Adrienne Bailon-Houghton shares resources for entrepreneurs and talks about mental health and weathering a recession

Adrienne Bailon-Houghton is an actress, singer and Emmy-winning host of the hit TV show the real one. Bailon-Houghton originally rose to fame as a member of, and later starred in, girl group 3LW The Cheetah Girls movies. In this interview, Bailon-Houghton sat down to talk about a new partnership with Adobe Acrobat and shared how she prioritizes her mental health and well-being. She also advised business owners, and entrepreneurs of color in particular, as we prepare for a possible global recession.

Janice Gassam Asare: You recently partnered with Adobe Acrobat to bring the Chief Home Officer Kit to market. can you tell more about it

Adrienne Bailon Houghton: Honestly for me it was such an organic partnership to begin with and bigger than that. Such an honor because I’ve been using Adobe Acrobat for so many of my projects for so long that just being able to work with them has really been a lifesaver for me . So many of us are now working from home and we are our own Chief Home Officers including myself, an entrepreneur who literally runs my own brand, plus my two businesses, XIXI, my jewelry company, LA VOÛTE, my fashion company, and then on top of that the renovations of the house.

As well as: Can you explain a little how it works?

Bailon Houghton: Absolutely. What I love is that you can actually create your own templates here, and that’s pretty much what I did. I actually made my own daily planner with the things I need. And I love that you can actually create anything you need with the software, be it budgeting. I know so many of us have used Acrobat and don’t even realize it. There are things that have been sent to us… be it a schedule of the real one, they definitely sent stuff like that. I love the fact that our team can actually collaborate and access them together…it’s super important.

You can use this to create templates, which is what I did. While I’m trying to wrap things up, I have a team of three other people, namely my brand manager, Lana… and I also have a graphic designer and also a creative director for my brand. The great thing is that they can all log into Adobe Acrobat and see when I’ve updated the planner… You can personalize it on so many levels. My daily planner starts with: What am I grateful for? I also include mental health in my daily schedule. Just don’t go, go, go, here are the things you need to achieve, but what are the things that motivate me to achieve these things?

As well as: That’s actually a really great lead into my next question which is, as someone in the public who needs to be “on” all the time, how do you prioritize your mental health and well-being?

Bailon Houghton: That’s it; You have to make it a priority. Identify days and times when you put yourself and your mental health first. I think it’s been about a year since me and Lana sat down and said, listen, we’re going to get burnout. We’re in such a burnout culture right now… I really love that the burnout culture is turning its ugly head on itself now that we’re seeing memes that say ‘no, it’s not all about:’ I rush, I rush Can’t stop, won’t stop.’ No please stop Please stop for a second and give yourself a moment so you don’t burn out so you can prioritize your mental health. We’ve actually started scheduling time for my sanity. In my weekly schedule we looked at everything. We thought about what we would do where and then we said you needed a day off. So I took one day off a week…meaning literally nothing would be scheduled on that one day. And it wasn’t always the same because obviously with a demanding schedule there were people who said, ‘No, we need you on Saturday, so you can’t take Saturday off.’ And maybe it was Tuesday that I could take off. I love the saying that what doesn’t get planned doesn’t get done. Invest in your scheduled time an hour, two hours, a full day if you need it. It took me a full day… just a full day a week to devote to my family, my mental health, and myself. We’ll make sure it’s on my calendar… it’s on my planner.

As well as: Speaking of mental health and well-being… I would like to learn more about the support systems you have used throughout your career. What support systems have enabled you to be successful throughout your career?

Bailon Houghton: I have to say I’m really, really grateful and I’m so lucky to have an amazing family. For me it really is my family. I’ve always been given wings to soar because I know I have a strong foundation… to have a foundation of people who don’t expect me to be great all the time. You have no expectations of me to live up to. I think sometimes that kind of pressure can be really exhausting and really difficult and really scary and it can cause anxiety and depression when you’re like, oh my god, all these people are relying on me, all these people are expecting this certain thing from me. I’m really thankful to have surrounded myself with people who expect me to be mentally and physically healthy and happy.

These are the kind of people we need to surround ourselves with. Being spiritually happy means I have a creative outlet… that I can pursue my dreams… so I love to work. For me, work is an outlet. I have a creative job…I think the key is having people who support your dreams, support your goals, and ultimately want to see you happy and healthy. And they are with you in good times and bad. And that they lift you up no matter what.

As well as: Absolutely. I love that. The last question I had was…we’re still dealing with the pandemic…we’re on the verge of a recession. Do you have any advice for women entrepreneurs of color who are trying to juggle this area of ​​uncertainty that we find ourselves in?

Bailon Houghton: I think when you look at your own life and your own … whatever your passion is, what is the reason for it? What do people need right now? And I think that’s when people’s businesses really thrived. You can see that a recession is coming. What kind of affordable things can we offer to the people who they actually to need? When a recession comes and that creates panic, what can we offer the people who are now giving them a bag of peace? As a creative, entrepreneur, and business person, you can actually find ways to use these trying times in a positive way, to help people to…think about what they would wish for during this time.

With the Adobe Acrobat planner I’ve created, I feel like I can get very nervous thinking about all the things I need to do. To be honest, I had no idea that renovating my home would be so expensive and that there would be so many delays. And that was really hard for me. The only way I could do better was to make this spreadsheet, which really allowed me to see and know, okay, so these things are coming this month. Okay, those are the things I should expect. And it gave me something to look forward to. Even in a recession, and even in a pandemic, and despite all of these things, you have to give yourself something to look forward to. When we as business people find ourselves in a recession, we should think about how we can reduce these costs and make it cost-effective for ourselves and also for our consumers. Responding to people’s needs during difficult times is definitely key.

This interview has been edited slightly for clarity and brevity.

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