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.

Nick Mancini | Musician, Composer and Educator

I never imagined that the process of finding the balance between a healthy home life, and a rich artistic life would be the impetus for me to dig the deepest. When I first moved to NYC in the mid-90’s, I was so singularly focused on my artistry and career that I couldn’t possibly imagine ever being married and having children, and especially living a sub-urban life-style. Even though I was always in one serious romantic relationship or another, my mind set caused a lot of strife and difficulties because every time it became obvious that the relationship should move to the next level, I would rebel and burn it down. Read more>>

Rosey D’Angelo | Artist // Games Researcher

When I think about Work-Life balance, I see this idea more as Life-Work-Passion balance. My life has been a constant balancing act between these three: Work, games research; Passion, painting; and my Life, everything else. I spent most of my 20’s focused on my work career, sacrificing both my spheres of Life and Passion. Maintaining balance feels like a delicate achievement, and has virtuous effects across all three areas. Read more>>

Dr. Deepti Gandhi, M.D. | Physician & Owner of Soleil Aesthetics and Wellness, Podcast Guest, Speaker, Host of IG Live weekly series Ruminations on Gratitude

Honestly speaking, I only realized the need for work life balance over the last decade of my life. The message I received from culture, society and my profession was that a respectable life was centered around hustling and being busy. It wasn’t until I stepped off of the hamster wheel and took inventory, that it became clear to me there was a major imbalance in my life…that it lacked the alignment with passion and purpose that I desired. I changed course professionally and personally, pivoting inwards and leaning on my intuition. With time, I have honed my ability to detect imbalance. When I notice it, I know it is a sign that I need to practice more self care. It may seem paradoxical, but I attain balance by taking the time to focus on myself. As a mother and business owner, I find that when my cup is filled so to speak, I truly have more to offer others. Read more>>

Rachel Moody | Bead Artist

My work life balance has evolved over time. I used to be a workaholic at the expense of enjoying my life fully. Whether it was sacrificing my daily exercise, preparing a beautiful meal and taking time to enjoy it or meeting up with a friend I quite often would prioritize my work over these important things. A few years back I started the practice of assessing what my end goal was. Feeling good in my body, having a relaxed lifestyle, spending time with those I love became the priority. I made decisions along the way, like not taking on a loan but working within my means, so that I could avoid extra stress and have time for simple life pleasures. I love my work and do have times I prioritize it because I have a deadline, I’m inspired or need to make money. I think I am a happier person for the practice of evaluating what is most important and working with that in mind. Read more>>

Sierra Ehlert | Photographer, Videographer, & Digital Marketer

When I was a teenager I wanted to be as busy as possible. I’d fill my time with as many extracurricular activities (and work) as much as possible. I had been raised to work hard in order to be successful, which was definitely not a bad thing but the definition of “working hard” was not something I was taught. In my teenage mind, that meant filling every spare moment with an activity…and so I did. Read more>>

Rebecca Baliko | First Assistant Camera (Film Industry)

Finding a balance between ‘work’ and ‘life’ is probably one of the most difficult challenges individuals in our society face; especially for young professionals who are just starting out. I freelance as a First Assistant Camera in the film industry, and sometimes it seems like I am either completely overworking myself, jumping on gigs for several weeks straight; or I have no work, and all the time in the world to do whatever I want. The film industry is especially challenging in terms of balance, since there is really no 9-to-5 structure (normal workdays tend to be at least 12hrs long), and productions often shoot on weekends as well as during the week. It’s very easy to completely book yourself into a corner with no days off if you’re not intentional about it. Read more>>

Ashley Baca | Actress/Comedian

When I first started pursuing acting and Comedy I had little balance and was on a strict grind. Overtime I realized that self care is just as important as pursuing your dreams. Read more>>

Jessica Hemmy | Visual Artist

One of my main reasons to pursue my art career was for more balance in my life. I was a chef working in Malibu and had just had my first child. Even though I had a great schedule as far as chef jobs go, I was finding the commute and new parent life extremely stressful. Any busy new mom can relate to the stress of dropping off your baby at daycare, commuting, trying to still slay at your job but having to stop everything a few times a day to pump in a bathroom, someone else’s office, or your car. I wasn’t spending as much time with my son as I wanted and I had lost my enthusiasm for cooking. I was burning out and something had to change. Although I didn’t have family in the area to help with childcare I did have an amazingly supportive husband with a good job. He encouraged me to find a new path that made more sense for the life we had built. Read more>>

Sumrr | Music Artist

My balance has changed drastically.m Before, Id have to balance a full time job while finding time to work on my Art. There wasn’t really any balance in that. My mind was clutter. The people around me didn’t make it any better. Now, that I am a full time creative I make sure my mind is clear when working on my craft. I had to develop a routine. Change those around me, and changed what I put my energy into. Without a routine you can get caught up in so many things. You have to find that balance. It’s critical. Read more>>

Alyssa Klein | Actor & Prospective Drama Therapist

As someone with a Libra moon, I love this question. I used to see myself as this octopod- person, and at the end of each hand I held a different plate. And in order to be the perfect artist, all those plates needed to have equal weight, and each plate had to be held at the exact same height, and nothing was allowed to fall over. Are you tired by this metaphor? Me too. It just isn’t sustainable for me as an artist and in general as a person living in the world. But I think it’s an expectation many women and AFAB hold themselves to, no matter what field they’re in, until something clicks. The plates don’t matter, YOU matter. For me, I had to face the fact that I was exhausted all the time and not happy doing my craft. So I told myself I needed to make a shift. Read more>>

Vivian Lau | Director of Photography

My life used to be solely focused on work. I thrived off working every single day of the week, taking every single job that came my way. But after a few years, I burned out from taking every offer that came my way, whether it was a project I wanted to work. on or not. Now, I prioritize myself and my mental health over trying to work every job that I am offered. This has made such a big difference in my life and relationships. I try and pick the projects that I know are going to be fulfilling, that I’ll be proud to sign my name on and put all my effort into. As an artist, it’s so important to try and do at least a few projects a year that you are really passionate about. It refreshes your mind, and can bring you out of any creative funks you may be in after a while doing endless commercials that aren’t giving you any personal sense of achievement. Read more>>

Vanessa Workman | Owner/Instructor Pure Barre Hollywood

For me, finding a healthy work-life balance has always been tricky. I always aspired to be this superhero who could do it all: run my business, be a supportive wife, be a good mom, remember birthdays, write letters to senators, write valentines to 3 year olds, be the “fun” friend at parties, write ALL the thank you cards (uhg, thanks mom), try to promote and fundraise for causes I believe in; while also running my studio….SO, be a cool boss, teach innovative classes, have rad team meetings, make it feel like a family, and all the while make sure you come across like everything is just GOING GREAT all the time. It is a lot of pressure. Whether that pressure is from society, social media, some illegitimately assigned unattainable roles, yourself, or a combination of it all, it is still a LOT. And all the while you have to tell yourself I HAVE THIS. Read more>>

Sarah Gretz | Graphic Design and Creative | Lavender Buttons Design

I used to have boundary issues when it came to work. I would keep pushing myself as long as I still have things to do, and I had a hard time saying ‘no’ to projects even if they weren’t a good fit for me. This toxic combo created a vicious cycle that left me constantly overwhelmed and struggling to feel like I would ever accomplish what I wanted Two years ago, after feeling extreme burn out from a job that asked a lot of me and offered little in return as far as a healthy work/life balance. I decided to take a huge risk on myself and quit. Read more>>

Kimberly Gonzalez | Baker, Small Business Owner

I think one of the big myths about being your own boss is that because you control your own schedule, that you’ll set the boundaries to live a “balanced” life. I see work as a meaningful and inescapable part of a full life. I personally have always been a very high goal setter and very competitive. As a young kid I always wanted to be #1, the best, go to the olympics and honestly hated anything I wasn’t great at quickly. That kind of thinking led to a lot of stress and anxiety. I think every person and season of life is different and unique in how they find a “balanced” or “healthy” way to spend their time, energy, skills, and gifts. I’ve found that as a highly driven person who loves what they do and has perfectionist tendencies that it’s a steep learning curve to learn to self-manage. Read more>>

Ania Vu | Composer & Pianist

As a contemporary classical composer and pianist, my work life balance has been gradually shifting overtime. My years before and during my undergrad were always busy with school, focused on practicing, building various skills, studying, and consuming knowledge. However, currently as a doctoral student in composition, I find that constant work is no longer the most productive solution in nurturing creativity. I believe that various life experiences outside of work are not only enjoyable, but also necessary in helping with creativity and my work because more often than not, they may bring inspiration when I least expect it. Read more>>

Janelle Feng | 2D Animator & Filmmaker

All the way to high school I was an incredibly hardworking student. Looking back at it I am amazed with my speed and efficiency: I always did homework first thing when back from school and did not play until I finished. In comparison I procrastinate so much right now haha, and it kind of makes me ashamed. But to be fair, I think that is because the nature of the work has changed. In high school the assignments are always short-termed and very small. However in college as well as the job place the work is much bigger and more long-termed, and it’s simply impossible to “grind and finish” it within a day. Read more>>

Moana Avvenenti | Musician

I find it incredibly challenging to manage a healthy work/life balance in the music industry, because both areas overlap so often. Many of my friends are also musicians, so we talk about work when we hang out. Networking is such a big part of this career that when I meet other professionals through work, we often end up becoming friends. There’s no clear line that defines when I’m networking or just talking to friends. Working with my boyfriend makes this distinction even blurrier on a daily basis. Secondly, inspiration needs to be nurtured by doing non-work activities, which sometimes leads to me planning distractions, specifically so that it helps inspire my work, which is partially killing the purpose. Read more>>

Leah Dunn | Singer-Songwriter

During high school, I had an extremely slanted work-life balance. I would go to school in the mornings and then work on music in the afternoon. I spent between three and seven hours a day working on music. From vocal and guitar practice to songwriting, rehearsals, production in the studio, and performing, I spent pretty much every free moment on music. I don’t regret using my time mostly for work, however, it was safe to say I didn’t have a life outside of music and school. I never went to a high school party or football game. Instead, I was watching my friends play in the orchestra, jazz, and rock bands, attending dance performances and art exhibitions. I don’t feel like I missed out on much. Read more>>

Casey Mauro | Founder of Breathe. Move. Recover.

Balance. The oscillation between two equal and opposite forces. When one force is stronger than the other, the balance is thrown off and discomfort may arise. I used to live a very fast paced NYC hustling dancer/model/actor life while obtaining a Degree in Biology/Neuroscience.The constant adrenaline rush made me high and I was feeling “successful” as I was praised for being so versatile and always on the go so I kept going. I didn’t stop until my body would scream at me through muscle injuries or concussions to slow down. I still didn’t listen and would push through or pick back up again sooner than I should have. Read more>>

Vanessa Bourne | Boxing Studio Founder & Pilates Instructor

I have spent a lot of time talking about balance this past year and the pandemic has really helped shift my perspective on a lot of things. In particular how I spend my free time and who I spend it with. First off, making time for yourself to do the things that bring you peace is probably the hardest thing to do for a small business owner. I have always thought of taking any free time I had and putting it back into my business because I am so passionate about what I do. But the pandemic has taught me that putting that free time back in to myself by taking a long hike by the beach or doing art projects with my son, gives me a sense of balance that nourishes me and lets my brain and body rest. So when I am focused on my work the time spent is so much more effective! Read more>>

Yana Pan | Animator Director and Designer

Work life balance has always been very important to me, especially as an animator who is interested to produce more independent works. When I was younger, maybe because my relatively strict asian parents, I was focusing too much on both personal works and school works. As I grow older, I value the relaxation time more and the time that I didn’t spend on making animations. I love hanging out with my friends, be social. The way I think about balance is that, everyone has their own balance, and the balance change because things change in life. If you need to focus more on the work, then do it, vice versa. Don’t get distracted by this idea of “life needs to be balanced”. At different ages we need different things. Read more>>

Joey Amor | Content Creator / Travel Vlogger

As Ive gotten older, I realize I dont have all the time in the world. I value my time and I try to be as productive as possible. Making every day count. With all the work Ive done, I know Ive missed some key moments in the lives of the people I love. Now I try to make more time for my family and friends and still be productive. Im in a position where they can be apart of the fun work I get to do. So it doesnt feel like im working. This has made life easier and a perfect balance. You can see it in my videos. Read more>>

Amanda Flowers | Creative Consultant and Oil Pastel Painter

I have been building my business for about 5 years, the last two years I noticed the shift from my consistent labor. Since then I have grown to an understanding of the awareness I should have over my time as my business started to come to a level of stability. My balance used to be working at a side job for 4/5 hours countering my creative business. Then it shifted to 3/4 classes a day countering my creative business. Now I am in a space of where I perceive my balance spectrum is between work and self-care. Read more>>

Josephine Moerschel | Nonprofit Executive Director, Violist, Teacher, Human mom and dog mom

Work life balance has certainly been an evolution since adulthood. Most classical musicians are taught to work, work, work, in order to get careers off the ground. When I moved to LA in 2003, I was fortunate to get to perform with many of top orchestras in southern California, including the Pacific Symphony, the LA Opera, the LA Master Chorale, LACO, and the Phil. I was also teaching in schools and privately, sometimes as many as 20 or 25 students in a single week! Read more>>

Action Paxton | Producer, Drummer, Engineer

In 2004 I opened a recording studio in Oakland, CA called Nexus Audio. The initial reason for me opening the studio was a means to an end. I wanted to record music with my band and create my own art without having to pay for studio time. Well that happened but over the years it began to consume me. For the next 15 years I spent my time wearing every hat in my business. All my time was spent there improving the working environment, mixing/recording songs for clients, dealing with accounting, trying to grow my business, among many other tasks. Meanwhile I wasn’t putting out any of my own music. This is not how it was supposed to play out! Read more>>

Blaze Robert Stow | Actor & Senior Manager, Field Services

“Its the not the Destination, It’s the journey.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson. This is a lesson I needed to learn. There once was a time, where it was all work and no play. I was so preoccupied by my obsession for success, that I compulsively lost admiration for the current moment. I’m an all-or-nothing kind of guy, but I learned that doesn’t need to come at the cost of self-love and self-respect. I began trusting myself and the process more, and replaced the anxious worry of becoming successful, with the desire to achieve balance. I am presently enough. I work hard, but I play hard, and it’s all about the balance. Balance is essential, and a key factor in me feeling balanced is to take care of myself by having alone time, resting, relaxing, and doing the things I want to do, for me. Read more>>

Kai Crowe-Getty | musician

When first entering my field of work and the creative nature of it, there was not much balance. I was single minded, wildly all over the map, grasping for anything that would provide a rung to cling to while expending energy in pursuits that didn’t equate a linear path to my goal. It was exhausting and probably a pain in the ass to be around at times. Through experience, competency, lots of failure, and a sense of purpose, and running myself ragged, I eventually learned how to better allocate my time. My work means everything and my vocation defines much of who I am, but my metrics of success have changed; to find value in the process instead of the result, to appreciate those who want to work together, to let go of control. Read more>>

Jada Augustine | Speech Pathologist and Nonprofit CEO

Work-life balance has been the biggest challenge. Running a nonprofit and working as a speech and language pathologist has given me a run for my money. It has changed for me tremendously as I started my NP in undergrad and continued it throughout grad school. But now, I am fully immersed in my career. The balance has also provided me with more structure and a chance to navigate better in my personal and professional life. Read more>>

Cherise Charleswell | Executive, Entrepreneur, Globetrotter, & Quintessential Renaissance Woman

Outside of serving as the Executive Director of Boundless Brilliance, I run the Matie Masie Consulting firm, as a producer and co-host of Feminist Magazine which airs on KPFK 90.7 FM, and hold leadership roles in other organizations; so Work Life Balance is an imperative for me. And the Covid-19 pandemic has made my need to achieve more balance, or to have a shift in balance; where my goal is to ensure that I’m not just succeeding in my career, but exceeding at ensuring that I’m not just existing, but truly LIVING . Read more>>

Mick Torres | Actor, Producer, and Small Business Owner

After finishing school with a theatre degree and a business minor, I needed a source of income to allow me to pursue my acting career. I first got a bartending license and after five failed job interviews determined tending bar wouldn’t be the side hustle for me. I wanted to find a job with the ideal part time/money/happiness equation, so after a few more failed experiments, I landed a job at Equinox as a personal trainer. Read more>>

Ixchel Valiente | Actress, Writer and Visual Artist

I believe that balance, both in your personal and professional life, is the key to everything, and also the hardest thing to learn and accept. It’s hard, especially when one is starting out, I think, and you feel very eager to get going, to accept that you need balance in your life. Accept that you need rest and time to clear your head and do other things. Sure, you can spend twenty-four hours straight working, but afterwards you’ll feel out of commission for who knows how many days, and that may cause you to work rather less enthusiastically. Read more>>

Ariel Maldonado | Artist and Climate Change Educator

It stresses me out. I definitely have had periods where I am incredibly productive and periods where I just can not think creatively for myself. Currently, I am going through a period of art block. This pandemic has forced me to think about real-world things like paying my bills especially at a time where job security is thin. It felt as though I needed to shift my focus and energy and I had to basically weigh out what made more sense. It made more sense to focus my energy on staying secure. I think about what would stress me out more, not having art to show, or money to pay my bills, and paying my bills wins every time. Read more>>

Everson Taveras | Photographer

When I was younger, I was eager to make money and prove my worth. Consequently, I sacrificed a lot of vacation time and important moments with my family in the pursuit of this goal. But it wasn’t until my grandfather passed away last year due to COVID-19 that I realized no amount of money I made could change the regret I felt for not spending more time with my family. Money, material possessions — they come and go. But you can’t take back time lost. Since then, I’ve kept close contact with my family and take more time for myself, whether it’s meditation or checking in with my family more often. It’s by no means a perfect solution, but it’s a small step in the right direction for me. Read more>>

Nick Special | Music Artist

My work/life balance has changed drastically since I started my career in music. When I was a jazz studies student in college I developed some bad habits from a program that encouraged sleeping less and practicing more; where your worth was valued by the amount of hours spent in a practice room above all else. With my natural inclination towards obsessive behavior it wasn’t a good combination. It’s just been in the last year or two that I’ve finally realized that life isn’t linear. Success isn’t promised just by putting in the work. Read more>>

Hannah Eberhardt | Visual Development Artist

Balance is something I still struggle with. I used to throw myself into my work with little time for myself or a social life. I thought The harder I worked, the sooner I could accomplish my goals. I have come to realize that is no way to function. You need breaks to recharge and refresh your mind. It took a huge physical and mental toll before I realized I could not keep that lifestyle up. Read more>>

Carson Maki | Music Producer & Artist (alias: “if found”)

To be honest, I don’t feel I’ve found the “balance” yet. I’ve always found it easy to bury myself in work and responsibilities, which have always been forms of escape from uncomfortable feelings and realizations in my life. I chose to answer this question because I feel it’s the most representative of my current inner-battle. For a long time, I created (music production and writing) from a place of respite – an escape from my unfulfilling job or unsatisfactory relationships. Over time, I feel that this form of self-therapy became obsessive to the point where my work-life balance was boiled down to just work (my day job) and my primary creative outlet (music production). It led to unhealthy tendencies and the rest of my life fell to the wayside. Read more>>

Belen Islas | Visual Artist

Work life balance? It seems at this point a far off myth or perhaps a fairy tale… With two kids, my career and a pandemic on my plate, my work life balance looks more like an off-kilter juggling act. The truth is that after the pandemic we all had to adjust to new challenges. I believe the main lesson learned from the pandemic was that we are resilient. Read more>>

Pamela Jean Noble | Model, Actress, and founder of nonprofit Noble Critters

My priorities have definitely changed especially since having my son. While work and careers are always important. Moments you can never get back. My sons firsts you can never get back. Quality time and putting my husband as a priority you can never get back. I used to work so much (late nights, early mornings, and weekends) that there are times I can look back and say I wish I would have slowed down. But now I have slowed down and am enjoying putting my family first. Success and wealth is great but it means nothing if you do not have love, family, and integrity. I am happy I can say I have worked since I was 14 and had a crazy work ethic but also that I can say family means more than anything and raising my son to be kind hearted, considerate, and compassionate is my job right now. Read more>>

Lynette Jefferies | a Bougie Baker

My work life balance has changed over time by affording me a little more freedom to spend time with friends and family. I value this time, as I have learned that we can not get it back, so to live my best life, and live it to the absolute fullest. Read more>>