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.

Jason Evanko | VFX artist, Entrepreneur

Work Life balance is one of those hard things to figure out, especially in the creative fields, and doubly so during these crazy pandemic times that we are currently living in. Most places think that since you’re working from home, all the time is work time, but you need to learn and figure out where to draw that line. I always struggled with that line because I enjoy working. Whether it’s the long hours in a studio finishing up a project, or burning the midnight oil at home on freelance my “Life” balance was just to work. But that has very much shifted for me over the last year or so. Read more>>

JULIA HLADKOWICZ | Comedian, actor, writer.

When I first started in comedy I was very experimental. I would try different stuff all the time (most of it bad) but there was a sense of play. I was throwing things out there and seeing what stuck. It was a cringeworthy but also exciting time. I wasn’t afraid to fail because I had nothing to lose. As I started to bridge the gap between amateur and professional stand-up comedian, I felt like I had to be out every night. If I wasn’t performing on a show, I should be at a show. Every comic had to hustle and hustle hard and if you weren’t performing at least 5-6 times a week did you even really “want” it? My worth as a performer felt tied to how busy I was. My need to progress and reach the next level fuelled me. I feel like this kind of fire can be beneficial to someone in this industry but it can also leave you feeling hollow and burnt out. If all you do is go to comedy shows and hang out with comedians, what do you talk about on stage? Read more>>

Sarah Toutant | PhD Candidate & DEI Educator

My work-life balance has extremely changed over time. I used to find myself working ridiculous hours, not making enough time for friends and family, and was unhappy. However, I realized my life does not equal work. Work is a part of my life but it does not define me or my identity. Most recently, I have slowed down and taken time to nourish the relationships around me. I think many people struggle with work-life balance because we live in a fast-paced culture that makes us feel like all we have to offer is our labor. Once I realized that “the work will always be there,” I became much happier with how I balance my time and energy. Read more>>

Markus Shields | Choreographer & Songwriter/Producer

I feel as if my work/life balance fluctuates depending on where I feel like I’m at in my career. When I first moved to LA I had about $8000 which I’d saved from a ridiculously heavy grind driving from city to city on a two month teaching tour in Michigan. Once I got to LA, no car, no jobs, I simply had to beat my feet. Taking the the bus to substitute teach or to do extra work for Central Casting. Still a ridiculously heavy grind but different due to not being an established dancer in LA. As time went on I started to get auditions and then I booked a tour (among a few other things). All of a sudden, my work life balance shifted. Read more>>

Sara Perez Ekanger | Event Floral Designer

Oh work life balance… When I first started I dove deep into my work and didn’t come up for air. It was until when we hit the 4th year in business, I looked around my personal life and not a fan of having the business consume everything that I did. So I started to work out, set boundaries and started to take care of “Sara”. Not work/ business version of Sara, but the core version of myself. I started running again and got really into boxing. I love boxing because it was a new sport that I enjoyed learning and challenged me in so many areas. Many life lessons in boxing. Read more>>

Dorothy McGatlin | Fitness Trainer and Body LiFT Coach

When it comes to work-life balance it hardly ever feels perfectly static with an equal distribution of weight on two ends of a scale. Instead, I think of it as more of a balancing act upon one foot. Occasionally you are straight upright in the center perfectly balanced, but more often than not you are leaning or swaying slightly to one side or another…. Perhaps even falling down, but always able to stand back up and regain your balance. Read more>>

Ali Silverstein | Artist

Work/life balance? What’s that?! 🙂 I’ve never separated life from work, and I understand that to be the greatest privilege — which is not to say that it’s easy! The ever-expanding challenges of a creative life are also the source of my joy and inspiration. My work is personal. It requires digging deep — tapping into the truest thing that wants to come forward in this moment, making space for that thing and muting other siren songs, being brave enough to do it even if it doesn’t make sense (yet), persisting through the slog of figuring out how to present it to the world. Read more>>

Ashley Patterson | Author, Speaker, and Business Consultant

Work-life balance…what’s that? There was a time in my life when all I wanted was a work-life balance. I would work long, strenuous hours, only to come home to try to catch up on work e-mails and responses. In my previous profession, a balance was just not attainable. When job demands exceed job resources, it creates an imbalance. The resources include the tools for effective communication, time management, and growth opportunities. This imbalance leads to both psychological and physical reactions that cause disengagement and chronic stress. Dealing with the repercussions of work-life imbalance, I decided that I needed a change. That change was the start of my consulting firm, Elite Acuity, LLC. Read more>>

Alan Drummond

To be brutally honest the work life balance in North America absolutely SUCKS. While most 9-5ers enjoy up to 2 weeks of vacation a year, many “enjoy” that unpaid. Women, and parents, experience maternity & paternity different region to region. Personal days for something as simple as taking a child or yourself to the Dr is often frowned upon and God forbid you need sick day when you’re actually sick. In Europe, Australia, S America and many other locales, hourly paid workers often enjoy 20-25 days, or 4-5 weeks of paid vacation per year. Which increases the longer you have been at a place. Read more>>

Meet Edna Ma, MD | Physician anesthesiologist & author

Tough question! As I grow older and am raising my young family, I’ve shifted my priorities and how I spend my precious time. Before children, I spent my extra time picking up extra work at the hospital, socializing/networking, and starting businesses. The birth of my two children taught me how quickly time passes and how rapidly they change. I also listen to those I admire and whose relationships I wish to emulate. They’ve shown me that the family is foundation of a child’s well-being. Finding balance is finding the strength to be able to say “no” to work so I can be available for the family. Read more>>

Michael (MG) Gross | Executive Creative Producer | Music Supervisor

Working in any field that also happens to be your complete and utter obsession creates a tricky dance between personal and work balance. In the case of Music, those lines are fantastically and dangerously easy to blur. For so many people, music is a lifesaver; it’s medicine for your soul. When you make it your job too, that can create an uneasy relationship with the thing you love. It takes practice, and plenty of mistakes, to keep that relationship healthy. For me personally, it’s been a long, long process to know when to turn off the work side of the brain and to just enjoy the music. Henry Rollins has a method which I subscribe to now, which is to use Monday – Friday for new music discovery, thereby free-ing up your weekends to listen to whatever you want: classics, favorite albums, podcasts, whatever. Guilt free. Read more>>

Alex Zanzinger | Artist & Writer

How I define balance has changed over the years since I started to prioritize my own artistic practice and something that continues to evolve daily. If measured in time, the idea of needing to dedicate equal amounts to work and life outside of that, I would consider myself wholly unbalanced. I tend to oscillate from working too intensely or ignoring all that I have to do in pursuit of rest, which usually riddles me with a sense of guilt. I feel this is rooted in my internalized capitalistic beliefs where busyness and material successes amount to self-worth and productivity, placing everything outside of that with lesser value or enforcing the idea that we are undeserving of pleasure and rest outside of work, which is entirely unsustainable. Read more>>

THEM | Band

The answer to this has definitely changed over the past year. Going into 2020 most of us would do anything for a day off but I think we can all agree a lot of us ending up having a bit too much time on our hands. The effect covid has had on musicians is exponential but I think come 2022, the fans will really be able to see the exponential growth their favorite artist have made during quarantine. I know we can at least speak for ourselves to say that before covid hit we were not great at the work-life balance. Read more>>

Tania Posternak & Sydney Zetune | Founders, SMÜTH Butters

For a long time, both Sydney and I had talked about starting our own business and doing something we were both passionate about. We both had been working traditional jobs, with long hours and a lot of work travel. From the early stages of recipe testing to formally founding SMÜTH Butters, one of our main motivations as a women-owned business was to have more work-life balance by having more control over our time, especially as we became working mothers. Read more>>

Chanelle Nou | Little Crayvings – Owner

After moving to California, I jumped into a full time position where I dedicated 6 years of my time, energy, and resources to grow within that company as well as in a career in operations and project management. I prioritized my job and financial gain over personal opportunities for growth and life experiences. What being an adult has taught me was to chase that dollar. Eventually I questioned myself, “but at the expense of what?” It was personally exhausting having to weigh the pros and cons of money versus quality of life at the time. Although I had learned many valuable lessons within that position, I did not know how to value and prioritize my personal life. Read more>>

Will Murai | Illustrator and Visual Development Artist.

I think it changed drastically. When I started working as an Illustrator, around 15 years ago, I didn’t know if I was any good at it, or If I’d make a living out of it. What it caused, is that I overworked for so many consecutive years until I reached to the point where I knew I would be comfortable making a living as an artist which, honestly, was not so long ago. Of course, it took some level of burn out, extra pounds and some wake up calls from my body and mind.
These days I try not to work more than the regular hours, spend some quality time with my wife Flora and exercise at least 5x a week, be it weight lifting or skateboard. Read more>>

Nour Milla | Journalist and news anchor

I have always been a firm believer of achieving balance in every facet of your life… And this is especially in regards to work life. We need to establish healthy boundaries, in a way that allows us to always show up at our best and express our needs accordingly. For me personally, going through this pandemic taught me to slow down and be as present as possible, but it also highlighted the consequences of leading such a hectic life pre covid. It was after taking time off that I really began to savor the perks of mental stillness, which is why now I religiously carve time off every day to unplug from the outer world and focus on myself wholeheartedly, especially while having a full time job as an anchor. Read more>>

Melissa Wade | Owner of the Style Tribe Boutique | Yoga Instructor | Adventure Seeker | Lover of Live |

Work/life balance is always tricky for entrepreneurs, especially when you are just starting a business, or even if you have been in business a while, and are are restructuring. In the beginning of every venture, you have to be willing to put in the long hours, the early mornings and late nights and sometimes you have to be willing to miss out on things you would love to do. Sadly, during the first 5 years of my business, I missed a lot. I had to prepare my family (especially my kids) for the changes that were going to happen in order for the business to be successful. During that time, I had a lot of mom guilt, I was exhausted and there were several times I wondered if it was all worth it. Read more>>

Stephanie Ramos | Business Owner & Mom

I grew up in an immigrant household so the priority was always work, work, work. I have been working in my family business since I was 15 years old. I used to glorify being busy all the time and everything else came second. I didn’t understand the importance of having a work life balance until I had my second daughter. With my first born, I rushed to get back to the office a week after I had given birth. I would bring my baby to work with me and feed her in between meetings or during phone calls. I was afraid that if I didn’t work hard enough, I would be failing in my career and I would be failing my family. Read more>>

ALONZO | Recording Artist

Id say balance is one of the most important factors to having a healthy life. Healthy balance leads to inner peace. When we can balance having ambition while being present we can find peace in knowing that we are in control of our happiness. Id say I’ve evolved because I use to be a bit of a workaholic. In the sense that anything that wasn’t work wasn’t a priority. I am now learning the more balance I have in my personal life, the better my mental can be and in response, the better my work can be. It’s all a cycle. Read more>>

Lindsay Sunada | Director / Designer

Most people would probably look at my planner and say that I don’t have a work life balance haha. But I take care of my mental health, and am honestly the most fulfilled when I’m super busy. Between a full time job, writing/directing my own projects, and co-founding a tech startup, it feels like every day is a battle to find enough hours to get through my to do list. I know there’s somewhat of a toxic mindset in the film (and startup) industries that makes everyone feel the need to “out-hustle” or “out-suffer” each other in order to be successful. And I agree that that’s toxic and not a goal that anybody should have. Read more>>

Amber Amrhein | Psychic Medium & Reiki Master

Discovering a proper work-life balance has taken me quite some time to figure out, but is something I have come to truly treasure. I have so much going on, so hour by hour scheduling and to-do lists have always been a must for me! Prior to 2020, I would continuously come to realize that my schedule was completely packed with things that did not truly fulfill me. I did not give myself much time for self care and burnout would creep in often. When this happened, I would pause, list everything I truly wanted to focus on, then shift my schedule to prioritize those things. After a few months of this I would find myself stuck again in a dull, packed schedule. Read more>>

Kia Nichelle | Founder of Hairmisses & Hairstylist

I love this question. My work, life balance has changed tremendously! I remember when I would take my first client at 8am and sometime I wouldn’t leave the shop until 1am (if not later). The grind is definitely real, BUT self care is essential! The goal is to work smarter, not harder. I realized that when I decided to sale my own products. Within the first 3 days of releasing my first hot tool (The Hairmisses 5in1 Wands) I made 10k! That may not seem like much now, but then (20 years old), that was a lot of money to make sitting at home! Read more>>

Katerina Tolkishevskaya | Music Editor

I think we are all conditioned by social media to feel like we’re never good enough, don’t make enough money, aren’t successful enough – that we are not enough. It’s glorifying “the grind”, the hustle, the “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” culture. But the truth is – you’re always enough, and I think realizing that changed my work/life balance a lot. Understanding that taking time to rest, to pause, is not the same as being lazy or not doing your best to achieve your goals. Quite the opposite, rest allows you to work more efficiently, come up with creative ideas and keep your mental health in check. It’s so easy to burn out these days if you feel like you’re constantly chasing success, but I think that staying present and grounded makes your work so much more enjoyable. Read more>>

Kathryn Farren | Writer & Somatic Healer

When I was in my 20s I think I felt like I had to be working and doing all the time. As a society we tend to reward productivity, which I don’t think is always a bad thing. It’s beautiful to aspire for more. As an artist it feels amazing whenever my projects – whether writing or acting or music – are finished, performed, or seen. But in my 30s I started to understand that productivity doesn’t always equate with what’s best for us as individuals. Life encompasses so many things, and there’s a balance needed for optimal mental, physical and spiritual wellness. My journey into chronic illness and some other components definitely forced me to have to reset priorities in a way I hadn’t before. I could be hard on myself about it at first, but ultimately it led to immense growth and self-compassion. Read more>>

Whitney Cooper | Project Manager and Entrepreneur

I know my balance has changed over tome based on my priorities. I recently became a mom. Before that I worked full time, went to school and ran two businesses. Being a new mom as added more structure to my life.. Being able to have great time management skills and organization is key. Read more>>

Mojan Nourbakhsh | Actor, Producer, Entrepreneur

Ok so I was pretty much born a workaholic — no joke, I was handing out home-made business cards on the playground in kindergarten and spent my recesses networking with the teachers. But I distinctly remember the life-shifting moment as a kid when I was unhealthily praised for overworking and stacking titles. I was twelve years old, and we were at Thanksgiving when a family member asked me what I had been up to and how school was going. I casually shared what I was up to… president of this, captain of that, honor roll, chess club, editor-in-chief etc. Read more>>

Chris Loos | Community Advocate // iDream Society

I enjoy having balance when riding my skateboard, but other than that I wish I never wasted time trying to find “balance” in life!! Life has ups & downs. Things will be good, and things will be bad. We woke up this morning, which means we won today, so let’s GO!! That’s it. Don’t overthink it. Our phones have destroyed our attention span!! We KNOW this. So here’s my recent life hack. I’ve embraced the tension of things never being in balance, while being fully present when doing something or talking to someone. It’s changed everything!! I’m more productive than I’ve ever been, and don’t beat myself up for not checking everything thing off my list for the day. Save your balance for things like riding bikes, gymnastics, or playing Jenga. Read more>>

Savannah Wheeler | Film Composer & Songwriter

I am a film composer and songwriter. I will never cease to be taken by the wonder of writing music. A musical idea can sprout at any moment – in dreams, while on a walk, in the shower, in my daily writing, etc. It will disappear if I don’t take a moment to write it down, yet a new idea will always show up – sometimes better, sometimes not. With film, there are clear deadlines. I throw myself into the project, and most times I am racing against the clock so life things fall to the sidelines. With songwriting, it depends on if it’s for me or for a client. If it’s for me I give myself time, but if it’s for a client, I sacrifice to meet their deadline. Read more>>

Elizabeth Jaeleigh Davis | Film/TV Director, Producer, Writer

I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease seven months into the pandemic. Mid-march 2020, Los Angeles locked down, and like so many others, I said goodbye to my office co-workers, on-set film work, active social life, and community. What remained was a virtual 9-5 job, tethering me from my cramped bedroom-turned-office to the one remaining vestige of a life I once loved living. With increasingly long hours and dehumanization behind a screen (not to mention the societal devastation and perpetual bad news), the months wore on and my identity and self-worth became increasingly damaged. Read more>>

Yue Xu and Julie Krafchick | Co-hosts and co-creators of the Dateable Podcast

We both work day jobs in addition to running our podcast. Work life balance is a little tricky when you’re using your leisure time to work on your passion project. In recent years, we’ve learned to draw a line between work and life when we meet. Before, all of our time together would be focused on the podcast, which burnt us out and put our friendship on the back burner. Now we make it a point to devote the beginning of our meetings to life “stuff,” so we can connect as friends first, and then dive into the business side of things. Read more>>

Mauro Flores, Jr. | Artist, Writer & Producer

I’ve been thinking about the topic of work-life balance a lot lately, even before the pandemic, and I’ve come to realize it often boils down to privilege. I grew up pretty poor, in a house with parents who didn’t make the best financial decisions which is nothing unique in a lot of low income houses. In my experience, when you’re poor, you want to feel rich, so you buy things you can’t and shouldn’t afford, like a 60 inch TV for a run-down mobile home. Read more>>

Beau Brown | Artist

Work life balance for me has change a bunch over the years. Sometimes when working for yourself, it is really tough to separate the two especially when it comes to client work. Working hard to keep that within my office hours has really helped me focus more during the day and enjoy my personal life. However, I try to engrain my personal artwork into my daily life. It’s important to grab inspiration where ever you are. Read more>>

Finlay Mathias | Producer and Mix Engineer, Co-Founder of RoseFlower Records

Having a healthy work life balance is really important, especially when working from home like a lot of creatives do. It’s really easy to wake up and go right into work, and not stop until it’s time to sleep, purely because you work in the same place that you live. When I first moved to LA, I had a really unhealthy work life balance where I’d work constantly and rarely give myself time to relax. It’s weird, because I’m far more busy than I was then, but I feel far happier and more energised each day because I now allow myself time to relax and not feel guilty about unfinished work. Read more>>

Michelle Glogovac | Publicist & Podcast Host

I had a corporate career for almost 2 decades and lived by the motto “work hard, play hard”. For a long time I thought this was balance…to work equally as hard as you rested or simply enjoyed life. It wasn’t until after I had my kids and launched my own business that I discovered that work life balance truly means living in the moment in which you are actually in. If you are working on a project, then give it your full attention and focus. If the next hour you are playing barbies or dinosaurs or going for a bike ride, then live blissfully in that moment. Read more>>

Laura Greenberg | Business & Personal Development Catalyst & Healing

The idea of a work/life balance is an outside in approach. It lends one to think that if their work life was balanced with their personal life that everything would be ok. With the clients that I coach, I use an inside out approach. When I was building my coaching and healing business, I put my core values first. I had a small child and being there for his was my number one priority. I built my business around being with him. I value time with friends & family. I value traveling. I travel time to do fun activities or just go to the beach. Read more>>

Vanessa Brandon | Business owner and operator

I have been fortunate enough to have the opportunities to try my hand at most of my interests at some point in my life. What I have found is that through every trial if you continue to listen to your instincts and refocus or make changes when something doesn’t quite feel right, you will eventually be led to your true calling. Through multiple attempts in industries ranging from architecture, interior design, public health, communication, teaching, and hospitality, I have come to realize that I have somehow manifested a career that combines all of these interests, which is becoming a partner and operator of a coffee shop. This work has been the most trying of times for me, and my work/life balance has changed drastically since I started operating small businesses in hospitality. But I believe that work feels less like work when you’re truly enjoying it. Read more>>

Isaac ( IAGUEMAR ) Martinez | Commercial Director

Work life balance has been a myth for many and few have really found something that works if they’re part of the Gig economy. I don’t like to call it a balance but rather a flow and have developed boundaries in my business to remain consistent. I’ve broken my energy process into 5 parts. Relaxed, Restful, Flow, Go and Stressed. If imagined on a pin meter like one that measures a gas tank in a car, I like my pin to fall between the middle three phases ( Restful, Flow, and Go) and try to stay away from the outer two (Relaxed and Stressed). Flow is the easiest to explain, as you find that “balance” I try not to steer too far from it – flow is a state where I’m aware, I know the steps needed to execute a project and simply, just do it. Read more>>

Emily Wang | Photographer & Videographer

Early on in my career, I held a full-time position and worked a day job while simultaneously growing my personal small business and brand. Finding work-life balance at my full time gig was important to me so that I had time to invest in my freelance work. But, looking at my overall time spent working every week, others may have said my work-life balance was not so great. I often worked weekday evenings and weekends on my own business after I was offline for my day job. It didn’t feel like “work” though, because I really loved what I was doing with my freelance work. Sometimes, “work” was taking my pups on a road trip over the weekend and shooting some photos and videos for a client. Over time, I was lucky enough to be able to leave my day job and transition to focusing all of my time on my business, and that’s where I am now. For me, as long as work was fun and didn’t feel like a chore, I was happy to spend more hours “working” in the week! Read more>>

Chelsea Moser | Founder, Billie Simone Jewelry

Work life balance is huge and I think a forever work in progress. Especially for anyone who owns their own business. For me, it has taken years of practice to learn how to turn the wheels off and give myself a break. I’m the type of person that when I start something new, I can’t stop. I just want to keep going and going, but after so long I find myself losing sight of my own self. You self care starts to decrease, you start to hit new levels of exhaustion and stress that eventually you just crash. As I’ve navigated through the business owner venture over the years, I’ve learned if you are able to maintain the balance as you go and avoid the exhaustion and the crashing, it is a much more efficient and sustainable way to live. Read more>>