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.

Maurniece Gayles | Artist & Counselor

A healthy work-life balance is something that I’ve always struggled with. I feel like we [humans] are always racing against the clock as if we’re going to miss something but the “something” that we’re really missing is life itself. There have been times when I’d be out with my friends and can’t really enjoy myself because I’d think “I could be doing something productive right now. Read more>>

Bex Sanchez | PR and Marketing

I’ve grown up believing in hustle culture; the idea that if I constantly work and overdo and be like those women I see on TV, I’m going to be successful. But let me tell you, it’s quite the opposite. Being overworked, as I have come to find, has been pretty toxic to my physical and mental health. Read more>>

Jared Schwartz | Illustrator, Artist, Political Cartoonist

A lot of my time is spent drawing for my “art career”, but I have to do other things too which are technically not as directly related to my art goals as the drawing-all-the-time is. The biggest difference between when I started doing what I do now, and how it was before this point, is that now all of that work, whether it’s directly “art career-related” or not, serves a purpose. Read more>>

Amanda Forth | Founder, TheCrystalBoutique.com

Work Life Balance is something that has always been a process. It’s changed from when I worked in a corporate job vs. when I became an entrepreneur. In my corporate life, balance was more about creating boundaries between emails and work related requests and not feeling the pressure to be on call 24/7. As an entrepreneur, balance is more about taking care of my mental health and prioritizing the time to do that so that work and life can flow more easily. Read more>>

Valeska Cosci | Psychotherapist

If there were ever a time that the topic of work life balance was thrusted to the forefront, 2020 was it! 2020, the year of a once in a century pandemic. The year where work life balance took on a whole new level of importance. Over the years and especially during the pandemic, my vision of work life balance has changed. Read more>>

Dr. Lydia Hansell | Clinical Psychologist

How is “work” distinct from “life”? Work is a part of life, so one of my primary goals has been to find meaningful work; a job that not only pays the bills but is deeply satisfying on a personal level. Interestingly, I have found over the years that leisure time, or what we consider “life” in the phrase “work-life balance,” is actually less enjoyable than I anticipated. Why? Because I found pleasure in leisure but I found no mastery. Read more>>

Brittany Joyner | actor/producer/writer

It can be difficult to find a healthy balance in the entertainment industry since it’s feast or famine (but mostly famine). When the work does come along, it takes everything from you and much of your life outside of the work tends to fall by the wayside. I can’t say I’ve done a terrific job over the years at balancing it all, but one thing I’ve always held the line for is family. Read more>>

Noriko Roy | Entrepreneur, CEO & co-founder

There is truly nothing more important than a balanced lifestyle as an entrepreneur with a personal life, a family that I am close with, as well as prioritizing “me time”. I tend to jump into everything I do, full on – 100%. Whether that be a new venture, new relationship, workout routine, or learning a new skill set. Read more>>

Nicole Walter | Reiki Master Teacher and Practitioner

The concept of balance is elusive. Maybe prioritization is a better word, and we can learn to benefit from prioritizing ourselves more – hopefully, with the support of our employers. In the past, I thought (wrongly) that I was navigating a healthy work-life balance. I knew deep down it was more of a failing juggling act, but I felt stuck and scared of change. Read more>>

Cari Schaefer, DACM | Doctor of Holistic Health

Work life balance how has it changed over time how do you think about it? I started on a health path due to my own health challenges. In looking for solutions to my health challenges I was brought to the practice of holistic medicine. I was in Chinese medical school when I experienced my “health crash.” Read more>>

Julia de’Caneva | Life Coach for Cancer Survivors and Overworked Women

I would characterize my relationship with work-life balance over the years as night and day. Rewind back, even 4 years ago, I was working several freelance jobs, skipping lunches, and working at all hours of the day. I was exhausted, running on adrenalin and black tea, and still always feeling like I was behind and needing to do more. Now, I work slowly, move slowly, live slowly. Not at a snails pace, but rather in my mindset. Read more>>

Katie Stevens | hairstylist

In the beginning of my career I slaved and worked whenever I could. Recently I’ve stepped back from so many hours behind the chair. Over time I’ve realized I need just as much time for myself to be continuously re-inspired and produce my best work. Read more>>

Dan Ast | Director / Screenwriter

I made the conscious choice ten years ago to build a work-life balance that was specific to my goals. As an indie filmmaker flexibility is key for me. I left my 40-hour-a-week job and began working as a freelance editor from home. Read more>>

Gabriella Dominguez Morgan Creed | Young, Dumb & Ballin’

Everyone dreams of working with their best friend, so we did exactly that. Deciding to start a podcast together was easy, but balancing the importance of our workload and our friendship became difficult. Before, all of the time we spent together was solely for our friendship, but now most of our time together is spent writing our episodes, making posts, recording, or planning our next venture. Read more>>

DeAndra Jones | Clinical Social Worker & Founder of Mid-City Meals

I thought I knew balance until 2020. The pandemic forced me to slow down in ways I likely would not have otherwise made space for. I was very busy, and figured that was just part of how I had to live my life. The pandemic upset my work travel and literally brought me back to California within hours while I was in Ohio for a 2 month work project. Read more>>

Skye Besserman | Energy Practitioner & Spiritual Life Coach

When I first launched my business in 2017, I had an abundance of free time that allowed me to focus on my brand. Fast forward to 2021, I’m a full-time mom to a toddler, and 8 months pregnant. So my business is not getting my attention like it once did. Read more>>

Jessica Lá Rel | Recording Artist & Equity Strategist

Often we talk about balance as a way to express “all things being equal”. In other words, I have just as much time (or comparable time) for family, friends, and self-care as I do for professional pursuits and other ambitions. Read more>>

Sydney Marineau | Film Editor & Storyteller

It’s a frustrating process, to say the least. When you find yourself constantly adapting to change and the many shifts that life supplies while ‘trying to have it all’. However, that does not mean it is impossible. Read more>>

Christina Corso | Wardrobe Stylist

Since COVID-19 hit, my work life balance has completely changed. I have always been super dedicated to my job and my job was a huge part of my identity. When quarantine hit and jobs were minimal or non-existent, I found myself lost and unhappy. What I have now learned is that this time has really forced me to understand the importance of self care and work life balance. Read more>>

Tiffany Huff-Strothers | Life Coach + CEO of When She Thrives

The way I think about balance has changed a lot over the years. I now focus more on being in harmony than balance. What I know now is that while there are many areas of my life that are important, there will be different seasons or periods of time where one or two is dominant. Read more>>

Arielle Jackson | Wardrobe Stylist And Business Owner Of Sadé Halo Beauty Brand

My balance have changed from super complicated to still complicated but with a little more ease. I know it seem as I am contradicted myself, but work life balance, when actually working a 9-5 and being a parent is super tough. December of 2019, becoming solely my own boss, work life balance is still complicated but way more flexible. Read more>>

Michelle Alvarado | Business Owner and Creative Director

I work a 9-5 on top of running a growing business and it isn’t easy at all. I’m not good with time management, diagnosed with ADD when I was 15. I’m hyper-aware of my mental health. I really have to push myself and give myself timelines and deadlines to stay on track. I have two planners, multiple notebooks and pieces of scratch paper with lists and reminders. With the pandemic, its almost been easier to manage because I don’t have the distraction of a social life (going out with my friends, etc). Read more>>

Dominoe Farris | Photographer and Artist

Something you should know about me is that I have ADD. That means that I tend to work in a circular fashion, on many projects at once, kind of like a hummingbird. I used to work in a way that was all or nothing. Last year “balance” was something I was actively focused on cultivating more of and so I spent the year trying to figure out what that meant for me. Read more>>

Matthew Rota | Illustrator/ College instructor

Because I love what I do (most of the time) my work life balance is questionable. I find most of my work to be very interesting, so the difference between work and pleasure is blurry, Which makes putting the work down difficult. not so much because it’s distracting, as it is something I genuinely like doing. Read more>>

Lyndsi & Geoff Thornton | Wedding Photographers

A work/life balance is something we are constantly striving towards! This question has taken on a lot of meaning for us in the past few years with us having our first baby girl and then facing the pandemic. Being a small business owner, it’s really hard not to take on every client that comes our way. The first few years of us shooting weddings and building our business were BUSY. Read more>>

Mr. Mo | Story Artist & IP Creator

There is NO balance. When you love what you do, Life becomes Work, and Work becomes Life. This doesn’t mean that you destroy your health, relationships, or spirituality. On the contrary, you begin to take better care of your health because you understand a strong physique leads to better performance. Read more>>

Chantell Dennis | Home Organizer

As a mom of three little ones, having a balanced work / home life is very important to me! I won’t say that I have this whole thing figured out, because the balance is constantly changing and adjusting as things get thrown into our schedule. But I will say, that maintaining this balance has never been more important to me! Read more>>

Bridget Moore | Artist & Chief Creative Officer

For the longest time, I felt in order to be a good employee I needed to put everything into my work have no boundaries with it. Lunch? I was eating at my desk. Emails over the weekend? I was answering them. Vacation? I harbored heavy guilt for even attempting to take it. It was draining… but I truly thought that’s just what the feeling was that came with getting ahead. Read more>>

Emily Wilcox | Relationship Coach and Author of “The Commitment Phobe”

I feel at the earlier stages of my career, a little over a decade ago, I was a work horse; constantly writing, coaching, planning – always on the go and trying to build my brand. This, of course, was before the big social media boom, so options and opportunities were tougher to come by. It was much more imperative to work harder at being seen in my field.  Read more>>

Renita Quirls | Blogger, Vlogger, Podcaster

I used to equate being busy to making progress. I felt, as long as I was looking busy I was headed toward the end goal. Over time I realized that busy could also equate to…well…just being busy. It is possible for a person to remain busy and not make any progress. It is possible to be running and running until we have surpassed empty. Read more>>

Jen Brown | Freelance Makeup Artist and Health Coach

Work life balance has definitely shifted over time! In the beginning of my career, I was taking every job available as well as working nights to support myself. I had little time or energy to take good care of myself or enjoy other hobbies. Even up until very recently, I was constantly moving, hustling and working as much as I could. As the years have gone by, I’ve grown to realize the importance of self care, downtime, and saying no to some things in order to achieve a better balance. Read more>>

Ang & Seb | Owners of The Prelim

When it comes to work life balance, it’s just that – figuring out how to balance the things that are important to you. For us, our work has become an important part of our lives. Most of the time, it can feel like both intertwine perfectly so it becomes challenging to separate the two. But one thing we remind ourselves is to not force a line between them. Sometimes, work spills over into our life. Sometimes life spills over into our work. We honor the energy we have going, how we’re feeling collectively, and where we are in the process. Read more>>

Kelly Baskin | Voice Actor

This can be seen as such a mysterious question, and it’s important to know that every person will have their own balance that works for them. My work life balance has changed dramatically in the last year. I used to think that I had to be working at all times; working on my business, working my day jobs to make as much money as I could, working out, etc. It’s almost as if I would loan out time to myself that I had to pay back. Read more>>

Eboné Bell | Owner and Editor of Tagg Magazine

My work-life balance has changed tremendously since starting Tagg Magazine in 2012. For the first two years, I took on almost everything from sales to distribution to editorial. This one woman show didn’t allow for much personal time. The scales weren’t balanced. 80% of my time went to my business, leaving only 20% for my personal time. For the first three years, I didn’t even take a vacation, let alone a staycation. Read more>>

Bill Conway | Editor-in-Chief of The Hard Times

My work/life balance has shifted dramatically in the last few years, and not just because of the worldwide plague that changed how we do everything. When The Hard Times first started it was just meant to be a side-hustle, something we do in our spare time for fun. Read more>>

Kevin Maher | Creative Director & Choreographer

My work life balance has absolutely changed over time. As you get older your priorities change. Whether it’s family, career growth, or personal health, our perspective is always evolving. When I was young, I put my career first, but as I’m getting older, it’s my family and health first. Read more>>

Joshua Murray | Actor & Filmmaker

I have shifted a lot in my relationship to work/life balance. I used to have a perspective of separating activities into things I do for myself and/or for fun and things I do for other or out of necessity/responsibility. Now, I look to harmonize things I want to do with things that provide value to others (and thus get compensated). Read more>>

Savannah Jade | Author & Artist

I think oftentimes societal norms apply additional pressures in regards to working. The constant work, work, work, no rest attitude, although great when one is passionate about their career, can sometimes drain you of enjoying life and doing well in your field. Read more>>

Marco Duarte | Musician/Teacher

My work/life balance has changed over time mostly because there used to be no balance. For years I just immersed myself in music whether it was listening, watching videos, checking out other live bands, or practicing and playing shows with anyone I could. I was just trying to take in as much as possible. Read more>>

Brianna Wise | Creative Brand Strategist, Author, Stylist, and CEO of The Black Apothecary Office

I use to feel like work was the end all be all to achieving your goals and that you have to have tunnel vision with no distractions, even healthy distractions, but I realized quick from my own experiences and also from a few loved ones, that’s not it for me. You either get burnt out quick, lose valuable relationships, or what you use to love doing is no longer fun anymore. Read more>>