How One CEO Juggles New Business and Three Kids: Advice on How to Thrive, Not Just Survive

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By the time the average person wakes up in the morning, Natasha Semago has accomplished more than most people do in an eight-hour day.

“I always try to get up around 3:30 to 4:00 a.m. to get a few hours of work in before our baby wakes up, which is around 5:00 a.m. Once the children are awake, they get our full attention until we get them to school, and then it’s back to work.”

Natasha Semago is a successful entrepreneur, wife, and mother of three beautiful children, but her life wasn’t always easy.

Turning Tragedy into Success

The Washington native faced her mother’s death and an environment of physical, sexual, and drug abuse as a child. Motivated by the prospect of caring for her younger sister, claiming custody of her half-brother, and facing the birth of her first child, Semago set out to create a more stable future for them and herself. 

With no business experience, Semago founded a line of women’s care products after suffering for years with vaginal health problems and has used the tragedies of her past to motivate her to create a brighter future.

The Success of VeeFresh

VeeFresh is on a mission to break down the stigmas surrounding vaginal health. 

VeeFresh founder Natasha Semago suffered physically and emotionally for ten years with her own vaginal issues. Frustrated by the lack of education and resources available to women, she created nature-based, doctor-reviewed solutions that allow women to reclaim control of their vaginal health. 

Astounded by her results, Semago made it her mission to help women experiencing the pain she had known for so long. She hopes to use her company’s success, VeeFresh, to give back to at-risk youth and women of color like herself.

Six Tips for Thriving, Not Just Surviving

“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” – Maya Angelou

Just do it

Semago believes in the Nike motto, “Just do it!” 

“I don’t know how I juggle it all, but I believe it comes from strength and not giving myself the option not to do it. We all procrastinate from time to time, but when you have a lot on your plate every day, it takes discipline.”

Give yourself some grace

Semago knows that no one is perfect and to expect perfection from yourself is to set yourself up for failure. Once in a while, you need to cut yourself some slack.

“I think giving yourself some grace, taking breaks, breathing, all of this is super important for me.”

Surround yourself with the right people

All of the greatest leaders in history, from FDR to JFK, were famous for surrounding themselves with the brightest minds of their day. 

“When you have a business, it’s so important to hire the right people. Hiring the right people helps the quality of your life as well as your company environment.”

Self-care is a huge priority

We all know the saying, “You cannot serve from an empty vessel.” Giving your all to your company and leaving nothing for yourself is a recipe for burnout.

“My husband and I work hard, but then we reward ourselves with travel.”

And their favorite destination? “Miami,” answered Semago with a huge smile. “I love Miami, the weather and the water. We live in Washington state, and the weather is just terrible.”

“My husband and I make sure that we have our own time together and separately. Having my ‘me time’ is something I need.”

Organization, scheduling, and living a balanced life

“Creating a schedule is critical for me. Setting time for work and for being a mom is super important.”

Starting your day at 3:30 a.m. can be a punishing schedule; Semago says that it is a priority to reach out for help when she needs it. “We have a nanny that comes in and helps with the baby so that we can focus on work. We’re fortunate to have that help.”

While schedules are essential, Semago feels that paying attention to her children and communication is critical. “They know that they can come to us if they feel like we have been working too much and ask us to take a break. We also reserve a time that is not work-related, so no matter what, there are certain days where I’m just a mom.”

In running a business and a family, Semago sets an excellent example for her children. “I want my daughter to know that you can be a mom, and you can work or run a business or do whatever you want to do. It takes a lot of work and a lot of effort, but I want her to know that it is possible.”

Family comes first

“We love family nights. It doesn’t matter what we’re doing. I like to look around and see all of my kids in one room.”

“My daughter loves to play Mario Kart, or we like to do something active and then something relaxing. We do a lot of walks around the neighborhood, or she loves to do hikes with our dog. We’ll order pizza and watch a movie, but it’s the act of being close. That’s my favorite thing when we’re all in one room together.”

Surviving to Thriving

Creating a life where you’re thriving and not just surviving takes hard work and discipline. 

“Surviving is just doing the things that you’re supposed to do. Thriving is when you’re able to enjoy yourself, sprinkle in some self-pleasure and celebrate the results of your hard work.”

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