What’s the right balance between work and non-work time? The traditional 9-5 has slowly disappeared with the emails and zoom and texting going far beyond traditional business hours. We asked members of our community to share with us how they think about work-life balance.

Ahzahdeh Neshat | Balloon Artist

When I first started out, I was taking on as many orders as I could, very constantly overbooking myself. As my business grew, instead of accepting help or figuring out a new system, I just kept doing it all by myself, which led to me burning out several times. It all came to a head in May 2021, when everything opened back up and everyone wanted to throw a party, which included balloons. I was working 36 hours straight with no sleep, didn’t see my family (even though we were all still home), and considered quitting. Read more>>

Carrie Mapes | Entrepreneur, Co Founder Hello Again Products

I have always been a worker. My first job was as an elementary student helping an local artist sell her wares at art fairs. I worked through high school and college. I had a career in teaching before stopping to have my kids. As a stay at home parent, I kept very busy working every volunteer position I could at their schools and in our community. I also made quilts, sew clothes, and learned to paint. In short, I have always kept my hands busy, my mind busy and tried to find platforms upon which to grow and improve. Read more>>

Kirsten Evans | Media music composer

Work life balance becomes such a funny concept when you talk to creatives. Most people think that a work life balance consists of a 9-5 in a role you are, hopefully, okay with being in but aren’t too ecstatic about, and then you have the rest of your life. When you talk to creatives whose work is also their passion where does that line of ‘everything else’ begin? Is it when you finish your paid work but immediately move on to a practically identical passion project you work on for another 8 hours every night? Is it when you become so lost in the work for your clients that you end up just doing it for fun? Read more>>

Molly Meng | Artist & Teacher

I used to work non-stop and everything was a priority and it all had to be done at the same time! It was a frantic way of working. It felt like I had to keep up with, or out-do, all the other artists to create and make and present something constantly to be noticed. The pandemic really changed all that: Not only literally were things shut down and therefore it couldn’t all be done at the same time, but the silence brought clarity. I now schedule a trip to the post office once every two weeks, instead of going everyday, immediately when an order came through. I respond to emails at a given time or day instead of all the time, which made me feel scattered. Read more>>

Cynthia Montes | Small business owner

It’s difficult, and sometimes stressful. Balancing everything that’s going on in your life plus your business and how to manage it keeps you so busy and at the end of the day you feel drained. Trying to keep my life going and my business growing has made me value my time more and to prioritize what I need and want in life . It’s really easy to get overwhelmed but when you love what you do and you remember why you started it’s all worth it. Read more>>

Maggie Hall | Illustrator, Small Business Owner, and Social Entrepreneur

My work life balance has evolved tremendously over time and I’ve recently realized I went from being a workaholic to slowly learning to give myself grace and allowing myself time to recharge. In the past I made a habit of using work as an escape from matters I didn’t want to think about or deal with and I also defined my self worth to some extent by how well I was doing at work or how far along I was in my career and in achieving my personal career goals. As a coping mechanism I filled up my time with work in the past. Read more>>

Shay Adefeso | Mixing Engineer/Producer

Work life balance as an entrepreneur has was pretty tough in the beginning. I’ve learned to look at it more like a cycle than an achievement I work towards. I try to take a step back and ask myself: What is currently causing me stress, unbalance, or dissatisfaction? How are these circumstances affecting how I perform and engage with my job? How are they impacting my personal life? What am I prioritizing? What am I sacrificing? What is getting lost? Only after you take a mental pause and acknowledge these factors can you begin to tackle them. Read more>>