Finding My Balance: From the Perspective of the CEO's Daughter

By Anna Neumann on August, 21 2023
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Anna Neumann

FINAL dN balance blog header  (1)De Novo has been a part of my life since I was five years old. Now, 15 years later, I have officially joined the team. Of course, being the owner’s daughter comes with certain connotations—both for me and my co-workers.

Blurring the Lines (A Little Bit)

It involves blurring the lines between work and home, much more so than coworkers-turned-friends. In many ways, I grew up right alongside this company, and I have the unique perspective of watching my mom raise both of us. In doing so, I have become the embodiment of that blurred line.

While my work at de Novo doesn’t overlap with my mom’s all that much, I can't help but notice her clacking away on her computer as I do the same. Occasionally I’ll run some copy by her (as I did with this blog—thanks, Mom!) Now, the blurring of these lines isn't necessarily a negative thing. People discuss the importance of work-life balance all the time, and for me, this is no different. 

Creativity Can Strike Anytime, Anywhere

In a creative environment like de Novo, there's a concept known as "design thinking," which I first learned about in class last year. While this term is commonly used in the graphic design world, it applies to any creative position. Essentially, it’s the concept that your best ideas don't always come to you while you're sitting in the office. Sometimes, inspiration strikes when you see a yard sign while walking your dog, igniting an idea for a client's website. Or, when you rearrange the magnets on your refrigerator, leading to a breakthrough you've been looking for. Of course, it's crucial to maintain balance and prevent work from overshadowing your personal life. However, allowing some blurring of the lines between these can result in fresh ideas and new perspectives—two central elements of de Novo’s work.

I was raised by what some might call a "font freak." My mom constantly discusses various font types she notices, likes, or despises, as well as the advertisements we pass on our way out of town. I used to make fun of her for being a nerd, but since my interest in marketing has grown as I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned to join in on the font slander. By keeping her creative mind engaged, she consistently generates new ideas for her work. I admire this about my mom, and I aspire to create a lifestyle where I am always nurturing my creativity, too.

Finding The Balance

While I’ve learned so much about creativity, marketing, and the world of business from my mom, it's also important for me to prioritize being Anna Neumann—a student and intern. I’m proud to be Jen’s daughter, and I’m grateful for an opportunity to pave a path unique to myself, my interests, and my passions.

Thankfully, I’ve learned some key lessons about finding my balance in the meantime: 

1. Allow your creative mind to wander freely, even outside the office.

2. Always jot down your thoughts and ideas.
3. Avoid getting too absorbed in work when you should be enjoying your personal time, and vice versa.
4. Don't be intimidated by the prospect of working with a family member; instead, establish clear boundaries and celebrate the wins together.

In the short time I've been working at de Novo—and the long time I've been learning from my mom—I've come to understand the significance of finding balance and embracing unexpected sources of creativity. In a world where work-life balance is often elusive, we all face the challenge of juggling our personal and professional responsibilities. Whether you work with your family or not, finding a balance is about recognizing the value of nurturing your creative mind beyond the confines of your workplace. 

So, let go of your fear of blurring the lines, discover what inspires you, and find your own path to balance and fulfillment. 

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