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.

Rich Flammer | Hydrobike Rental Operator/Composting Consultant

Hydrobikes SD LLC is my second business. I also have Hidden Resources, which is focused on providing composting consulting services. The two are quite a world apart, but as a consultant, I spend much of my time staring at a computer, as many of us do. While I do spend some time working outdoors on compost sites, that aspect of my work has decreased over the years, and I felt a bit off kilter spending the majority of my time in the office writing reports, preparing permits, etc. There is very little social interaction involved with sort of work as well. Read more>>

Jamie Li | Cake Designer

I started Jamie Cake SF in early 2020, amidst a career change, 5 months after the birth of my youngest, and 3 months just before the start of a pandemic. Needless to say, balance isn’t a word I would use to describe my life. As the sole business owner/employee working 90-100 hour weeks and trying to balance family life (A loving husband & 3 kiddos – now 2,4, & 6 years old) I tried to keep work and life separate – I compartmentalized and built walls that only made me feel worse. Read more>>

Milan Finnie | Artist / Designer

I work as a visual artist and a freelance graphic designer. Although they’re two independent industries, I treated my relationships with people the same. Most of the projects I’ve worked on have been catalysts for new friendship, and those unique connections have assisted me in maintaining the rhythm of my career. Because I put myself into the projects I complete, the relationships I build are genuine. Read more>>

Afshawn Chakamian | Owner of AC Letters Calligraphy

As someone with a day job and my own business, I try to think about work life balance in a macro sense – over the course of a week, or a month, or a season. Life always has it’s peaks and valleys so I try not to worry if individual days feel off balance as I know things will even out. Instead of setting a to-do list for a specific day, on Sunday nights I write all the things I need to (realistically!) accomplish that week. I plan a loose structure for the week around appointments and other activities, but I keep things fluid so that if one day gets derailed with a last minute issue or I feel like reading a book at night instead of doing calligraphy work, I know I’ll be okay. Read more>>

Jules Wilson | Founder of Jules Wilson Design Studio

Work life balance is an interesting discussion right now. I see it in 3 phases. First phase, pre-personal os device. Work and personal life had very clear boundaries. Sure you might receive a work related phone call outside of work, or have an event, but the “the line” was fairly clear. In the second phase, mobile personal os device. There was a bit of a rough start with work/life balance. Was it ok to get emails outside of work hours? Were you required to respond to them? Read more>>

Ashley Polski | Ophthalmology Resident & Artist

My work-life balance is almost always in flux. When I began painting about 5 years ago during my first year of medical school, art was simply a way for me to de-stress and cope with the rigors of medical training. At that time, I had no intention of developing a business (I was surprised to learn that anyone would even want to purchase my art in the first place!). As the years go by, I am continually practicing and learning how to balance my artistic endeavors with my medical training in healthy, efficient ways. Read more>>