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.

Robert Morcos | Founder and CEO of Social Mobile®

When I first started the business, I used to think I needed to work around the clock, which led to me neglecting some integral aspects of my life. Now I’ve started to focus on my health and fitness, and have realized the importance of having a slightly more well-rounded approach to things. I run about 40 miles a week, and even though that can be time consuming, I am no less focused on my business and am happier and healthier than I’ve ever been. Read more>>

Ben Moss | Realtor

I think of work-life balance as lifestyle. For instance, as a Realtor, I haven’t had a true “day off” other than a couple holidays a year, in years. My life and all of its various components are my lifestyle. I have worked hard and consciously to live a lifestyle that I want to live and truly enjoy. I try to maintain a few key areas in my life in a balance that works for me, all with a base of mindfulness and awareness. Working my life around the key pillars of importance helps me not to go too far in any one direction wherein I sacrifice my balance and happiness and become burned out. Hence, it is a sustainable and enjoyable way to live life – my lifestyle. The key pillars are what I make a disciplined effort to focus on every day. I don’t always achieve the objective, but that is when I focus on not resisting what is. Read more>>

Jene Kapela | Leadership Consultant

I work with coaching clients all the time who say they want to have better work-life balance. They talk about work-life balance like it is something tangible that’s just out of their reach. They feel like they’re doing something wrong because they don’t have it. I used to feel the same way. My response now? There’s no such thing as work-life balance. But there is such a thing as wellbeing. When people talk about wanting better work-life balance, what they are really talking about is wanting more time for the things that matter most to them. They feel the dissonance between how they are spending their time and how they want to be spending their time, and this makes them frustrated and unhappy. Most people think if they could only work less, they would have more time for other things. Read more>>

Jordan Elbaum | Food & Wellness Photographer and Recipe Developer

When I first started working for myself I was so strict. I tried to pretend like I was still in an office working a 9-5 job except I was at home on my couch or at my dining room table. I thought this was the most logical decision and that I would be the most productive this way. Then I realized that part of the reason I had always wanted to work for myself was because I needed freedom in my day and space for creativity. I needed the ability to get inspired from surroundings other than a cubicle. I honestly don’t think there is such thing as a “work life balance”. I think we should work when we feel most productive/creative and give ourselves grace when it’s just not happening. Sometimes it’s ok that you decided to do laundry and clean your house that day instead of shooting new content. Read more>>

Tom Musca | Filmmaker & Professor

Since I’ve been an independent contractor and business owner in the arts for decades, I don’t see a clear demarcation line between work/life balance. The American novelist William Faulkner was staring out the window lost in thought when he was interrupted by his wife urging him to get to work. He turned to her and calmly said, “I am working.” Read more>>

Erin Parish | Painter

My focus always has been the work. As an artist working doesn’t end when you leave the studio. It is a lifestyle, a way of literally seeing the world. As an artist one’s works need to be a form of worship. The mysteries of inspiration, of the garnering of the answers to improve or finish a piece, do not come on a schedule or based on proximity to the work. One can sit in the studio all day and not have an essentially productive idea. At this point in time, in comparison to when I was in my twenties and thirties, I spend more time comfortably in dialogue with the work outside of the room in which I make my paintings. It is always there. At this point, I find that time daydreaming, for example, can be a very rich time for inspiration and the flow of ideas. Read more>>

Mike Davis | Founder & Director of 1 Body Outreach

At first, my work-life balance was terrible, basically non-existent. I have a wife and 2 sons. There were many times was unintentionally putting everything else ahead of them. This is a problem for many who start businesses, especially me being in the nonprofit sector. We are always in the frame of mind to be fundraising, promoting, or whatever is required to be successful. It takes an extremely high level of focus and commitment to be great. But it also takes that same commitment to the people who love you and care about you because if you’re like me, you don’t want to lose them as you ascend. You want them to ascend with you. So now, I’ve learned that balance is impossible to perfect. But I keep my priorities the same: God, wife, family, then the work I do. Read more>>