The Coronavirus has given many us an opportunity to pause and think about life, our purpose, and even the right work life balance. What’s your perspective and has it changed over time?

Stephanie Jones | Dancer & Multifaceted Human

Balance is something, I believe we continue to navigate through as we go & grow through life experiences. I was introduced to this meaning early in life, but through the years it’s changed in ways that have required for me to ‘prioritize, re-arrange, or simply eliminate plans in order to apply balance in my life. Being that I was out of my parents home at a young age, balance for me at eighteen looked so differently than it does now. I have gone from working a nine to five job, while putting myself through school to becoming a ‘severe multitasker’; all for the sake of getting more done and risking my own sanity in order to do it all. While in community college, and working to pay for my school/life expenses, balance didn’t exist in my life in the way I hoped, I was taking an overwhelming amount of classes, trying to maintain my dance retention, while figuring out what life ‘on my own felt like’. Not long after, the severe multitasker, I call her, she was incredibly ambitious, did it all, and any cost. Read more>>

Holly Sigafoos | Photographer

A work life balance is always an area of growth for me. When I began my photography career I threw myself into every aspect and didn’t take a break. My thoughts were completely consumed with my new career. It took me a while to realize that wasn’t healthy and it ultimately led to a burn out. In hindsight, I should have seen that coming. When you love what you do, it tends to take over every other aspect. For me it has taken a lot of work and constant reminder that having a balance even with a job I love is so important for my own personal growth. I now schedule days off, plan my work week out ahead of time and found systems to allow my workflow to not completely consume me. I still make mistakes and over book myself, but each time I’m gently reminded to take some time to rest. I used to feel guilty for taking a day off when there was work to be done, and honestly, sometimes I still do. Read more>>

Connie Tao | Bridal Gown Designer & Small business owner

I think that work life balance is a goal that we are all trying to achieve. I know that I have definitely struggled with it. As I am sure many small business owners/entrepreneurs will tell you, it is not a 9-5 gig. If you choose the route of starting a small business, you are pouring your heart and soul into this venture and your mind is definitely worrying about it all the time. I don’t think I even considered the option of work life balance those first couple years. There were months where I easily worked on my business for 7 days a week and still had more to do. During those times, I couldn’t shut my mind off and continually tried to work out how to keep things going, how to improve efficiency, how to create projects for my clients that demonstrated the aesthetic and level of quality that I wanted my business to represent. Read more>>

Cory Martin

This is a very meaningful question for me because I never understood the importance of balance until recently. I started my first catering & events company in 2005 when I was 26 years old and I only focused on what I knew most at the time – work. I would sleep four, maybe five hours a night (if I was lucky), get up early and start my day all over again. One of the many great aspects of being an entrepreneur & event producer is that every day is completely different from the next so I was always focusing on a new task or challenge. Eventually however, minutes, hours, days, weeks, and years would melt together and disappear before I even noticed. It was the adrenaline rush, the money, success, and the lifestyle that I became addicted to, so I was willing to push myself to the limit every day. In 2014, I looked in the mirror and thought everything was going as planned…until one day it all came crashing down. Read more>>

Patricia Tran | Medical Student & Food Blogger

I’ve always struggled with work life balance my entire life, except it’s a school life balance for me. Throughout college, and especially in my first year of medical school I found it very hard to relax, and almost guilty when I wanted to do something besides studying (especially when I wanted to sleep). During my second year of medical school, I figured that all this time trying to be productive when I wasn’t even mentally present. I started to prioritize sleep over staying up till 3 am, and switched from being a night owl to a semi early bird, which made me more present during my classes. Another thing I think has undeniably made my life more balanced was finding a hobby. Before I started blogging about my food, my pastime was netflix and shopping. It was undeniably fun, but wasn’t something I could be passionate about. As I pursued this, there were many aspects that came with it. Read more>>

David Malek | Professional Entertainer & Magician

I believe that when you really are passionate about whatever it is that you do, then you can forget about life balance it’s a fallacy.. In today’s world, there is no such thing as life balance. You must in order to become successful in your field be totally focused on your career. Does that mean there is no time for family, fun and fitness? No! But you have to prioritize the areas of your life that are most important. I firmly believe that many people think they know the answer but their actions tell another story. Make a list – 1. Family 2. Career, 3.Fitness, 4. Fun. Now, this could change. When you are first embarking on your journey. It could (should be), Career, Fitness, Fun and if you find a mate then you re-arrange. You have to figure that in order to get all of this in your life the more simple it is the better. People over-complicate life and end up overwhelmed. Simple-Fly!. Read more>>

Hillel . | Actor, Magician, Performing Artist & Clowntomime

Balance… the Yin and Yang of life… Black and White… Since my youth I learned there were many different peoples, lifestyles, ways of seeing things, expressing ourselves, relating to the world and our surroundings. Learned different languages, lived in different continents, always trying to open my mind and imagination… Saw and experienced how tragic can be when Evil wins over Goodness. Understood from then on that I needed to create my own lifestyle and “balance” was the way to navigate in a world always turning around… Humor was the path that called me and I decided to share it with the world, hope I’ll never loose the way. Today, during a Pandemic, I feel the World is crazy and me too, there is balance… Read more>>

Joseph Gárate | Musical Artist, Composer & Music Teacher

I’m really interested in this question because I would like to ask it myself! It’s true that since I have a family now, time to work is “limited” … but what’s funny is that I’ve always found a way “limit” my work, to create obstacles, to self sabotage in a way, even when I was younger, childless, and had little to no responsibilities. Having a family and having supposedly more difficult challenges and obstacles (professional, economic, etc.) has clarified a lot for me. I know that one has to “balance” between work and life, but what happens when your life IS your work? When you’re an artist you’re plagued by your ideas, you’re followed around by them. I think that by accepting that I was meant to be creative at all times allowed me to stop judging my productivity in paradoxical way. I work when I simply have to and I stop working when I can’t work any more. Since I’m in love with my family and feel especially close to them, I always catch myself wanting to close my laptop in favor of family time. Read more>>

Cheryl Davidson

This is a great question because balance can change from day to day and year to year. In my generation, we were the second major wave of young women that were told we could have it all….career, relationships, family, friends, pretty things….they just forget to tell us that we would have to do it all too! When I was running a large department in corporate America, I could delegate more freely. But when you are building your own brand and creating a firm that has your name and imprint on it, delegation takes on a different look and feel. When my kids were young and I was building my design firm, it was all about the practice, my husband and the kids. I kept that “white knuckling act” going for many years. Then when my kids were in middle and high school, I decided to go back to school and got accepted into UCLA’s Masters in Interior Design program. So then, I was running a firm and had two kids, two dogs, two homes but thank goodness only one husband. That’s a lot to try and balance! Read more>>

Sally Tiongco | CEO & Owner

When you are young, wild, and free, you think mostly about yourself.  When is my next trip?  Where should I go?  In my 20s, I traveled to Spain, Italy, Thailand, Philippines, Mexico, New York, and so forth.  What am I doing on Friday?  We always ended up at El Torito or Acapulco for $2 happy hour margaritas with friends and co-workers.  Post-college, life seemed like a vast cluttered space of endless possibilities.  There was no true work life balance to think about.  I just needed to score a respectable job in the real world. Read more>>

Jenny Woo | Founder, CEO, Emotional Intelligence Educator & TEDx Speaker

I think about balance the same way as the four seasons. As a serial entrepreneur, an educational researcher, and a mom of 3, there is no such thing as achieving that perfect balance. Instead, I expect that things are fluid and cyclical, and it’s up to me to recognize the patterns and adapt my time accordingly. For example, when I first launched my business, Mind Brain Emotion, it was the scary winter season, when I had to hunker down and take some “snow days” from my family to get things going. I worked early mornings and late nights with no TV during that time. Even though I’m a bit of a workaholic, I’ve learned to embrace spring as a time of rejuvenation, which in the long run, enables me as an individual and my business to blossom and reap the fruits of my labor. Read more>>

Kelly Moscinski | Owner & Head of Casting

I believe that “balance” is something that works itself out in the end. It took me quite some time to realize that it’s not something that is possible in every individual day. Certain days family needs to take precedence and some days work will take precedence. I used to strive for a perfect balance each day and each day I was disappointed that I couldn’t achieve it. It wasn’t until I realized that my work-life balance would work out in the long run that I was able to truly start feeling more balanced. Read more>>

Abby Posner | Musician, Songwriter, Composer & Multi-Instrumentalist

I have always put my music first, but it becomes a little complicated when music is not only my work/job, it is my life and bloodline. So whether I am making money creating music or not, I would still have to do it every day in order to truly feel alive. I do feel like it is important to have another outlet that supports my creativity and enhances it in its own unique way. For me that is riding my bike, and getting outside, taking breaks from producing and resting my ears from time to time. I always get more ideas and inspirations while I am riding my bike. Read more>>

Mika Denny | Creative Explorer

I worked my way up at an in-house art department fresh out of college, starting as in intern and eventually leading the department as the Creative Director. It was a fast-paced and deadline-driven environment. Back then, I was hungry for success and my perseverance paved the way for a life that was way more work than pleasure. Work was my life. I remember a deadline I had for a 500-page magazine back in the hey-days of print. Working well into the night for weeks… my mouse finger so abused from repeated clicking that I had to tape my numb finger to the one next to it so I could still produce designs! Those days eventually ended with a leave to raise kids. My youngest daughter developed a chronic, life threatening liver disease that caused my priorities to change. For years, I was more of a nurse than anything; administering meds, going to doctors appointments, staying at her bedside before and after transplant. My creative soul sat quietly waiting. Read more>>

Anne Kelly-Saxenmeyer | Co-Founder

Work/life balance was a big part of what my husband and I were thinking about when we started our business in 2004. We wanted to create something that we would enjoy, that would support our family, and would allow one of us to be home with our 2-year-old son during the day. Running a small business was of course harder than we imagined, but it did give us that precious time with our son, and years later with our twin daughters. By late 2018 (because we’re slow learners) we had finally reached the promised land of work/life balance. With all three kids in school, two starting elementary and one in high school, James and I were splitting the week between managing our space in Mid-Wilshire and working from home. On my home days, I was able to do my regular tasks and work on exciting new projects. Read more>>

Franzy Staedter | Stylist & Costume Designer

To be really honest, I think this year definitely made me realize how important balance truly is, because I didn’t really have a lot of it before. In greater metropolitan areas like Los Angeles and New York City, a fast pace and short reaction time is demanded in a professional and even personal setting. That can easily become all-consuming and you don’t realize how exhausting it can be until you slow down, which I feel I experienced this year especially. I realized that when I slowed down, I focused on what really matters, I had then more energy to pour into my business which positively reflected on my work and my clients. Self-care and making time for friends and family is what’s essential, and that is what will contribute greatly to creating and maintaining a successful business at the same time. Read more>>

Raymond Kim | Digital Marketer

My work life balance has improved over time. The first year of running my business was an absolute grind because I was figuring everything out on the fly while being punched in the face, stomped on, etc. (okay, not literally but you get the point!). But with some luck, I was able to build a strong client list which allowed me to bring in some help year two. I am now working less hours and able to spend time outside of the business with my wife, family, friends and loved ones. Read more>>

Anthony Brewster | Music Director, Touring Musician, Producer & Studio Owner

Before I had a family I was doing all music, all the time. After I got married and had children work priorities had to change for that very balance. It’s a mind set that most aren’t prepared for because going from single and no kids to married with kids is night and day if you’re not prepared. Initially, I was touring all the time. I had to learn how to switch it up because I was missing out on too much of my kids. I made the shift to do more studio work; commercial music, production, etc. about 15 years ago. At this point I am mostly just in the studio during the day so I can be home with family at night. Pre-Covid I was still touring a little and doing gigs at night, but far less than before. Read more>>

Kate Hutter Mason | Artist & Entrepreneur

I used to try to keep score or balance things as opposed to letting it all co-mingle since it all lives in me – the work, the life, the hobbies, the passions, the obligations, the choices. Instead of part and parceling it out and trying to compartmentalize to make sense of each piece, I now just let it create this messy collage of an identity for myself. I think this shift started to occur during the cataclysmic event of becoming a parent. With the birth of my first child – my daughter Charley – I also shifted from being founding Artistic Director of L.A. Contemporary Dance Company to being part of the board and leadership team of my family’s owned and operated aerospace design and manufacturing company, Click Bond. Both the professional and personal shifts in my life occurring at once was pretty destabilizing, and my reality was completely shifted from late night rehearsals to late night diapers, and from non-profit grant writing to spreadsheets and P&L. Read more>>

Brooke Trantor | Actor, Writer & Director

This is a never ending, perplexing idea of “balance”. I am not certain it is ever completely achieved. I believe if we are in seasons that we are completely focusing on our work, our relationships may not get the time and attention they deserve – and vise versa. But I also think that this is a part of life; riding the waves and finding the flow. When I was younger, I usually lived in the world doing everything at 110%, but the reality is that is not sustainable. I am finally in a time of my life where if I’m working really hard, I also find the time to commit to self care, relaxation, and adventure. And in chapters of my life where I may be focusing more on writing, other components of my creative being may not be at full potential. But the lovely thing about creativity and this life, is that everything is influenced by one another. So, I feel when my writing is in a really good place, my acting tends to mirror that. And when I am directing, my mind is usually filling with new ideas for writing. Read more>>