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.

Jordan Younis | Writer (in The Biotech World and in PersonalLlife), Cook, Baker, Creative

My personal work-life balance has changed so much over the last year. I’ve always been a high-performing, perfectionistic person (which isn’t always good!) and a hard worker (which is good!). My last job was in an environment that fostered over-working and lack of balance much of the time. Something I realized is that I gravitated toward the fast-paced, high-demand thing because, on some level, it gave me a sense of worth, but not necessarily fulfillment. It’s a terrible myth that working more and being crazy stressed at work makes us worthy or important, but it’s so common for people nowadays, especially for certain personality types. I still work hard and like to grind, but as I’ve refined what’s important to me, defined my own brand of ambition and gotten clearer on the type of life I want to live, I’ve found more balance. Not so coincidentally, that shift internally also led me to an amazing work environment and culture. I work with an amazing group of caring, really authentic people who encourage rest, taking breaks and time off and getting outside. Read more>>

Hannah Lu Rinard | Florist

Finding balance has definitely taken lots of time and effort. I’ve always been an all in kind of person in everything I do, so when I decided to pursue floristry i really had to be conscious of not spreading myself too thin. Before the lockdown last March, I was teaching yoga full time (6+ hours a day, 5-6 days a week!) and doing event florals once a week— which was definitely spreading myself too thin. In April 2020 I started Hannah Lu Designs and that’s also when I stopped teaching yoga. It took a couple months to find balance with work and self-care because let’s be honest, playing with flowers and being creative is fun, but I’ve found other creative outlets and exercise are great to give my brain a break from flowering and thinking about business. I think that balance is the key to success in any business and in any relationship. I’m still an all in kind of person, but I’m much better now about separating work from play and making sure to have some time to do something fun or relaxing at least once a day. Read more>>

Kim Stone | San Diego Realtor

Managing a work-life balance has been a struggle for me since real estate is a 24/7 job. My interests, hobbies, and relationships typically were not a priority and work always came first in the beginning of my career. I felt I needed to “prove” myself which meant answering late night client calls and emails and rarely taking time off. How I conceptualize a work-life balance now has evolved and I’ve changed my mindset. I realize with more balance in my personal life allows me to be better in my professional life and just as productive. Integrating the two has actually helped allowing me to focus on my productivity, not just on time spent. Read more>>

Rana Tierney | Owner & Photographer, Roohi Photography

Work life balance was truly nonexistent when I started dabbling into photography. I was 29, single and had no one to be responsible for except for me. I worked both a corporate job and took on as many photo sessions as possible on the weekends! My goal was to quit the corporate world and pursue a passion that (I hoped!!) would later turn into a career! After 3 years of hustle, I was finally able to save up 6 months salary, put in my 2 weeks and say siyonara the corporate world! Woo hoo! I continued to work ridiculous hours and push myself beyond my limit, while also being in a relationship (with my now hubby). It’s only after the birth of my children that I began using that word everyone is afraid of… NO. Oh my gosh and what a powerful word it is! I learned my value, invested the time in my family, changed my perspective of what I thought “success” was and started to be intentional about where I was putting my efforts. I said NO to weekend work, NO to working weddings anymore (even though at one time I truly loved them… I was just in a different chapter of my life) and started saying YES to myself. Read more>>

Emily Petros | Florist

Being a business owner is an incredible experience; both a luxury and an uphill battle. The dichotomy exists throughout the course of our business. Freedom to choose when and how to work gives us the luxury of time, but also weighs heavy on a duo who LOVES their free time. How do we create a balance between hustling to make a comfortable living, and enjoying our sweet time? We have come to balance this over time; we have seasons of high intensity work and seasons of down time. When work becomes overwhelming, its imperative to detach from the 24/7 emails and computer work. Setting days and times specifically for business has been vital. We have seen so many of our entrepreneur friends drown in their work because these boundaries have not been set – this WILL lead to burn out. During our season, we have working hours Tuesday through Saturday, 11am – 6pm. We leave mornings open because we prioritize surfing, and we always give ourselves 2 days off to recover from the strenuous week before. When we travel during our slow season, we create automated responses for any emails that come in, because our responses will be delayed. Read more>>

Taylor Merritt | Mom Of Three, Wife and Fitness Professional

Being a mom of three littles and running my own business has been one giant balancing act to say the least. I am constantly on my toes tending to the kiddos, taking care of myself and Sweaty as a Mother. I have learned a lot over the last 2.5 years–one thing being that there are so many factors in the day that are out of my control and up to baby, the toddler,(aka my bosses) etc and is why it became of utmost importance that I scheduled my day to benefit myself and the entire family. When running a business, things are constantly changing and there is always something you need to tend to. The same goes when being a mom and my balancing act changes daily. Over-time, I have changed when I get the most work done, when I train clients, do my own workouts, etc , One day I feel like I have it all together and then the next, I feel like I am struggling to get anything done. If I am having to focus more on work, the kids suffer and vice versa, There is not perfect balance, but if you plan ahead and manage your expectations, anything is possible. Read more>>

Lindsay Bunselmeyer | Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

My sense of balance certainly changed when I became a mother. As new moms, important parts of our selves and our identities are often put on hold as we give of ourselves to meet the needs of our babies. The needs of our babies, at least in the beginning, can be wildly unpredictable! All of this has the potential to disrupt our internal sense of control and predictability and create a balance that feels temporarily thrown out of whack. Prior to welcoming each of my daughters, I was aware that my life was about to change in a big way. But I still experienced challenging thoughts and emotions I hadn’t expected. I wondered why I didn’t feel like myself, why I couldn’t rest even though I was extremely tired, and why I didn’t feel adequate for motherhood. Each of these emotions collided with a new lifelong commitment and love, and life felt suddenly out of control. I was not aware at the time that what I was experiencing was completely normal and, in fact, common. The enormity of this life change, especially for mother’s who aren’t expecting it, is (among many others) a risk factor for perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. Read more>>

Kahlee Tre Dime | Kahlee | Co-Founder of SD State of Mind

Work life balance is key. When I first started making music, I put all my free time into creating and performing. Every year I would look at my progress and adjust based on different factors like what my contemporaries were doing. Now I’m a married home owner with 2 children and a good paying 9-5 job that I actually like. I have so many ideas, I’m to the point where my partner and I are strategically working towards executing them. Sometimes your passions can blur your peripheral, throwing everything off balance, so it’s important to constantly reassess your business and personal goals, as well as audit your time management and use of resources. I used to feel the pressure from people I worked with to complete tasks to which we disagreed on the importance of. If you can be in sync with your partners or team, that will maximize your return in all aspects. Read more>>

Myra Escalera | Lifestyle Blogger & Marketing and Advertising Pro

My work-life balance has definitely improved over the last few years as I’ve made it more of a priority within my life. I went from working in an office to going full-time remote over the last 7 years and I truly enjoy not having to commute to work. Yet, when I think about balance it’s being able to do the things you love the most at an equal or more part with work. We spend so much of our time at work that I find that it’s important to set boundaries to be able to take care of yourself first so you can live a life you enjoy. That means filling it as much of whatever makes you happy, for which for me is spending quality time with my loved ones and exploring new places to eat and drink along with traveling. Read more>>

Chad Przymus | Taiko Drumming Instructor & Music Teacher

I often think about the well known quote “choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life” As a child, I believe I was impacted by two primary experiences that continued to shape my life until this day. I had a very loving and caring father that had a factory job that he dreaded going to almost everyday. He did so to provide for his family, yet even a child could see the toll that this challenging occupation took on his happiness. Also as a child, I was drawn to drumming at a very young age, and I have always had a passion for expression and creativity through music, rhythms, and drumming. So addressing the question of balance, I feel so very blessed to have had a wonderful career centered around music, teaching, performing, and creative expression. Maybe because the line between my “day job” and my passion has been so blurred, or better yet intersected, I feel that this work/life balance has had an organic connection that I will work to continue and cherish. Read more>>