Lily Hecht-Leavitt is the Head of Brand at Rootine, a health and wellness company focused on optimizing cellular nutrition through better data science and personalized health solutions to help people perform at their best everyday.
To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
For sure! My current career path really started after getting my Masters at Georgetown in 2013. I realized I wanted to focus in digital marketing ideally incorporating working with professional athletes in a job where I make a serious impact vs a cog in a machine – I’ve been in startups ever since.
I was fortunate to be the 5th member to join the D2C mattress company, Leesa. It was the wild west then where digital marketing, running ads on social media, affiliates, influencers, brand ambassadors.
It was all new and a really exciting time to jumpstart my career. I rose through the ranks there over the course of 3 years where we went from selling 1 mattress a day to winning Shopify Build a Business award in 2015 to when I left and we were making $100M.
From there I went to work for another startup where we helped professional athletes build their brand off the field and their online presence. After working there for a little over a year I went to start and run the online presence for a national furniture brand.
When COVID first hit I realized it was my opportunity to work fully remote and I laid the digital marketing foundation for a D2C skincare brand and then due to my own health struggles with micronutrient deficiencies decided to join Rootine as Head of Brand, where I’ve been for over a year now.
As Head of Brand I get to touch all things marketing, partnerships, press, social, really anything and everything as the brand touches all points during the customer journey. I love that I’m able to take my past learnings and apply it to everything I do every day – the work is never stagnant and every day presents new opportunities and challenges. I love it. We’re in the hyper growth phase so it’s an exciting time!
What does a day in your life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
Since our team is entirely remote and I’m on the east coast I tend to rise earlier than other team members which gives me the opportunity to start my day more leisurely – I walk my dog first thing then answer emails and dive into deep work mode for the first 2-3 hours of my day.
By then the rest of the team is online and we Slack about projects we’re working on, timelines, and deliverables. We hold team meetings on Monday and overall work async. I typically have 3 hours of calls a day, sometimes more, where I’m speaking with like-minded brands, our athletes (we have over 25), community members, potential partners — I enjoy hopping on the phone and connecting with the people in the health and technology space.
I’ve formed awesome relationships over the years – networking is key to everything I do and not a day goes by, even on the weekend, that I’m not talking to one of our partners as they have grown into friendships too. I also walk 4-5 hours on a treadmill standing desk combo during the day which helps me stay focused and alert avoiding midday slumps, it’s the best way to take calls.
I try to finish work by 6:30/7p ET so I can have dinner with my husband. Around 8p I’ll check email and Slack to make sure I don’t miss anything important and at 10:30p ET I silence notifications so I can unwind before bed.
Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
Yes! Our whole company is fully remote and works async. I’ve been working from home for about 2 years now (and 1 year earlier back in 2017/2018) and I love the flexibility it allows me. While I probably work more hours during the day because I am at home I take the time I would be commuting to do things like sleep in or walk my dog.
My dog loves it and is my favorite coworker. While I don’t have kids yet it will be nice in the future to be able to work from home when I do. During COVID my husband was home with me which was great since in the past our schedules didn’t really allow us to be together often. Now he’s back in the office 4 days a week but WFH life has helped our relationship since we see each other more.
What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
This is a hard one for me as I’m a workaholic. Working in startups my whole life I’ve been programmed to work all hours all the time and it’s something I’m working on breaking. Out of habit I still wake up at 1:30-2am and check my email – it’s bad.
Given past burnout, one of the key reasons I chose to work at Rootine is because our CEO set out to make it ingrained into our culture to take days off per quarter, spend time with your family, and enjoy weekends. W
hile I’m better at balancing work-life I’ll be the first to admit I have a long way to go. My husband and CEO hold me accountable to take time for myself and recharge. I just got back from my first true vacation in 5 years so headed in the right direction!
In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?
I started sleeping more. In the past lack of sleep was glorified but now the trend has (thankfully) shifted to better sleep hygiene. I also started walking during the day – I’m the girl on a treadmill during calls hair in a messy bun and tank top.
It’s one of my key life hacks. I save time by not doing long workouts in the morning and it helps keep me focused, it’s meditative to me. I still like to get in a quick 20 minute intense spin a few days a week but that’s not even close to the hours I spent at spin and in the gym lifting before. During COVID we also built an in-home gym which is helpful.
Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?
Principles by Ray Dalio is one of my favorites, I have 2 copies, one highlighted with notes and the other without so people can borrow. While long, it’s an awesome read for people interested in entrepreneurship and leadership. Newsletters I subscribe to – The Pomp Letter, FOS, Nik Sharma, Cody Plofker, and Demand Curve are all great. I’m still exploring podcasts that resonate with me.
Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?
My Garmin Venus 2S! It holds me accountable for steps, water intake, meetings, all that good stuff. App wise I used Basis to help me schedule my day around my energy peaks and Othership for breathwork when I need to take a few minutes to center myself.
I also love the Levels CGM to monitor my blood glucose spikes and use Plantiga to help monitor my walks and gait. I’ve heard awesome things about Future to help personalize workouts and hope to get an Eight Sleep this year. Because I’m involved in the health/tech space I’m really bullish on wearables and apps.
If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?
Living – probably a strong female entrepreneur/athlete like Serena Williams.
Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
Don’t make the same mistakes I did. Take your honeymoon. Go on that vacation. Most emails can wait until the following morning. Get outside every day and go for a walk. A more balanced and happier you makes you more enjoyable to be around which in turn affects your family, friends, and work.
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