By far the most common conversation we have with the folks we interview is about work-life balance. Starting a business or pursuing a creative career makes finding work life balance really tough because there is no clear start and end to one’s work day. We’ve shared some of our conversations on the topic below.

Ingrid Morgan | Author

I am an author of 1974 survivor story a domestic violence Survivor how I got started to write about my book is that my experience in life going through it hands-on I decided to speak out and not hold it in any longer. I started to write at a very young age and I never stopped it took me 20 years to complete my book of going to continuous life journeys and obstacles. Because of COVID-19 quarantine pandemic I found a great need to get my story out and share it with the world as domestic violence has increased and it is continuing to in these unprecedented times. In my advice in any business is just a start and continue going you will hit certain obstacles but don’t let fear hold you back do not procrastinate just keep going and surround yourself with positive people I am all over believe in God. Read more>>

Dori Schmidt | Artist and Creative Entrepreneur

Work life balance has been something I have strived to achieve for a very long time but it was not a number one priority until I became a mother in 2018. As a younger and single entrepreneur you have, what feels like, endless time to do and create what you want,when you want. The absence of those opportunities is something I WAS NOT prepared for as a new mom. I first found it extremely difficult to put my creative entrepreneur ideas and tasks on the back burner until I could “find the time”. THAT has actually been the hardest part of being a parent for me. I eat, sleep and breath creativity and business! So, only being able to “scratch my itches” when my daughter was napping or at night after she went to bed was very hard for me and gave me. My Boho Love Collection wall hangings and accessory line is not my only business. It started as a fun hobby but quickly grew and a new business was born. Read more>>

Kelly Noecker | Filmmaker

I believe balance is the key to feeling fulfilled. When I am dedicating an equal amount of time and effort to all areas of my life, I feel the best. I used to (and still d0 sometimes) bury myself in my edit bay and not leave until I had an end result I was happy with. This often lead me to living an unbalanced lifestyle, which in turn, lead me to feeling unfulfilled. As I have gotten a older, I have learned to step away from projects / work at the proper times in order to maintain a healthy and fulfilled mindset. This often leads to better quality work. Read more>>

Nicole Quintana | Theatre Educator & Professional Performer/Designer

A lot of people ask me ” how do you do it??” How do I balance work full time and a creative life filled with professional work and stay on top of a family of 4 and manage to be happy and sane all the time. Well, I don’t know. I have always been pretty good at scheduling myself and my job responsibilities, although I’m far from awesome. I teach high school musical theatre for the majority of the day. Usually I am producing works at school. I do voice over work for an international company that dubs movies and TV from different languages to English. I have maintained steady work as a freelance set designer and construction supervisor on plenty of jobs the last 20 years. My sons have an active extracurricular life with martial arts and dance at the helm. My husband is studying for his Master’s in History and is an avid improviser. I would say it would be weird if this family were sitting home doing nothing. Read more>>

Fiona Buchanan | Painter

Since March 2020 I’ve been working very little at day jobs and focusing on the studio. In that span of time I’ve experienced what have felt like different chapters of “the balance”. The first chapter was a lot of new free time coupled with a heightened anxiety around making. It seemed everyone around me was in a pandemic frenzy of productivity, whether that was true or not. Most of the stuff I made in those first months had a frantic energy and has since ended up in the trash. The second chapter was actual productivity, a lot of hours in the studio both to take advantage of the extra time on my hands and also to drive away the scaries. Still a time of unnecessary self induced stress. The third chapter has been what I think is attempting actual balance – some hours in the studio and as much “living” as possible. Rather than maximizing time or productivity I’m aiming to uplift whatever feels best for the work, as that is after all what will produce the best work. Read more>>

Mat Woods | Event Producer & Creative

At the beginning of my career as an event producer, I gave the job everything I had, leaving little time for extra passion projects and family. As I continued to learn and grow in the industry, I was able to prioritize my work vs my personal life. It has come to the point where I have more time for my family and the ability to run a small business as well. Read more>>

Marijana Camovic | Creative Mind behind Hera and Hermes Kids Fashion Store

My life changed in every possible way, two years ago, when I had my son, Theodore. All my free time became our time, and I learned how to balance it better and use it more productively. My focus is more substantial, and I choose my priorities wisely. Read more>>

Lexi Savage | Nonprofit Leader & Community Connector

I ask myself regularly — is work/life balance REALLY possible? We talk about it a lot as a society but I often wonder, as I am striving to achieve it, is it really attainable? In my early twenties, at the beginning of my career, pre-kiddo and hubby, I rarely had fewer than three jobs (one full time and two part-time), was working on my degrees and still had plenty of time left to party. Not so sure about sleep! As I got further along in my career and completed my degrees I suddenly had more free time that I wasn’t sure what to do with — do I relax? No. I work more and harder, focus on my career and personal growth, create new goals, buy my first place and keep busy. But all that busyness adds up and eventually I found that I was really tired and was going to burn myself out fast if I didn’t try to find that elusive work/life balance. Read more>>

Melanie Vigo | Paper Artist

“You have to work twice as hard to get twice as far” was the mindset that felt like a gift and a curse for me. Working twice as hard; or for what at times felt like quadruple times as hard, because I have this bad habit of wanting to overachieve in the wrong things, has helped naturally build up my work ethic. Unforunately, working twice as hard has also led me to overwork myself. Overworking caused my health to decline, mentally and physically. Working hard wasn’t the problem though, not having setting any boundaries was the underlying issue. Once I realized that I needed to do a better job of prioritizing certain aspects of my life and started setting boundaries between my work and life, I started to feel a sense of ease. There are still times where I fall victim to the trap of overworking myself and then burnout but I do my best to be proactive about stopping myself from spiraling. Read more>>

Lauren Jones | Clinical Social Worker | Interior Designer | Aromatherapist

My parents never take off work; they do not know how to nap; in fact, they watch TV with the volume on high to drown out the noise of their keyboards tapping vigorously. It is labeled multi-tasking, but honestly my parents are always working. As do I, and my brother. This dismal phenomenon is not uncommon. We have been socially conditioned for generations to prioritize work over our life. In school, we learned that good grades, special privileges, awards, scholarships all correspond with individuals that exude the most sweat equity, stress, and task completion. School does not encourage or validate rest; breaks equate to being lazy and unwilling to apply oneself. The broken record goes homework, project, test, repeat. Read more>>

Mike Husle | Executive Music Producer, Entrepreneur

I feel like I’m experiencing a major shift in my lifestyle as a music producer/entrepreneur. Work/life balance can mean something different to everybody, but at the end of the day I believe that it always comes down to one thing… priorities. Your priorities are directly correlated to your goals, whether life or career. This being said, you have to understand that you will need to make certain sacrifices to accomplish your goals. Happy with a normal life? You’re in luck, the path of least resistance requires the least sacrifice. And might I add that there is absolutely nothing wrong with finding happiness in a simple lifestyle. On the other hand, someone who’s heart desires more from life, and commits to entrepreneurship must understand that to live how most don’t, you must do what most won’t. So you have to ask yourself “What will I sacrifice?”. Whether that be instant gratification, or your dreams… a choice will be made. There is no neutral ground. Read more>>

Chicky Lulu | Event Host

Balance has been the most challenging part of my journey. I was so focused on making myself a well known brand that I forgot about ME. And yes I understand some sacrifices had to be made in order to grow, but i took things to an extreme and forgot about my well being and how important taking care of me and my family was. In order to find that balance I had to first learn how to be responsible and organized but most of all be consistent. Read more>>

Amaris Garcia | Artist & Business Owner

My work to life balance has actually changed quite dramatically over the course of this one year in business! For the first few months of opening shop, I had a full-time job that required practically all of my creative energy – except for the inspiration/motivation I could muster up after a day’s work. Eventually after a few months of creating around the clock, I was able to start working on La Discoteca full time, and while I’m so grateful for all the work that I was able to put in and receive, it quickly became clear that I definitely needed to work on my time management! My balance has certainly changed for the better although it is still something that I’m trying to be even more mindful of every day. Making sure I take time away daily from my work to rejuvenate my mind and inspiration is key, as well as working in moderation! Some crafts are easy to spend the entire day on. Read more>>

Pablo & Dani Tineo | Owners of Colors of Grace

When we first started we were ALL about the hustle, we lived and breathed it 24/7. This was even worse for us because we are a husband and wife team so it was work before marriage. Six years later, not so much. Even though there are times where we do have to push through and pull in extra hours, it is definitely not how we first started. Right now our focus is about getting what we need to get done as soon as possible so that we can focus on enjoying our life, enjoying the fruits of our hard work, and taking time to rest. We became entrepreneurs with the goal of having more “free time” but the truth is that ANY entrepreneur will tell you the same thing – this life offers the possibility of greatness but it enslaves you to crazy hours, pushing you to so many unhealthy limits, and sucking you down the hole of “the more you do, the better you’ll be, the farther you’ll go.”. Read more>>

Jessenia Acuna | Therapist, Holistic Coach, and Yoga Instructor

My brand is all about work life balance and designing a life you love. At first, it was more about focusing on the positive, creating, and manifesting but that doesn’t always reflect the life we live or situations we are in. The idea was centered on work and life as separate and when we look at it that way, we tend to miss the beauty work can provide us. Rooted in ancient Chinese philosophy and esoteric traditions now made accessible, work life balance now means two parts of a whole to me. Similar to the yin and yang concept. One not being better than the other but two parts that support and complement each other. This has transformed the way I speak about “balance.” We tend to think of it as equal or in equilibrium, which is its technical definition, but I don’t think that it was meant in that way. I have conceptualized it to mean something more like “in alignment.” Meaning alignment with ourselves, our values, and our goals as opposed to work and life in balance with each other. Read more>>

Robin Anezin | Robin Wood Arts

As a creative person, as an Architect and an Artist, there is no real boundaries between work and life. What I do and create is part of my life and my life is constantly nourished by what I do and create. I guess that is also what happens when you love what you do. Work become an essential part of your daily life balance. It is a need. I never really feel any change of that balance in my life as I have always been very fortunate to enjoy almost everything I’m doing and creating. Read more>>

Brian & Cassandra Oliver | Business Owners/ Promotional Products

Prior to opening K.W.A. Group, LLC, both Brian and Cassandra Oliver had full-time demanding jobs. Brian was working in corporate B2B sales/sales management and Cassandra was a high school principal. Both truly excelled in their previous careers and adopted the M-F workday cycle that could extend into evening hours, while juggling parenthood, marriage, social and civic activities. They were often very exhausted as they felt managing time was outside of their control and surviving until the next task was complete was the norm. In reflection of the past 25 years of their adulthood, routine was something they fell into without aim on their use of time and balance. Not until they opened their company did the explicit conversation of the use of time, work-life balance, and fulfillment become a focus. They began their conversation towards creating a narrative for their next stage of life with the central idea that there was a need to prioritize a balance around the four roles that were ever present in their lives: marriage, parenting, individuality, and business owner. Read more>>

Missy Megginson | Hairstylist, Salon Owner and Educator

Isn’t this the question of the century?! I am always in constant pursuit of what work-life balance looks like. What I have learned is that it looks different EVERY DAY! When I initially started my career 17 years ago I worked hard. I kept grueling hours, on my feet with little downtime and I burned out quickly. Fast forward to now. I am working potentially “harder” than I ever have but each day there is a check-in with how I’m feeling. I’ve had to learn that listening to my body and my mind is the key to my so-called quest for balance. This week I might be able to coast through my hours with little downtime and feel great! Next week might require me to set aside more moments to pause, be present with my kids and family and rest my body. The ability to have those check-ins has quite literally changed my business!. Read more>>

Minerve Jean | Author & Blogger

We live in this “hustle and grind” culture. One where if you’re not constantly working, then you’re not doing anything significant, or you’re a failure. If you’re not up late working on your craft or always in focus mode, then you aren’t working towards your dreams. It’s a toxic mindset to have because you can burn out when you’re in that constant hustle and grind state. I’ve learned the hard way that when you burn yourself out in pursuit of your passion, you can become tired and lose that creative spark that once fueled you. Over time, I went from being in a constant state of work and burnout to having boundaries and peace of mind. Boundaries are the most important thing you can have in all aspects of your life, especially work. A cutoff time to relax, go to sleep, or even breathe can make all the difference in your mental health. I’ve learned that it’s okay to take breaks and, some days, not hustle and grind at all. I don’t feel guilty (anymore) because allowing my mind and body to rest helps prevent burnout and spark new ideas for my projects. Read more>>

Valeria Sarto | Photographer and Creative Mind

Work life balance is probably one of the most important things to me. I think we get so stuck in this work work work, capitalistic mentality here in the US that in the end drains us. I was working a 9-6 at an agency before focusing on Fashionability Collective full time, and I saw how much it affected my out of work relationships. I had no work life balance and saw my mental health depreciate. I found that working for myself and focusing on projects I was really passionate about worked better for me. I was able to decide realistic deadlines for myself, build valuable relationships with my clients and build a healthy relationship with myself, my friends and my family. While there’s always something positive to take from any experience, having a balance allowed me to be inspired by day-to-day life experiences and attribute that to my professional work. I think balance is key in all aspects of life. Read more>>

Nicole Franzese | Founder of NF Architectural Services

Balance has never been easy for me and has been a constant struggle. Before I started my career I became a wife and a step-mom while managing day-to-day life. I believe that work-life balance is an everyday practice that eventually, with good habits can become a lifestyle. It all starts with a choice and I believe that as an entrepreneur creating small habits led me to achieve work-life balance in where I am today. One of the many habitats that have kept me accountable is knowing how to manage my time. Read more>>

Kristen Diaz | Founder & CEO of Vow + Vast

Work-life balance I believe is something that can’t be perfected. You can always have better balance by striving to have better days than mostly bad, burnout days. The key I learned is to constantly tweak my schedule to allow more time to rest, more time to explore new ideas and making sure the habits that keep me from burning out stay permanently front of mind. By recognizing the signs of burnout faster and tweaking to adjust my schedule to accomodate space, I’ve become more balanced. I realized that as a business owner, my energy is currency. The more harmony I find in making space for rest and adjusting my schedule if my energy is low, the more I’m combating burnout successfully while keeping my balance between work and my lifestyle. Read more>>

Amelia Sanchez | Owner of Honored Roots Co.

My work life balance has definitely changed over the years. I used to think that the working hard aspect of life, the “grinding aspect” was what really made people successful. With time, I have learned that resting is just as important. Hard work is great, but it isn’t as impactful unless it is followed up by adequate rest. Lately, for me this balance looks like waking up early to exercise and move my body, clocking into my businesses for hours 5-8 hours of work, and fully clocking out afterwards. It’s easy for me to keep working hours on end, into my evening and night. But, I know that his leaves me exhausted and disinterested in my tasks the next day. I find myself able to focus better now that I don’t consume all of my waking hours with my business, and I appreciate the fun times I get to spend with my loved ones even more. Read more>>