips – all mandatory now at some point during the year.
Being an Attorney, CEO of Platinum Connections Matchmaking, Magazine Publisher, Wife and Mother, I have more responsibilities but I am more balanced now than I ever been. Having a routine schedule allowing for work, family, and self-care is the key to balance, peace, and happiness.
What should our readers know about your business?
Platinum Magazine is a culmination of both my professional experience as an attorney & entrepreneur as well as my personal journey in dating and relationships as a professional woman. I’m proud of the fact that I’m able to intertwine and include articles and features about relationships, legal, business, health & wealth, especially for black professionals, although there is something for everyone in the magazine, in each issue.
Launching the magazine was relatively easy. It was all the fall, bumps, and bruises, up until that point that were challenging. Learning how to balance your professional and personal life was hard. Settling for an unhealthy relationship was hard. Being a single mother while trying to date was hard and exhausting. Performing at a high level all the time professionally was hard. Doing it all myself was hard.
Yet, all of that hard that I experienced, allowed me to bring those relatable experiences to others and show them how to make it easier. Sharing how to cope in a stressful job, how to find a quality life partner, how to transition from a 9-to-5 to entrepreneurship, how to build wealth and leave a legacy – all of that is in the magazine for readers to learn from and level up in all of those areas.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
OMG! Considering that my life is totally different than it was 5 years ago, and I haven’t been anywhere in forever, I would definitely do my best to show Atlanta off to visitors. With that being said, I’m sure to include some oldie but goodie spots.
Sunday – Atlanta Belt-line – It’s a great way to explore the city and get some fresh air, exercise, and vitamin D all at the same time
Monday – City Winery – Because it’s such a cool spot, with good drinks and musical guests
Tuesday – Slutty Vegan – We all need a meatless day and their food is oh so tasty
Wednesday – Mellow Mushroom (Downtown Atlanta) – It’s Mellow Mushroom – how can you not check it out while in Atlanta?!?! Good beer if you like it and relaxing outside
Thursday – Cala Bar & Grill – They have great live music and amazing food! Especially the Jerk Chicken Pasta and Bread Pudding!
Friday – Ice Bar in South Atlanta – I love 90’s R&B and Hip-Hop and it’s Old School Fridays here serving up all the best 90’s music!
Saturday – Downtown Decatur – You can shop, eat, drink, get a little historical, and just chill there, whether it’s during the day or night
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Without a doubt, my mother and husband! My mother has been so supportive throughout my life, and she allows me to travel and spend time with my husband by watching our kids. I know that she loves them, and they are safe. The fact that their clothes are on backwards when we pick them up is humorous now because little things like that don’t compare to their health and safety.
My husband is also very supportive of my ventures, and if I need to up and go out of town, he steps it up as it relates to our kids. I make sure that he has all the support that he needs to care for them, and he takes it from there. He is my earpiece and friend and that makes this journey that much more fun and exciting!
Quevision Photography Ira Fox Photography