Meet the CEO and Co-Founder of TULA Life Balanced Megan Trask who’s on fire for this idea that asking for help should feel empowering rather than defeating, and that balance is worth so very much. People need help now more than ever and Megan Trask makes it easy to ask for help. TULA strikes just the right balance between technology (the platform) and human interaction (the team of vetted and trusted assistants) to bring more time and balance to clients’ lives in the most accessible and efficient way. Simply put: TULA is the life balance solution for overloaded families (especially women) navigating mental load, burn out, and invisible labor.
‘’I came up with the idea for TULA because it’s exactly what I needed when I was a single mom of two amazing girls struggling to find the right balance between being present with them and staying on top of my demanding career. I feel so strongly that women shouldn’t have to choose but also shouldn’t feel like they have to do ALL the things ALL the time either. Enter TULA… and we are on the move!’’
Tell us in your own words what do you do?
TULA is a life balance marketplace that matches busy moms and families with personal assistants and personal chefs at the touch of a button. We help our clients prioritize with purpose, and we deliver at a level of service you’d expect for your family and household. We make it easy to ask for help via our app, connecting you to our incredible team of assistants who are aligned with and invested in our (and your!) desire to help bring more balance. We all know that work doesn’t end after you log off for the day – that’s when it’s time to tackle everything else that keeps your house and family organized, it’s the second shift. We are absolutely on FIRE for this idea that asking for help should be empowering, not rooted in guilt, and that balancing the second shift labor in a more equitable and manageable way is possible! TULA does everything from errands, meal planning and prep, research and appointment scheduling, gifting and shipping, laundry and home organization, vendor sourcing and supervision, to event planning!
Tell us something about your services, what can we expect from TULA Life Balanced?
So think second shift/invisible labor, the things that can really starve us of time: household management, errands, meal planning and prep, errands, research and planning, schedule management, laundry, etc. Women spend on average 15 hours/week doing these types of tasks. Men spend on average 6. While there’s a less than equitable breakout there, the reality is that partners spend a tremendous amount of time navigating the day-to-day life “stuff”. While the second shift and invisible labor are not new concepts, we are now thinking about and talking about them differently, with a lens of equality and a goal of relief. Changing the narrative around how these playout within a household is imperative and trailblazers like Eve Rodsky are addressing the issue in a very real and approachable way, her book “Fairplay” is a must read! But, at the end of the day, while more communication and equitable division are key and the true foundation for success, that doesn’t necessarily solve for the time deficit that so many families face and that’s where we want to step in as an extension of our clients’ families. We are so here for this new mindset and even more importantly the ability to create new realities rooted in balance and relief.
Who are your clients?
Our clients are busy moms and families for the most part. I think our mission resonates with them so easily because we speak to exactly what weighs them down and we know it so well because as moms (my co-founder and I as well as a large part of our team) we just get it. We also have many single professional clients who have cracked the life hack of delegation and I’m so envious of them for figuring that out so much earlier in life than I did, haha.
What was your thought process behind starting TULA Life Balanced?
It was honestly 100% selfish and something I needed so badly in my own life. I was a single mom of two little girls and balancing the most amazing girls and a very demanding career felt more difficult every day. I felt like I wasn’t as present as I wanted to be in either space. I was frustrated that I was missing time with the girls or that our time together involved errands and chores rather than time spent doing what we wanted to do. I searched for a service like TULA, something accessible, flexible, easy to use, something or someone that would be an extension of me and I just couldn’t find anything. I spent another year in full burnout mode but the idea of TULA never left my mind, I knew I still needed something like TULA and I knew more than ever that many other people did, too. Enter COVID and an opportunity to leave my company and it felt like the universe was telling me this was the time! So, I did it! But not alone, my co-founder and best friend of 20 years suddenly found herself with some free time as COVID had a major impact on her event planning company and the concept of TULA resonated with her so she offered to help. I very quickly took her up on that offer and it’s been an incredible 2 years!
How is TULA Life Balanced different? (from other businesses that provide the same services?)
I feel like the difference is truly in how we execute. We are a marketplace which is similar to others like Taskrabbit, Handy, Thumbtack, etc… but we take the legwork out of using those services. Our clients don’t spend time searching for the right person to fit into their schedule and budget and goals, we do that on our end! We simplify costs because everything is based on an hourly rate, not based on the type of request. And, most importantly in my mind, we do it with a lens of being an extension of our clients and families lives. We aren’t just checking the boxes on their lists, we are checking the boxes with purpose, doing things the way they would do things themselves if they had the time! We also bring so many of the convenient services people are used to today like Instacart and Hello Fresh under one umbrella. Our assistants and chefs love doing all the things, anything that makes our clients’ lives easier, and they do it with a really thoughtful approach. You know, like not delivering moldy produce. Or letting our families customize their weekly menus and then even better… actually preparing the menu for them to save even more time! We are so passionate (some might say obsessed) about our mission of shifting the second shift in a more equitable way but also in a more efficient way… by taking those tasks on so our clients can prioritize with purpose. Have I mentioned that before 😉
What are the mistakes women make in life balance that you see often?
I don’t know if I would call it a mistake but I feel women feel more compelled to do it all – care for their families, manage the household, juggle a career, etc based on historical behaviors and gender stereotypes. The only mistake was not valuing our time more sooner but I’m so here for this idea (and love that so many others are as well) that we don’t have to just do it this way because it’s always been done this way anymore. I feel like women often sacrifice their own needs and well-being in support of caring for others as well without realizing that it’s extremely hard to care for others when you’re not caring for yourself. The idea of asking for help or delegating has often been associated with weakness or guilt and that’s what we have to change! That’s what we are here to change! The narrative should be one of empowerment, feeling empowered to prioritize life with what serves you and to delegate the things that don’t. So I don’t really see any of these things as mistakes because they have been so much a part of the “norm”, whatever that is… but now there is an opportunity to shift mindsets because we don’t have to do it all! As a recovering try to do it all at any cost woman and mom, I’m HERE for this mindset shift and super passionate about being a part of the solution.
If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?
Just keep going. One foot in front of the other. I know that sounds simple and trite but the day-to-day of building something brings so.many.emotions. The highs and lows feel extreme but when you’re in a low remember how good the highs feel and remember your “why” and just keep moving forward. Also, it’s normal to feel like you want to quit…frequently, and you can, but what if you don’t? What if you just keep going and do just what you set out to do, I like that possibility much better! I guess that’s more than one bit of advice but it all boils down to: don’t quit!
How do you balance work life?
I love this one… because the irony here is that we are building a company to help people do just that but find ourselves as unbalanced as anyone from time to time. The incredible perk of building TULA is that we are TULA clients as well and I’m so grateful to be able to hand off the things on my list that would not get done. I also schedule time away, which probably sounds crazy for a founder to say, but I can work anywhere, and I do work when I’m away, but sometimes a change of scenery is so good for an energy boost and fresh perspective. And my husband, I definitely cannot leave him out of this question. He is the definition of a true partner and I’m so grateful to be in the thick of this with him.
How has the business grown to be where it is now? What has contributed to your success?
As a bootstrapped and scrappy startup, we have had very little budget for marketing and brand introduction campaigns so almost all of our clients come via word-of-mouth referrals and to us, that’s the hugest compliment. We think our ability to understand not only what needs to be done but why and how distinguishes us from other services. Our first priority is to execute on our mission every day, to do what we do incredibly well, and that leads to long-term relationships and referrals because our incredible clients are able to share why we are different without us having to “sell” that idea.
What are the companies’ plans in the next 5 years?
Grow! We are currently fundraising and adding to our team in order to support additional growth in our current markets and future markets. We launched in Denver and have grown into Boulder and last summer, Austin, TX. We want to be intentional and thoughtful in our growth but we’re so excited to bring more balance to more families in more markets as soon as possible. We have 30+ additional markets identified with a plan to be in those markets within the next 5 years, sooner really! We also believe TULA makes so much sense as a benefit offering to companies as well. Like how amazing to be an employer that actually facilitates the work life balance so many tout, showing your team you appreciate and value their time both at work and at home. It’s such a win-win for both the employers (attract and retain talent, drive productivity, improve culture) and employees (finding actual balance between work and home, yes please). We are also super focused on building a company rooted in purpose and impact where our clients don’t feel like they can imagine a life without more of their newfound balance and our team doesn’t feel like they are coming to work but are rather working on a mission to change the narrative around asking for help, changing how people work, and driving impact!
Tell us about your proudest achievement.
I’m not great at stopping to celebrate or acknowledging achievements but I’m working on it because it’s so important to celebrate every win, even small ones. I would say we are most proud of our client retention, the idea that we are finding traction because our clients feel the impact of shifting the weight of some of life’s burdens to someone else … and once they experience that relief, they stick with us. My co-founder and I were just in Austin celebrating our one-year anniversary and had this very surreal moment of, wow, we’ve built something that is making a difference in Denver and Austin, we are here because people are on a mission alongside us, whether clients or assistants, and while there have been many “what were we thinking” moments, moments like this weekend are really great reminders of exactly what we were thinking.