Hollee Temple identifies herself as a journalist-turned-lawyer-turned college professor.
It’s safe to add ‘self-help guru’ to her list of trades.
Following the April release of her book, “Good Enough is the New Perfect: Finding Happiness and Success in Modern Motherhood,” national media outlets such as The New York Times, MSNBC, Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times have helped raise her profile as a self-improvement aficionado.
A key piece to her ongoing success stems from a blog that Temple, a professor at the West Virginia University College of Law, shares with award-winning Chicago journalist Becky Beaupre Gillespie, who also co-authored Good Enough is the New Perfect. The duo tackles work/life and parenting issues on TheNewPerfect.com.
Some of Temple’s ardent followers even liken her to a divine figure.
“My blog readers definitely look to me for guidance,” Temple said. “One told me she often asked herself ‘WWHD’ when facing a work/life quandary. My husband laughed pretty hard at that one. I don’t claim to be perfect, but I have learned a lot in studying the topic over the past five years.”
Since the book’s release, Temple said she’s been approached as a work/life balance expert. She’s spoken on the topic in a variety of venues – university groups, women’s groups, law firms, conferences, to name a few.
“Good Enough is the New Perfect” serves as a primer for women looking for professional fulfillment and personal happiness. Part memoir, part research and part lifestyle guideline, the project started with an online survey of 1,000 working moms born between 1965 and 1980. Temple and Gillespie categorized the respondents as “Never Enoughs,” women who want to be the best no matter what, and “Good Enoughs,” women who said they’d feel fine even if they weren’t the best.
Last week, The New York Times quoted Temple in a column on “Pursuing Self-Improvement, at the Risk of Self-Acceptance.”
Temple told the newspaper, “The never-enoughs more often described their marriages as poor, or even a disaster. The good-enoughs were more satisfied and happier in their marriages. And they were just as likely to advance in their careers as the never-enoughs.”
The book has sold several thousand copies.
Her research has even taught her a thing or two.
A mother of two boys, Temple is still working on perfecting the art of balancing life and work. She had to delay writing her book until her husband, John, a professor in WVU’s P.I. Reed School of Journalism, finished writing his own book, “The Last Lawyer.”
“The book completely changed my attitude about what constitutes success in my life,” Temple said. “For so many years, I chased gold stars that other people dangled in front of me. But as a result of writing this book, I’ve come to peace with my own definition of success. My default strategy – work harder – can’t apply if I want to be happy at work and at home. I’ve found what’s good enough for me, and it’s incredibly liberating.”
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