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Leading with Balance: Insights from CEO Tiffany on Managing Mental Health and Business

Updated: May 27

A close-up photo of a smiling person with short hair and braces, wearing a septum ring and a yellow shirt. They are resting their face on their hand, displaying long, dark-colored nails and wearing a smart watch on their wrist

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and today we are interviewing the CEO of Artisan-Prenuer LLC about her strategies for managing mental health and owning a company.

Tiffany was diagnosed with Manic Depressive Disorder while in the Navy in 2011. After her brave service in the Navy, she was diagnosed with Anxiety in 2014. While she does still struggle with her mental health at times, she does share with us her best coping strategies. We hope that the following interview leaves you feeling hopeful and inspired. Remember that you are not alone in your fight! 

1. Tiffany, could you share with us a bit about your journey as the CEO of Artisan-Preneur and how your role has influenced your well-being?

Running Artisan-Preneur has been a rollercoaster. I started it wanting to be my own boss and have some freedom, but it quickly turned into something much bigger—helping clients grow. This responsibility has taught me a lot about balancing work with taking care of myself.

2. Leading a business can be incredibly rewarding, but also stressful. Can you talk about some specific challenges you've faced in balancing your mental health with the demands of leadership?

Keeping my mental health in check while leading a company is super tough, especially with my manic-depressive disorder and anxiety. There are times when it feels like I can’t take a break, but I’ve learned the importance of setting boundaries and managing my energy.

3. Have there been moments in your career where you felt your mental health was particularly tested? How did you navigate those times?

There have definitely been times when my mental health has been tested, like during intense client meetings. In those moments, I rely on mindfulness and sometimes need to step out briefly to breathe and reset so I can keep going.

4. Mental health is often shrouded in stigma, especially in professional settings. How have you approached this topic within your company culture?

At Artisan-Preneur, we’re all about supporting each other’s mental health. I’ve tried to build a culture where it’s okay to talk about what you’re going through and ask for help. We cross-train too, so no one feels they're drowning in work alone.

5. Could you share some strategies or practices that you find helpful in managing stress and maintaining mental wellness as a CEO?

To effectively manage stress, I've found that engaging in activities completely unrelated to work is key. Gardening is a big one for me. There’s something about tending to plants and being outdoors that helps clear my mind. Playing video games is another great escape that lets me switch off from work and dive into different worlds, offering a fun and engaging distraction. I also enjoy listening to audiobooks, which allow me to unwind and lose myself in a good story without the strain of reading after a long day.

Making sure I have downtime where I'm not thinking about work at all is essential. Whether it's getting lost in a game or a book, or spending time tending to my garden, these activities help reset my mental state. I also LOVE listening to music and catching up with my family—talking to my mom and sister always brings me a lot of joy and comfort. These moments of personal connection are crucial for me, helping me return to my professional tasks with a refreshed and more focused mind.

6. Reflecting on your mental health journey, what advice would you give to other leaders who might be struggling in silence?

When it comes to leadership, feeling overwhelmed can seem like the norm, but it’s important to remember that it's okay—and necessary—to ask for help. No leader can handle everything alone, and acknowledging this isn’t a sign of weakness but of strength. It's a recognition of reality and a step towards better management, both for yourself and your organization. Seeking help could be as simple as delegating more tasks, discussing challenges with peers, or seeking professional advice. Doing so alleviates your stress and sets a healthy example for your team.

7. How do you think mental health awareness can be improved in the business community? Are there any initiatives you've been particularly proud to implement at Artisan-Preneur?

At Artisan-Preneur, while we don't currently have formal mental health initiatives in place, we do strive to maintain a light-hearted and fun work environment. We believe that a positive atmosphere is the first step towards supporting each other's well-being. Looking ahead, we're excited about introducing more structured wellness-focused initiatives. We're planning to start after-work get-togethers and wellness meetups. These events will not only help us unwind and connect on a more personal level. They will also strengthen our team's camaraderie and provide everyone with additional support to manage workplace pressures.

8. Can you share a pivotal moment or a turning point in your understanding of the importance of mental health in leadership?

A game-changer for me was realizing how much my own mental health struggles were affecting my work and the way I lead. That wake-up call made me see the importance of looking out for mental well-being, not just for myself but for everyone at Artisan-Preneur. I decided we needed a workplace that goes beyond just chasing high performance; it also had to support everyone's mental health.

We've been working hard to make our environment a place where everyone can be honest about what they're going through and find support without any judgment. This shift has helped make our work atmosphere better and brought us closer as a team, making us not just stronger but more supportive of each other.

9. In what ways do you think your experiences with mental health have shaped the decisions you make as a CEO or the direction of the company?

Dealing with my mental health issues has shaped how I lead and manage Artisan-Preneur. It's like walking in those shoes gives you a whole new perspective. I've become much more empathetic and patient because I understand firsthand that everyone's going through something. This experience influences how I set the tone at our company.

I make a point to foster an environment where mental health isn't just a side note—it's a key part of how we operate. We work to create a space where everyone feels comfortable discussing their challenges and knows they’ll get the support they need. I think my journey has helped me be more attuned to the needs of my team, making sure we're not just focused on results, but also on how everyone is feeling and coping. This approach has helped us build a more understanding and cohesive team, where people feel valued not just for their work, but also as individuals.

10. Finally, what message would you like to share with our audience about the importance of mental health support, both as individuals and within our organizations?

To everyone out there, remember that supporting mental health at work is crucial. It’s important to create an environment where people can talk about their struggles and access the help they need. It’s not just good for us; it’s good for business too.

If you or someone you know is having a mental health crisis, dial or text 988. Don’t brave the storm alone!

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