As an entrepreneur running two businesses in the fast-paced lifestyle industry, Celine Tan understands that striking a balance between work and life can be a tall order. For Tan, who is the Chief Operating Officer (COO) and Partner at brand strategy, content, and communications agency, The Ate Group; and COO and co-founder of Caviar Colony, days begin with work emails and WhatsApp messages from clients and colleagues — all before she even drops off her five-year-old son at preschool. Then, she rushes from one meeting to another until the late afternoon. In her spare moments, she clears her inbox and supports her colleagues on ideation or client management matters. By the time she reaches home at night, it’s usually time to put her son to bed.
“Let’s be honest: There is no such thing as work-life balance when you own your own businesses,” she says candidly. “It’s just about prioritizing and making time for what needs to be done and who needs your attention.”
For Tan, weekends are reserved exclusively for family — even if she gets interrupted by the occasional e-mail. “I don’t get to spend my weekdays with my son much, so weekends are precious, and I want to be 100 per cent present for him,” she says. When she’s not taking her son out for playdates, birthday parties, and other activities, she and her husband make it a point to spend quality time together as a couple at their favorite restaurants in town.
Even as a veteran in the lifestyle industry who often has the inside scoop on the hottest new F&B establishments in Singapore, Tan still values familiarity and a sense of home and comfort for her choice of hangout.