Johanna Lanus has an “I’ve got this” vibe to her. She’s cool, very put together and someone you want to become gym buds with and also chat on a couch with a glass of red wine. After quitting the corporate finance world she pivoted into the health and wellness sector and is determined to help others live a life of balance. Through work out classes, healthy meals and lunch and learns she’s working on making your fitness just as important as your morning coffee.
1. Congratulations on launching Work With Balance! What inspired you to work in the health and wellness field and can you tell us what Work With Balance is?
Work With Balance helps companies and their employees be healthier by bringing fitness, nutrition and general wellness programs into the office. Timing is everything when starting a business. Right now, we are facing rising health care costs, increases in chronic conditions, people living longer (and the health issues that follow) — many of these challenges can begin to be addressed by making healthier choices. Move more, eat real food, get sleep, and learn how to manage stress. I struggled a lot with making healthy choices when I worked in a corporate environment, so instead I’ve made it my mission to make corporate environments healthier places.
2. Why do you like helping companies find healthiness?
The lines between “work” and “home” are blurred today…we are all on our phones or email 24/7. So companies have to begin to find ways to invest in their employees personally as well as professionally to avoid burnout. I love that I can work with a company on their employee strategy (using metrics and research) but also bring creative experiences and partnerships to the table. It works both sides of my brain!
3. What's your favorite workout class? Do you have a favorite after work out spot you like to visit?
I love variety. I’ve been known to go to 7 different studios in just one week. My favorite is CityRow. Rowing is a little different, and it combines cardio with strength training. They also have Row & Flow which incorporates yoga for flexibility. Next door to CityRow USQ is Hu Kitchen that has the best post-workout tea (Honey Lemon Ginger) and just a few blocks away is a lovely meditation studio, MNDFL, where I can drop in. Put that together with the Union Square Farmer’s Market, and that’s my ideal weekend.
4. How do you find balance in your own life as an entrepreneur?
I still struggle with this, but I try to unplug on weekends. One of my priorities has been to spend more time with friends. Starting a business can be isolating at first, but having a solid group of friends to lean on really helps. I can always count on someone being up for a workout or brunch. Mimosas don’t count on weekends…it’s that whole balance thing.
5. What's been your biggest learning as an entrepreneur? What's been your best "this is amazing" moment?
It’s ok to ask for help! I am constantly trying to figure things out on my own, but the solutions are always better and smarter if others contribute. And most people want to help you (hence the importance of networks)! As for amazing moments, it’s corny but every time I walk out of a meeting with a client or potential client I am on cloud 9. I go into a nerd zone talking about wellness and employee engagement, so for me it’s amazing when I can take a topic I’m passionate about and use it to help others.