Where Women Work: From AlexisNeely’s Open Spaces to Elisa Zied’s NYC Views

by Melissa Stewart

Last month we decided to launch a new (regular) feature on She Owns It – Where Women Work – then put out the call on Twitter. We asked YOU to share YOUR office “space” with us. I was so excited by the responses but when I received these two (what a contrast) I knew we had our picks for August!

First up is Alexis Neely. I’ve been a huge fan of Alexis for several years and watching her “evolve” over the past few  has been enlightening! Alexis Neely has built 2 million dollar businesses, published a bestselling book and appeared on many of the the top television shows as a legal expert, all while raising two kids and discovering her Truth. Alexis is a true free spirit, a great mom, and a savvy business woman! I truly appreciate her taking the time to share her “space” with us! Find out more about Alexis at http://www.alexisneely.com/

Our next amazing space was shared by Elisa Zied a NYC-based registered dietitian, journalist, author, and speaker. Elisa is one of the fabulous connections I’ve made on Twitter. From her site: I live in Manhattan with my two sons, Spencer, 14, and Eli, 10 and my husband of almost 18 years, Brian. I feel very fortunate to have found a career I’m extremely passionate about. How awesome is that? We are SO grateful that she took the time to share her pictures and her story with She Owns It! Find out more about Elisa at http://elisazied.com/

Alexis Neely

I’m a single mom raising my two kids with a lot of help and love while I am truly having it all.

I have built my businesses so that I can literally work from anywhere I have my laptop, an internet connection and sometimes a video camera. In this montage you can see a variety of places I’ve done my work over the last year.

This has been a huge transition/transformation for me.

I started out as a lawyer working for a big law firm, transitioned into my own bricks and mortar law practice where I was still working 6-7 days a week.  5 years ago, I made the transition to let go of all that in favor of building myself businesses that make a huge difference in the world and allow me to work from anywhere and be present with my kids.

Today, my kids are routinely praised for their kindness, love and heart — that was NOT the case before I made this transition. In fact, I would say they were headed down a path of anger, destruction and addiction.

I am so grateful for my online businesses and my ability to make my own way in the new economy while deeply supporting my children.

We really can have it all. It simply requires giving up everything we thought/think about what that means.

Elisa Zied

As a mother of two sons, aged 14 and 10, I feel so blessed to finally be able to work from home and have all the things I need to run my business—my laptop and desktop, tons of books and resource materials (call me old fashioned!), my fax and photocopy machine, and even a tv—right at my fingertips. Since the mid 1990’s, I’ve had an office out of my home either in Midtown Manhattan or on the Upper East Side. I never minded having a short commute to work, but it’s so nice to finally have everything in one place and to not have to bring things (papers, articles, laptops!) back and forth. Most importantly, having a home office allows me to be with my children on most afternoons and evenings, and at the same time, be able to attend to my work in-between activities, while the kids are doing their homework, after dinner, or late in the evening.

Photo Credit: Jillian Meshnick

As a registered dietitian and freelance nutrition and health writer, I have worked extensively with the media for more than 15 years. For 6 years, I was a national media spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Having been a regular contributor for many magazines and web sites, I am frequently called upon for interviews on television or for a newspaper, magazine, or web site. Sometimes I’m called early in the morning, and sometimes I’m called late at night. Although I cannot always say yes, working from home has certainly made it easy to say yes more often since I don’t have to go to an away-from-home office to look something up—I have everything I need right here. The internet and modern technology has also made it a lot easier to access information I need, or answer questions I have—or that the media has—in a heart beat. And it’s been very nice to have a professional looking office in my home and be able to invite a news crew over to shoot a segment, sometimes at a moment’s notice.

Photo Credit: Jillian Meshnick

Falling somewhere in the middle of being a full-time working mom and a stay-at-home mom, it took me until recently to embrace the fact that as much as I’d like to separate my home and work life, they intersect. It’s just the nature of the beast—doing media work—and it’s just me, and who I am. I’m extremely passionate about the work I do, and often want to do far more professional things than I have time for. Having a home office definitely affords me more time than I’d have otherwise, because I don’t have to commute AND I can work on things in small chunks of time. On most mornings, I exercise; after that, I buckle down and work for a few straight hours. (Sometimes I work while I’m still wearing my workout clothes!) In the afternoons, in-between running around with my sons, I’ll do things that require small chunks of time: I’ll tweet, post on Facebook, respond to emails, read articles, or update my web site, www.elisazied.com.

Photo Credit: Jillian Meshnick

Especially now, as I work on my fourth book (scheduled for publication in March, 2014), I love having an office that I find both relaxing and comforting. It’s very warm, with brown and blue tones, and I’m so lucky to have a beautiful city view. Having a comfortable space in which I can escape, be creative, and be able to do the work I love so conveniently—while being close to my children (literally and figuratively)—is a true gift and a luxury. Would I love to have more professional success (yes, I dream of being a bestselling author and host of my own web or tv show series)? Yes. But I also know what it takes to accomplish those things, and I’m not sure I could make all the necessary sacrifices. At the end of the day, I know that for now, I accept and embrace the notion that “Women can have it all, but not at the same time,” spoken by the late Helen Gurley Brown. For now, I know that, both professionally and personally, I have just enough.

Photo Credit: Jillian Meshnick

Would you like your office and story featured in the next Where Women Work? Contact us for the details!

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