Name: Alexandra Brzostowicki Kontos
Job Title: Founding Partner, RKE Law Group; Founder of Embrace the Esquire, LLC
City: Bay Harbor Islands, FL
Number of Children/Other Dependents: 2 daughters: Alexa, age 7.5 and Athena, age 5
Do you think having “it all” is realistic or overrated? Why?
I think you can “have it all” in life in and in your profession. However, I believe that we CANNOT “have it all” at the same time. There are seasons in like and in our career/business. Certain seasons call for us to focus on one aspect of our life more than another, and that changes throughout life. We have to go with the grain, not against it, and embrace the different seasons of our life.
What does having “it all” mean to you?
For me, this means waking up every single day with joy, gratitude and a purpose. The the fire in my heart (in other words, my “Why” is burning bright, it motivates me immensely. I focus on being able to see my vision for my life clearly. When I lose sight of my ultimate vision, I tend to feel “stuck or lost.
What is the best advice you have ever received on balancing your personal and professional lives?
Do what you can from where you are with what you have. And trust. Listen to your intuition, It always knows the way.
If you had an extra hour in your day, how would you spend it?
With my daughters, at the beach paddle boarding or riding bikes.
Looking back at when you started in the profession, and knowing what you know now, what advice would you give your younger self?
RELAXXXXX. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Trust that every change in life and in your profession, even if it seems like a failure, is just leading you to a different direction that is closer to where you are meant to be. Trust the process and sty open to possibility Do not limit yourself..Do you deal with guilt in trying to balance your personal and professional lives?
Do you deal with guilt in trying to balance your personal and professional lives?
Not anymore. My daughter, Alexa, tells me to “stop texting” all the time and I respond that I am working, so that has caused me to make a commitment to limit my phone use in the evening time when I’m with my girls. I don’t feel guilty anymore, but I used to feel guilty A LOT, especially when my kids were babies.
What single change do you believe would have the biggest impact on work life balance or quality of life?
Put an end to worrying about the future. Live in the present moment.
What part of “balance” do you struggle with?
Over-committing. I am a “yes” person, and a self-proclaimed “recovering people-pleaser.” I have to consciously remember to put my needs first, so that I have energy and love to give to those around me.
What part of “balance” are you improving at?
Setting boundaries and managing myself within time (i.e. time-management)
As a working parent, how do you balance your career and your role as a parent?
I simply do my best. I focus on what I have in front of me. When my kids ask me to sit down and color with them or watch a move, I say “yes” always, no matter what I’m doing. I lay down with my girls at night when they go to bed, and stay until they fall asleep. This is our special time. I cook them breakfast every morning and wake them up to music playing really loud. They love it. It’s the little pleasures that make an amazing life.
How important is civic and/or professional involvement to you and why?
It’s super important to me. I have always been involved in my community, both in networking and business organizations and in philanthropic endeavors. I am the Chairman of the Board of Directors for The Motivational Edge, a 501 ©3 that motivates young adults to do their homework and do well in school by providing incentives in the way of learning arts and music, including art of the spoken word. We have an afterschool center in Alapattah where the children come and participate in the after-school program. I am also on the Executive Committee for 100+ Women Who Care, Miami-Dade Chapter. I regularly volunteer in feeding the hungry with my daughters.
What’s the advice you would give a young lawyer seeking to strike a “balance” between family, self, and the practice of law or achieve better quality of life?
Focus on what is important first. Maintain a clear and compelling vision for what you want for your life. Don’t be afraid to say “no.”
Any other parting words of advice?
When you learn a lesson, share it with others. Spread the love and support. Don’t be afraid to start a conversation that matters. Lean in and stand up and ask for what you want in business and in life. You only get ONE life. Make it a great one.