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.

CJ Epstein | Owner of Team Elite Chiropractic

My views on work life balance has changed over my career. When I first started Team Elite Chiropractic, I was in grind mode. Every waking minute was spent on, in, or thinking about the business. I was young and single and viewed the business as my baby. I had to care for and nurture it to help it grow through its infancy. As the business started to grow, and I matured myself, I started to realize the importance of work life balance. Taking time away from my business allows me to reset and recharge my batteries to help keep me excited about what I do and prevent me from burning out. I have since gotten married and my wife has helped show me there is more to life than work. We enjoy travelling and my fear of leaving my practice for prolonged periods of time has diminished. My patients appreciate that I am taking care of myself and are happy to see me when I get back. Read more>>

Cesar Andre | Photographer & Director

Balance is truly the key to everything, Everything! When there is balance, everything works. A long time ago I was photographing a car for Tequila Patron’s NHRA race team, this is a car that had 10,000 horse power and did 0 to 300mph in 3 seconds, and was so loud, it was a complete bodily experience watching this thing pass by. While at lunch break on the shoot, I was chatting with one of the techs for the car and he told me that those huge rear wheels in the back spin so fast that if he were to tape a dime to the inside of the wheel, the slight imbalance would become so great when the wheel was in full spin that it would rip the wheel off the car while going down the track. Unknowingly that tech gave me a very valuable lesson that I still use to this day. Read more>>

Chelsea Paulus | Artist & Corporate Worker

A few years ago my work-life balance was close to non-existent. When I was working as a freelance web designer, part-time artist and waitress, I made the mistake of not setting hours for myself and worked over 70 hours a week. It felt like I was always in fast forward mode. After about two years, I realized how much my mental health was suffering and affecting all aspects of my life. I began to crave routine. Yes, I yearned for the boring 9-5 that most people dreaded. I ended up making the decision to go back to my full-time corporate job, and I have been happy ever since. I now clock in and out, leaving work at work, and have plenty of time to explore my passions and create my own art on the side. Read more>>

Thomas J. Nelson | San Diego, CA REALTOR

Let’s clear up the myth; there is no work/life balance; there is however the perpetual state of balancing work life and personal life and it can be managed, but never done. You can never set it and forget it, you must actively mind it like a gourmet chef in a busy kitchen moves from pot to pan to oven to broiler in a symphony of diligence. The evolution of the balancing act between work and personal was simple; I had none early in my career, I worked for everyone, anywhere anytime. I was struggling as a new agent, so I simply worked as much as I could, chasing leads, open houses, buyers, sellers and what appeared to be opportunities to grow my business. Then I got a coach, a Buffini & Company coach to be specific and that coach got me focused on my 5 Circles of Life Goals and taught me how to systematize my business and prioritize my goals each day, each week, each month…in order to “win my year”. Read more>>

Amanda Martinez | Makeup Artist & Yoga Instructor

Balance to me is an ever evolving challenge that I happily accept. I used to think I needed to say yes to everything, and when I was beginning my career as a makeup artist, I definitely needed to work as much as I could. I knew I needed to build my book and gain experience. So I did. I said yes to every job, and worked many long days to make it happen. Now that I’ve been a working artist for over 16 years, I understand the value of needing to rest to refresh. I set loving boundaries for myself. I have non-negotiable unavailable days that are just for family, just for me. I do that so I stay excited about makeup and people. There’s a really good saying that has always stuck with me, “You can’t fill from an empty cup.” I know it’s time to rest when my cup fills empty. In an industry that’s super saturated, you have to consider what will keep you in working longevity. For me, that is balance. Read more>>

Abby Burd | Perinatal Psychotherapist and Educator

When I first started my business, I never thought beyond the traditional model for therapists. Someone comes to see me for the better part of an hour and pays me for the time. Simple, no? Yet once my business grew, my time filled up. About two years ago I reached the point I could not add any more client hours to my week. In fact, I felt too busy from a work/life balance perspective. I really struggled with wanting to help everyone that reached out to me. To be honest, I also thought about how I could increase my income without adding more hours to the day. I realized I needing to think outside the traditional model. In therapy, being seen and heard in your unique situation is gold. However, a piece of therapy is me teaching my clients. Read more>>

Maria Yraceburu | Native American Spiritualist & Author

When I first was asked to be a spiritual leader in our community, it was hard to balance time. I grew up in cyclical time of Native American Earth, all my presentations were scheduled according to this version of time. It flowed well for those of us that grew up in this lifestyle. But not so much for contemporary folks that had grown up on linear time with attention deficit and separation from Earth as a living entity. So I went linear trying to accommodate others. That was a disaster. I lost a lot of my drive and momentum because of it. The support I had been afforded by working within the Earth’s supportive energy was gone! Now since covid- my lifestyle has been able to slow and return to this format. I firmly and gently move my community into this easier paced way of being. It’s a calculated risk that’s been a long time coming. Will it work? Who knows, but it definitely is worth the effort. Read more>>

Chelsea Heard | Illustrator, Animator, Yoga

I believe that balance is an essential part of life. I love doing yoga as a way to decompress and relieve tension in my muscles. As an artist, I’m so used to sitting for long hours, to complete projects, and it can really be a strain on my body. With the break out of the pandemic, and the uncertainties that it brings, it’s understandable to become scared, depressed, unsure etc. These wave of emotions I feel have been something that we all have been dealing with recently. I’ve been bumping in and out of feeling depressed, and yoga, meditation, prayer and art have been my ways of finding balance in my life. I appreciate this new found balance I’ve gained. I have been through many trials in my life that have forced me to adapt to new environments, people, places, and with that, I have gained a new sense of what life is really about. Read more>>

Charlene Paksima | LEILA Jewelry Owner/Designer

My work life balance has changed as the business and our family has grown. When I first started LEILA, I would work non-stop. I ran the company from my small apartment and would get up, start working and continue working until 10pm included weekends. In the beginning was just me and my husband doing everything, sales, production, finance, shipping, etc. Slowly as we grew, we were able to hire a sales rep and an employee to help fulfill orders. Once I had my son in 2010 everything shifted. Becoming a mom brought a welcomed balance to my life. I was still working a lot but taking more breaks to take care of him. Now we have 5 employees and I’m able to be home with my 3 kids by 4:30 and no longer work weekends. Read more>>

Tom Bollard: Technical Director

I believe, unfortunately, that the reason we spend so much time working on life balance now is because we have spent so little time thinking about it before. When I was raising a young family, I believed that my job was to bring home a paycheck, which I did and did well. I loved the increasing opportunities that my budding career afforded and blindly embraced the challenges. The busier I got, the more I believed I was successful and that is no surprise to anyone in my business… we love the work… the work. I simply lost touch with my family and with myself. I was exhausted, unhealthy and emotionally unavailable. It took some serious health and relationship setbacks to open my eyes. Now, in my “seasoned” years I’ve become a mentor TD, spending a good deal of time simply talking to the next generation of event professionals, offering advise when appropriate, but mostly listening. Read more>>

Karrie Jackson | Artist, Studio Art Teacher/Creative Coach, Dorector of Arts Integration

As soon as my career became fully creative, painting was no longer the best way to get away and relax. To find life balance, I found I needed an unrelated way to connect with inspiration. I have thoroughly enjoyed gardening as a creative collaboration with nature. It has connected me with my inner child and made me much more grounded which has given me the capacity to engage in bigger projects and reach more people that take more creative energy. Read more>>

Brian Hall | Small Business Owner

When I first started the company it was a side gig and as it grew over the years it took on a different personality. When we hit our first 500 customer mark in 2017 we were extremely busy and there was little personal time for me and it was very evident in my overall health. Fast forward to late 2019 and we had some personnel changes (for the better) and I decided to sell of 30% of the client base, which allowed for significant time savings and me to find better work life balance. I truly believe having that time to do personal things, whatever that is to you is more valuable to dollars and cents. Time is the one thing you can’t purchase more of. Read more>>