Hannah Schmitt went to school to be a journalist, and her dream was to be a newspaper reporter forever. But she said she saw a movement of women into flexible work conditions and entrepreneurship, and she wanted to provide resources and support to them. So, five years ago, she founded The Treasury, a coworking space for women with events and programs designed to help them thrive.
What inspired you to start this career?
My biggest inspiration was really my desire to work on my own terms. Opening The Treasury gave me an opportunity to be a full-time mom and a full-time entrepreneur when everyone else was telling me I had to pick one or the other.
What inspires you right now?
The women at The Treasury. An unexpected perk of the community is that in being surrounded by other ambitious women who solve problems creatively and all do amazing work, there’s no shortage of inspiration around the office.
What are your best tips for a work-life balance?
Preparation is key for me. Whether I’m heading into a work project or a family vacation or even maternity leave, I ask myself, “How do I want to feel at the end of this?” Then plan accordingly and stick to it. Everyone around you will always ask you to bend to their will, but you are the only one who gets to decide how you spend your time.
What’s your best self-care advice?
For me personally, faith plays a big role in my life. I spent years thinking if I had a better morning routine or outsourced housework or went to therapy, I would feel more “put together” and less stressed. In the past couple years, I’ve realized my time with Jesus is the best thing I can do for myself, though. Spending time every day reading my Bible and praying reminds me to see myself the way God sees me and gives me the eternal perspective I need to get through life.
What kind of networking fills you up?
Even though I host networking events for a living, I don’t find “networking” beneficial. A historical leader and Biblical example I look to often in relationship-building is Paul. In Philippians 2:20, he describes his friend Timothy as unlike anyone else he knows because he “takes a genuine interest in others.” Networking can so often be viewed with a “what can this person do for me” perspective, and my hope is always just to take a genuine interest in others. Sometimes that yields some type of return in business, but that’s never the end goal.
How do you recharge?
I’ve learned everyone has a different capacity and that it can change seasonally. In this season of my life with little kids at home, I need a lot of white space on my calendar to be my best self. I am most recharged when I am with my husband and my kids and I spend a lot of time working out, baking and reading. We also have a vacation rental in a really remote area in Texas, and I need regular trips out there to digitally detox and disconnect.
What are your best management tips to keep your team inspired?
In general, I think inspiration is overrated, and I’d never advocate someone wait to feel inspired to take action. But I do think that staying inspired relies heavily on rest. No one ever feels inspired when they’re burned out.
How do you stay current in your industry or profession?
Constantly listening to the challenges of ambitious women. Data can be a valuable tool, but paying too close attention to business journals or how competitors operate can distract us from truly serving the community right in front of us.
What advice do you have for others who want to pursue your professional path?
For anyone who wants to be a community builder, my biggest advice would be to have a lot of grace with others. You don’t need to be best friends with everyone, but you should absolutely be prepared to see the best in others, especially when they betray your trust or disappoint you. The health of your community will depend on your ability to grow thick skin but keep a soft heart.
What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were getting started?
That hearing “no” really doesn’t mean anything. Know which opinions matter to you and be prepared to ignore the rest.
Is there anything else that fills you up or motivates you to be better?
My kids motivate me to be better in everything I do. I want to model that stewardship is important, and how we care for things and people matters.