Our community is filled with hard-working, high achieving entrepreneurs and creatives and so work-life balance is a complicated, but highly relevant topic. We’ve shared some responses from the community about work life balance and how their views have evolved over time below.

Samantha Jane Gray | Pilates, Yoga, Gyrotonic Instructor & Director of Creating Body and Metal Heart USA

I was raised by very dedicated parents who ,as dental practice owners, always went above and beyond for their patients and staff to help those in need. My parents never thought twice about helping people in pain if they could, be it late nights, days off or Christmas Day. They have and continue to, even in their 60’s, work 5/6 busy days every week. Read more>>

Cody Lusby | Artist

Four years ago I became a father. There really was no balance before  parenthood. My life was all art. Producing, selling, showing and going to art shows. I had a goal and was focused on it. Since becoming a parent the needle has moved towards family. At first it was hard. I never had enough time to work. Read more>> 

Hannah Joy Jackson | Personal Trainer & Owner of Hannah Joy Fitness

Being a mom to toddler, and running a health & fitness business has truly made me question how balanced my work/life flow actually is. Before having a baby, I could focus as much or as little time needed at growing my business, and although the responsibilities didn’t change when I became a mother, the intention of how I handle work and family definitely has. Read more>>

Paul Ohshima | Fitness Studio Owner & Trainer

I’m sure my experience wasn’t much different than most first time small business owners. I put a big chunk of my life savings into starting my business, so at the beginning, there wasn’t much of a balance. If I wasn’t physically working, I was thinking about work. And this was about the same time I had my first child. Read more>>

John Costello | Corporate Executive & Author

My book, Executive Hoodlum, Negotiating on the Corner of Main and Mean, clearly demonstrates the way my life balance transitioned over the years. As a young man I took far too many risks, mainly due to my own family related anger issues and the fact my father conditioned me to solve conflicts via physical confrontation. Read more>>

Daryl Rolle | Entrepreneur & Barber Educator

As a entrepreneur is you begin to learn quickly that…. the best lesson in life is a bought lesson. And of course the more time goes on the more costly the lessons are. There was a point in time where I was working 6 days a week 70- 80 hours a week and not investing that same time into my personal life. Read more>>

BobbieCheri Gobert | Chef & Cookbook Author

I am naturally a perfectionist and an over thinker. When you work for yourself you have to catch what you eat so you always want to make sure that you are putting your best foot forward to get the results you are looking for. When I started my first business there was no office hours. People would email us after midnight and we would reply, going back and forth to solve the problem. As a small business, you can’t really afford to have bad reviews so you go above and beyond. Read more>>

Connie Yu | Speech Language Pathologist and Entrepreneur

The idea of finding a work-life balance has been a goal of mine and an idea I tried to perfect in the past. Over the past few years especially during the 2020-2021 pandemic, I have found that the idea of work-life balance may never be “balanced”. Read more>>

Stacey Lamb | Fashion & Portrait Photographer

Work life balance is a tricky thing that took me a long time to understand. To be honest, I’m still learning but it has gotten easier as I’ve grown older. I now have a clearer understanding of my values and the things that matter to me. When I was young and at the beginning of my career, photography was my everything. I would shoot any free moment I had and said yes to every opportunity. Read more>>

Marissa Olney | Tattoo & Mixed Media Visual Artist

I think balance is the most challenging aspect in most lives and especially in the life of a creative. Historically, my work and life have always just merged into one swirling entity with no clear separation. It went on like this forever as far as I can remember. While one informs and inspires the other it wasn’t until about 4 years ago that I began striving for a healthy splitting of my time. Read more>>

Momo Lee Aoi | Filmmaker

As a freelancer, I tend to say yes to jobs that come my way. My mindset towards having a work life balance used to be to work until I had no more work, and then I would take a break to catch up with life. There is no perfect cut off as a freelancer because we always have to think about the next job, and the work didn’t seem to stop coming unless I learned to say no. Read more>>

Michael Coveto | Founder / Coveto Inc .

I remember in the very beginning when I first decided to go into business , my mind was glued to my work. A lot of sleepless hours and a lot of putting my personal life to the side. The motivation and work ethic when you’re building a brand and a company requires a lot of personal time and effort. You need to be around people that are supportive and understanding. Read more>>

Judy Stakee | Songwriting/Artist Mentor, Coach and Author

I used to think of life in black and white and that balance was 50/50. However, my years of guiding songwriters has led me to the perspective that balance is best achieved between the body, mind and soul. We live in a 3D reality world where opposites exist, except too much attention has been paid on the idea of the opposites; either it’s perfect or not. Read more>>

Richard Kroening | Unit Still & Product Photographer

Work Life Balance! Ooh! It can difficult one. In the beginning there was more free time to spend with friends & family. But as time goes on projects stack on each other, editing starts to take over the day, you find yourself doing more and more research to hone your skills. Keeping a work life balance though is incredibly important for your own mental & physical health! The phrase “burning a candle by both ends” comes to mind. Read more>>

Meriel Stern | Teaching Artist

The “Domestic Flow” or, “Art and Daily Life” Ive been making and teaching art for more than 30 years now, and have come to view the flow of creative energy as a “pulsing” or seasonal condition. As a homemaker, wife and mother, teacher and mentor, a daughter and caregiver, I have learned that the management of one’s creative energy is vital. It has taken me Read more>>

Cintia de Mita | Professional Dancer & Director

I feel like I hear “balance is key” a lot more than I hear actual advice on how to find it. Like… Does this “balance” everyone is searching for even exist??? In my opinion: yes. Growing up, I’ve always had to balance school with intense choir rehearsals (we traveled, competed, and all that), dance training, and music school. Read more>>

John Reed-Torres | Ragtime Pianist/Composer

Well…ever since high school, I’ve been involved in my music in one way or another. It has always generated a sporadic but noteworthy income for me, alongside my various day jobs, and entrepreneurial endeavors. However being that I hail from a familial background of inherited poverty and socioeconomic barriers, the necessity of maintaining a “day job” to support myself, and help support my mother, and a roof over our heads; Read more>>

Jasmin McGregor | Mental Health Clinician

When I finished my undergraduate experience at Chapman university I began working in the group home setting. I worked at two different group homes and then I applied to USC for my MSW degree. During that time I had to continue to work to support myself financially, and had to balance school, work, and internship. Read more>>

Tanya Newbould-Del Pozzo | PPD Survivor and Advocate, Public Speaker, Spiritual Life Coach, Producer and Del Pozzo Jewelry designer and CEO

Being an Entrepreneur, I had the false belief that I had to always be on the go, running all over town, here to there and back, never slowing down. Then….Covid hit and the entire world shut down. My days of running came to an abrupt halt. I had to sit in the stillness, turn my pain into pivot and find new ways of being. Read more>>

Heather Wong | Pastry Chef

I think this is a really relevant question to ask during this time since the pandemic has really leveled up everyones work life balance efforts. In my formative years baking in LA restaurants and bakeries, I lived all my waking hours in the kitchen. I think every chef has a long period of their career where they were married to the kitchen. Read more>>

Cruel Valentine |Burlesque Performer, Sex Worker, Creative Business Consultant, Diversity & Inclusion Specialist, and Graduate Student

Balancing my work with the rest of my life was never my strong suit. The circumstances of my upbringing and other aspects of my past conditioned me very early on to focus on output and productivity above all else. As I progressed through my career, I was constantly, chronically wondering, “Am I doing enough?” No matter how much effort I was putting in, what I accomplished, or what ridiculous number of hours I put into my work, it never felt sufficient, and I was perpetually afraid of preventable failures occurring because I didn’t sacrifice appropriately or put in enough effort. Read more>>

Adina Beaudry legally (but soon to be Hornstra) | Martial Artist. Event Designer, Coach

Work life balance has always been something I need to work on the most. Before having my son, or husband and business, I had an easier time. It was pretty easy to just go to a job, come home and train at the gym and plan side gigs half heartedly. But when my coach became my boyfriend (now husband), I thought this would only improve my training. Read more>>

Gabriella J Lovazzano | Style Fashion Design Create Inspire Connect

Balance is about learning when to say yes and when to say no. Balance means taking care of myself so that I can take care of you. When I first started styling and working for others I was saying yes to everything even though the demand was exhausting. Read more>>

Nathalie M Gispan | Interior Designer, Associate ASID & Member of NKBA

As a small business owner and single Mom, the concept of balance is extremely pertinent to me. Balancing my professional and personal life can be challenging, but I also find it thrilling. I have gone through many changes recently, and perhaps even more so given this pandemic. With that said, being pushed out of my comfort zone propels the artist in me to create and nudges me towards doing some of my best work. I thrive when challenged and I’d have to say finding balance has changed exponentially for me in the recent months. Read more>>

Victoria Saretzky | Holistic Health Coach, Human Design Chart Reader, & Yoga Instructor

The way that I approached my life completely changed when I learned about my Human Design at the end of 2019. For those that are completely new to Human Design, you are in for a treat! Created by Ra Uru Hu in the 19080’s, this system is an amalgamation of Western Astrology, the Chinese I Ching, the chakras, the Kabbalah, and quantum science. Read more>>

Cody Milewski | Commercial Videographer

Every day is a day that I am older, more knowledgeable, wiser, wealthier, caring, loving, and patient. However, every day I also naturally grow weaker, slower, and my memory begins to slip. This is what I perceive as balance and that is a natural part of existence. Read more>>

Leo Gallo | Singer, Creator. Entertainer,

I used to feel like I had to take on every single gig/opportunity that came my way. When you’re young, you think it’s the only way to gain exposure. In reality, it diminishes your worth and reduces the quality of what you really have to offer. Learning to say ‘no’ and negotiate rates that were equal to my worth, talent, and time was a game-changer. I began booking higher quality gigs, working with more reputable companies/people and found myself with more time to be creative for my own purposes. Read more>>

Cecilia Tripp | Co-Founder and Director of Brand Strategy at Laurel Canyon Creative

I used to be a workaholic. If you had asked me a few years ago if I was I would deny it but I did not possess the ability to say no and for 6 months of my life I was putting in 80-100 hour work weeks (too many late nights, I was a wreck). Fortunately, when I decided to work for myself I focused really hard on structuring my work hours and giving myself the freedom to step away from it. Read more>>

Gabriel Smith | Author, Speaker & Entrepreneur

Work life balance is something that is very vital for the success of an entrepreneur. In the beginning stages of a new venture this is often overlooked because we get so caught up in the startup phase of what we decide to pursue. We work hard from the beginning stage to the launch that we really overlook the small benefit of having a good work life balance. Read more>>

James and Dahlia Marin | Registered Dietitian Nutritionists & Founders of Married to Health

We at Married to Health define success not just as the accumulation of money and/or accolades from our profession, but as the ability to accomplish our mission (helping people prevent and cure disease), be healthy ourselves while doing so, maintaining healthy relationships, healthy habits, and as a bonus provide a great living for our family. Read more>>

Liz Letchford | PhD and Movement Coach

I used to work myself into the ground, juggling my research and business while desperately trying to maintain some semblance of a social life. I thought I was happy, but in reality, I was just avoiding addressing my shadows by keeping busy and distracted. Read more>>

Cassandra Violet | musician and educator

This is a tough question, especially now that many people are working from home, myself included (as of this moment). It’s been a lot harder to get inspired to write my own music at home, since I’m home all day, and there is no cutoff between where work ends and relaxing begins. I often try to officially “get dressed” for the day and then change into sweatpants when I’m done working, since wearing sweatpants all day makes me kind of depressed. Read more>>

Amanda Goodhue | Blogger & Director of Communications

Juggling a blog with a full-time career and personal life is not always easy. There’s blurred working hours– my job is a typical 9-5 but blogging can take me into nights and weekends. For me, balance is fitting blogging in where it makes sense. Sometimes that’s just a couple hours after dinner or a Sunday afternoon. Staying home more this past year has allowed me more time to devote to my blog, while also maintaining my career and personal relationships. However, I’m not going to events and traveling so there is definitely some give and pull. For me, if you are passionate about something you will find a way to balance it with the rest of your life. Read more>>

Michelle Kuei | Intuitive Confidence Coach, Clinical Pharmacist, Author, Professional Speaker

I started my coaching company with a vision to be able to quit my full-time pharmacy job and devote myself to raise consciousness one person at a time through my work as an Intuitive Confidence Coach. However, I believe passion is what drives many people to take the initiative and start a movement, passion without realistic goals is not sustainable. Read more>>

Valentine Aseyo | Entrepreneur. Founder of Matador Meggings

First of all, we need to make sure our language is empowering. I believe in work-life “integration” – not balance! When you place work and personal life on the weighting sale, you inevitably imply they’re on the opposite ends of the spectrum and you’ll need to sacrifice one if you put more weight on the other. This approach is not conducive to a healthy, happy, and balanced life. Read more>>

Samantha Garrison | Yogala Studios Founder + Director, Light + Space Yoga Co-Founder

Balance is essential. It is an everyday, day to day, season to season, year to year, decade to decade dance. It is an evenness, an equal-ness, an interesting place to exist between effort and ease. In yoga and meditation, we practice this balance – sthira and sukha, “not too tight and not too loose” as my meditation teacher says. In all our postures and practices we ground and strengthen for steadiness (sthira) and align and breathe for comfort (sukha). Read more>>

Nicole Glathe | Doctor of Chinese Medicine

I used to think that if I wasn’t actively doing something to advance myself or working all waking hours, I was slipping behind. I worked full-time in grad school and continued at a restaurant while I got my TCM practice off the ground. I founded a company with the mentality that if I stopped working the company would fail. Read more>>

Dawn Noel | Actor, Dancer, Producer, Director, Model and Personal Trainer.

I can honestly say in my teens and early 20’s, I had much more energy and was able to give all of my energy, focus, and attention mostly to just my career. I wasn’t really interested in marriage or having a family of my own. It was all about advancing in my career and it paid off. I was also living on the east coast in New York City and it was a different type of rat race. Read more>>

Jackie Khai | Dancer, Dance Therapist, & Founder of Talent Tribe LA

I used to think of work life balance as working hard to play hard, before I realized that this way of thinking could quickly become an unfulfilling, viscous cycle of life, or what some might call a “rat race.” Now, after many years of trial and error, I try my best to gauge my sense of work life balance by starting with my state of mind when I’m doing what I’m doing on the average day. Read more>>

Embry Munsey | Steve & Embry Munsey / Owners of Jedidiah Coffee

Work life balance is a big one for us at Jedidiah Coffee. As individuals we both have always had a strong worth ethic, but face a unique situation running our own business while also continuing to put our marriage and kids first! It is a high value for our family to have fun and be present with each other and our kids, so balance is definitely a daily challenge to be accomplished. Read more>>