24 hours in a day, 168 hours in a week. Junior investment bankers regularly work 80-90 hours a week. Many other high profile professions require the same level of commitment. Often those on the outside claim that working 80-90 hours a week is bad/wrong/terrible/silly/etc but we’ve spoken with so many folks who say working that much has been the best decision of their life – it allowed them to develop a deep and strong skill set far faster than would have been possible otherwise. In other words, by working 2x the hours, they were able to generate 5x or more the rewards. And depending on where you are in your career, investing heavily in your skills and competence can pay dividends for a long time.

Roni Ryckman | Musician & Accountant

As a muscian starting at the early age of 16 in the 70’s and a high-school drop out, I was pretty much free to travel, take risks, move to new towns at the blink of an eye etc. The cultural atmosphere then was very “free spirited and my parents were not int he picture so why not? In my early 20’s, a child came along and I found that I needed more stability and the traveling had to be more planned and less often. But along with that came a new found sense of maturity and my focus changed to my child and our life together. Even though music was still important and I stayed in the industry to some degree, it was not the my priority. Moving into the late 80’s and early 90’s I decided to complete my High School and even enter into a bachelor’s degree in college. Read more>>

Ahab Nimry | Creative Director

Balance in general, in every facet of life, is everything. Work life balance is the most commonly questioned example because we spend most of our lives, days, hours at work: hence the first and most obvious issue. The fact that we have to even discuss and track balancing our time between working and living is a crazy notion if you really take or (in some of our cases) find the time to think about it. Let me try to answer this question with a little story about a conversation I had with my eldest son (who is 21 now) when he was 12 years old. We were talking about his middle school grades and how important they are, especially going into high school. Like most parents, I began to  explain to him the need to maintain good grades in order for him to achieve success in his life beyond school. Read more>>

Laura Schwandt | Planner, Designer & Entrepreneur

I have been lucky to have my business in some capacity for 15 years. For many of those it was a side hustle, then became my full time focus about 6 years ago. In the beginning, planning was my hobby. Don’t get me wrong, it was a legitimate business, but it was small in scale and done in my free time outside of my 9-5. When I made the transition to Serendipity Events full time, suddenly my passion, hobby, and 9-5 merged into one. I found myself working around the clock (as many business owners do), and the lines between work and play became very blurred. I was slowly getting to a point of overworked and potential burn out without even knowing it. I was working late into the night and as soon as my eyes opened in the morning. I was pushing at full force all day everyday and wasn’t recognizing that self care and personal days were no longer a thing. Read more>>

Becky Mendoza | Attorney, Founder & Executive Director

Work life balance has changed significantly since I finished law school. As an attorney, you’re presumed to head into a corporate life, wearing suits and heels everyday and doing hair and makeup, and that’s exactly what I did, day in and day out, for 2 years. That was how it was in Miami, Florida, where I grew up, regardless of what profession you chose. I woke up one day and realized that this wasn’t me, that I wasn’t happy and that this sort of lifestyle wasn’t fulfilling me. That’s why, 13 years ago, I moved to California and decided to start my own law practice. I’m a surfer, that is the thing that has most resonated with me in my life, everything about it: the sport, the lifestyle, the dedication and the connection with nature. I started surfing while I was in law school, so the seed was planted. Read more>>

Tatiana Penix | Wedding Planner & Event Designer

Like most business owners, seeking work life balance is a daily challenge. As a woman/mother business owner I always considered myself an Octopus constantly multitasking using all my arms at once. Part of being a Type A / Planner / Perfectionist is doing everything myself. In the past struggled finding time for self care, family and friends. As I matured into my business I have found a new train of thought. I learned to create a schedule based on times I can fully focus on important tasks that required my undivided attention and then adding time blocks where my goal is to complete less focused work that is not time sensitive. I choose on a daily basis to create a more focused approach in order to create more quality of work. Sure, we can all multitask but taking the time to step away from any distractions and dive deep into your work is not something we do often. Read more>>

Roy Kerckhoffs | Artist

My work balance has shifted majorly five times since 2003, when I moved to San Diego, CA from the Netherlands to perform postdoctoral research at the Bioengineering Department at the University of California San Diego (UCSD). Basically, a scientist’s job is not a 9 to 5 type of job. Yes, the university expects you to be present at normal hours during the week, but outside of those, at home I’d read scientific papers or prepare to teach classes. Or I’d remotely log in and run and check my simulations of cardiac electromechanics and cardiac growth. That was pretty much the standard for me until I started “Eyeball Photography” in 2008 on the side, in which I sold my – mostly – black and white photographs. It started pretty simple, with a website I had set up myself. A year later my work was on display – for sale – in a few local businesses in San Diego. Read more>>

Elizabeth Mesereau | Functional Nutritionist

Creating balance is about getting really clear on our priorities. Foremost, is maintaining our own health because without that the rest of it can’t happen. I live with my priorities front and center; raising my daughter (family is everything!) and being of service to other women as a nutritionist. My work life balance is ever changing! As a working mother i’ve had to become a ninja with time management skills. I used to pack my schedule so that i could see as many clients as possible in the work week. Now I work fewer hours and see fewer clients and I over deliver. My clients need to be 100% committed to the work we do together (they don’t need to be perfect- just committed!) and they get huge results. It makes my work meaningful. Work life balance as a mother has required me to have strong boundaries with commitments. Read more>>

Christina Micklish | Branding, Marketing, Public Relations & Videographer

Balance was never a choice growing up. My calendar from a very early age has been packed with mandatory classes, practice, competitions, and commitments. The focus was, proving myself worthy to parents, teachers, coaches, bosses, peers, and community. The stress of trying to be good enough for others actually did me a lot of good until my mid-twenties. By then, my mind and body showed me something had to shift as I experienced heightened anxiety attacks, depression, and self-induced vertigo. From that point on it’s been a process of letting everything go, cutting out the performance for others, and defining space for my own path. I had to combat the unfulfilling repetition of others taking advantage of my willingness to give and prove value. Read more>>

Chris Veum | Architect & Strategist

An appropriate question giving the current global pandemic! Before the pandemic, my life slowly transitioned along with priorities. Like a lot of people that become parents, having kids impacts your routine. Before our daughter, my wife and I were full speed ahead, career focused and worked 50-60 hour weeks regularly. The reality of parenthood caused us to realign or priorities and of course schedule. With the pandemic and Work From Home as the norm, priorities and work in general change. Life balance changes. Our daughter is about to graduate college and it is interesting to see how she is balancing school, part time work and a potential career – she is entering an unknown which is far different from what my wife and I encountered. Read more>>

Mark Stibbe | Author

My primary calling and passion is to be a fulltime author. For 25 years, I squeezed my writing in around my working life. It was immensely frustrating. If memory serves, the poet Robert Frost talks about that dream ticket when your vocation (your job, occupation or profession) and your avocation (the thing that you love doing) meet. People call this “convergence”. For 25 years I was out of alignment, doing work that was not in line with my passion. Eight years ago, I took an immense risk and dared to write full time. It was very difficult to begin with, at least financially, but I have always said that if we are not risk takers, we end up being undertakers. Now I write fulltime. I start at 0800 and end at 1600. The rest of the day/eve is for my marriage, my spirituality, my dog, exercise, recreation, family, friends, etc. I feel I have my work/life balance right at last. But then I have just turned 60! So, it takes time to arrive at that magic moment when you experience convergence! Read more>>

Michael Brant | Soap & Candle Artisan

One of the biggest challenges of being self-employed, especially in the age of COVID, is that it’s hard to set boundaries between work and life, especially when both work and life are inside of the same house. The nice thing about skincare is that it’s not a full time job. I can make a lot of product at one time and then sell it online, gradually. This allows me to squeeze in a couple hours here and a couple there, which keeps it fun. I’m much happier with the balance this allows my life than I was with working the 9-5 desk job. Read more>>

Niki Diggs | Massage Therapist, Athletic Trainer & Registered Yoga Teacher

When I first started my business 7 years ago, I lived to work. A proud member of team no days off, I was always attached to my phone- to make sure I didn’t miss a call or an email from a potential client. I worked constantly, and didn’t give myself a lot of downtime. Years later, my priorities have shifted. I want to work to live instead. Prioritize my friends, family, mental and physical health as much, if not more than my work. I’m proud of what I do, and how I can help people. That being said, I can’t give them my best without taking care of myself as well. Now I’m better at giving myself time off, putting my phone on do not disturb when I’m away from work, and giving quality attention to priorities away from my work. I realized when I started doing this, I actually fell back in love with my work again as well. I believe people in our lives should know their importance- that includes myself. Read more>>