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.

Daniela Lucero | Mechanical Engineer and Self-Taught Baker

My life has changed a lot since I started my business. I am a very dedicated and committed person with what I do, so I wanted to do everything well, at school, at work and my entrepreneurship. It was very difficult to find a balance, but one day I learned that it is okay to say: “Enough!” and accept that you are tired and take the time you need to reactivate energy. And from there I try to dedicate at least 1 hour a day to my needs and tastes. I learned that rest is valuable and that life always includes body, mind, soul and spirit. Read more>>

Lauren Pettigrew Pryor | Social Media Manager

At an early age, the moment I observed how settling for an unfulfilling career can lead to intense unhappiness, I promised myself I would never become that person. As I progressed through college and my early professional years, the idea of just existing, going numbly through the motions, and punching a clock felt soul crushing. I wanted more out of life and out of work. So I began my pursuit to create a life where I wasn’t working for the weekends. The saying, “Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you should set up a life you don’t need to escape from” always resonated with me. Don’t get me wrong, I fully believe in disconnecting, exploring as much of the world as possible, and dreaming of new adventures. But the fundamental premise behind it has always influenced how I’ve tried to “balance” my life and work, and ultimately blend them into one. Read more>>

Nick Bianco | Creative Director & Social Media Influencer

When I first started Good Grief Media, I was still working at a local radio station and going to school, so the only time I was able to spend working on the company fell into my free time. Which I really think is how it all starts. You’re not going to be able to start something and right out of the gate spend every waking minute working on that thing. Since COVID really set in a year ago, I took that as an opportunity to buckle down and put 110% of my energy into Good Grief Media. While it may not be the “healthiest” work ethic, I pretty much spend every waking moment working on Good Grief Media in some capacity at this point. It’s always on my mind. Since Good Grief Media started in 2018, I’ve tried my best to be receptive of any kind of creative inspiration, wherever and whenever it may come. In December 2020, a friend of mine had convinced me to hop on the TikTok trend. I’d been pretty adamant about protesting TikTok prior to this. Read more>>

Mike Sill & Beau Schmitt | Co-Founders

There are two polarizing philosophies happening in the work environment today. The first is the orthodox and outdated way that companies view work. This is the mundane, 9-5 corporate structure where employees are instructed to show up at a certain time, leave at a certain time, and act accordingly with stale conformities. Think cubicles, fluorescent ceiling lights and dress codes. There is a complete lack of spirit and flexibility. The second is the flashy, millennial-esque way that companies view work. This is the over the top, accountability-lacking structure where focus and grit are seemingly absent. Think loud music, foosball tables and Merlot on tap. Employees are lured in with perks but there is a lack of hustle and realization that it takes blood, sweat and tears to make a company successful. At Sunday Scaries we created a balance of the two philosophies, the Scarefree Life vs the Startup Life. Psychological health is our main priority and we are understanding of personal needs and the importance of detaching. Read more>>

Kate Van Amringe | Wedding & Lifestyle Photographer

Work life balance is what we’re all trying to achieve; the perfect cadence between a successful career and a fulfilling personal life. I think in the beginning stages of starting my own business the scale was definitely tipped towards the business side of things as I was hungry to have any and all experiences I could. Now that I am more established, I am more intentional about the work I take on as I never want to come to resent what I do. I have also always been someone that will choose personal life over work. I was that way in school and now I see that that quality has bleed into my career. This doesn’t mean if I have deadlines or work events I blow those off, but if it comes down to booking an insane amount of weddings or having free weekends to fill with friends, family, and hanging out at the beach, beach will win every time. In an industry that loves the hustle it has been a growing experience to learn what success means to me as an individual, not in relation to my peers. I think once you define what success means to you, the balance will naturally come. Read more>>

Dusty Ferguson | Film Photographer & Graphic Designer

Throughout college and into the following four years, my balance was fairly poor. Easily my work life, or even just being busy, took a large chunk of my daily time. Honestly, it wasn’t till I finally burnt myself out, that I realized I had overworked myself. I had ignored the moans of my body and failed to rest. While attending college I worked and lived in the same place. I was in charge of watching over first year students and helping them adjust to their new independence and dorm life. A lot of it was fun and I have great memories, but I also had to deal with conflict resolution, dorm vandalism and countless other issues that arose in our dormitory. You can only imagine. Apart from having a weird working/living environment, I was also a full time student with classes, homework, club meetings and parties. I think this type of lifestyle was slightly addicting; constantly jumping from one thing to the next. This rhythm followed me after college into my first full time job. Read more>>

Rob Spencer | Philanthropist/Blogger

The older I get the more I realize the importance of balance. Balance in everything. Balance in the people we are, balance in the relationships we have, and of course balance in the amount of time we spend working. If we are off balance the. Nothing gets 100%percent of what we have to offer. I often get asked, how can I possibly balance the work load with my off time. I have bills to pay. The answer is simple actually. If we stop identifying what we do as who we our, our perspective changes. We start to see that what we do is only a support system for who we are. We are then free to be ourselves with everything we do. When we can be true to ourselves that vocation often becomes more like a vacation. Read more>>

Carrie Kopp Adams | Massage Therapist & Yoga Instructor

Work life balance was something I fine-tuned during the pandemic. Going from a full schedule to total shutdown made me realize I had been working too hard and neglecting other things I valued—like being in nature or being with family. I decided to re-define my mission. Ultimately, I reduced my clientele by 50%, and felt a greater sense of satisfaction in devoting more time and energy to each person per session. I also shifted my business online to include Virtual Tarot readings, which widened my audience and gave me a larger platform for energetic healing. You can follow me @tarotbycarrie on YouTube or watch this month’s “Love, Wealth and Self-Care” reading here: https://youtu.be/xoAxtd4IqzU From a health perspective, there is a much to gained by prioritizing activities that take care of one’s spirit. By engaging with the natural world, developing a daily meditation practice and/or volunteering. Read more>>

Dalton Santos | Actor

Work life can be pretty difficult at times when I’m trying to make it as an actor. Most of the auditions are in the day time and if I do land roles most of them are shot during the day and sometimes going into the night. I decided to get a graveyard job so that way I’m able to pay my bills and support myself while also taking the time to submit auditions very single day during the day. Read more>>

Melyssa Gonzalez | Photographer & Videographer

Balance is so important to the quality of the product I can give to my clients, as well as to my quality of life! When I first started my business I never ever said no to any job for any amount of money, big or small. I worked every minute I could while trying to simultaneously give my all as a wife and mother and this inevitably led to major burnout. I was doing an “okay” job at everything, not excellent at anything, and mostly miserable by the end of every day. As time went on I realized that I needed to value my skill and product more. I’ve invested in my art and I pour my heart into each job and I know I am delivering a valuable product yet I lacked confidence. When I began to more appropriately price my work, this has given me the freedom to enjoy giving 100% to each client as well as tenderly mothering my children without feeling compromised! As I’ve grown to find better balance over the years of running my photography business I have found so much more joy in what I do. Read more>>

Janna McGee | Broker/Co-Founder

Life is always about finding balance, am I right? Me time, us time, them time…never enough time! When I first started my real estate career it was just supposed to be something on the side, part-time to have extra money while I raised children. A few kids and years later it quickly became a thriving business I was hustling to keep up with. At a certain threshold I had to make the decision to make a change. Do I slow down or double down? Well, if you know me, you know I went with the later… In doing so, changes had to be made mostly in getting help and support at home and at work. It took some time and is always evolving but making sure everyone is happy is the key. If that is established, everything else just falls into place. Read more>>