Our community is filled with hard-working, high achieving entrepreneurs and creatives and so work-life balance is a complicated, but highly relevant topic. We’ve shared some responses from the community about work life balance and how their views have evolved over time below.

Mika Aubin | Artist

Work life balance is ever changing and always a challenge, personally. Back in March of 2020, the beginning of the pandemic caused an abrupt ending to many things in my life. Suddenly, I was unable to be the first in my family to walk at graduation (I still need to take grad photos!), my work shut down with expensive rent to pay, and I had to move back to Orange County– back home to two cats, with a prey-driven rescue pitbull I just adopted weeks prior. With small businesses plummeting around the country and worrying about my own family’s, I picked up two jobs to work full time as soon as I could. There was no balance, really. I woke up, walked Ruby, and went to work. On my one or two days off, I napped, ran errands, or visited my partner. All this to say, almost exactly a year later, I am exactly where I need to be. In a week from now I will be starting a new position as an Art Instructor! Somehow, I think the year of imbalance was necessary, although not at all sustainable. Read more>>

Kaitlin Brady | Digital Creator & Food Lover

Sometimes, I feel like I’ve totally nailed the concept of work-life balance. Other days, it feels as though I can’t keep up with my day job let alone my passion project on Instagram and my own life. Several years ago, I used to think “overworking” (whether in personal projects like Just Beet It or in my career) was a badge of honor. But since then, I’ve learned that sacrificing the “life” part of “work-life balance” does no one good. I once heard a quote that said “you can’t pour from an empty cup” and I find this rings especially true when it comes to the concept of work-life balance. By giving myself grace and time to unwind and have fun, I can find inspiration for my passion project and energy for my day job. Read more>>

Brenna Olsen | Owner at CRG and Founder of Chilly Child

This is an interesting question. Ever since I became a mom and had to juggle raising children with owing and operating two small businesses, I became obsessed with productivity and time management. I would nurse my child while responding to emails. I would put them down for naps in the stroller while going for a run, I would set them up with a craft to work on while I furiously tried to get any work done. Multitasking became the norm, the days of doing one task at a time were a luxury I no longer had. That being said, I became very productive in short amounts of time. I was no longer working for a little while, checking social media, getting lunch out with friends, etc. That kind of lifestyle would no longer work with all the tasks I needed to accomplish in a day. I started working early mornings before the kids got up and late at night after they went to bed all while managing my team remotely. I think the fact that I had worked from home and my team had been remote even before covid lent me to being able to do more with less time. Read more>>

Matthew Delarosa | Owner & Founder

In the beginning, it was 24/7. I know there are probably healthier ways to achieve success, but there was absolutely zero work-life balance in the beginning. I don’t know if it was absolutely necessary, and I may have to some degree achieved similar results had I created a better balance. What I do know is that to be where I am now at this moment, it was absolutely necessary. I like to think that the process of working and struggling weeds out those who may not want to venture down that path of success, which is a form of achievement in my mind. As success, benchmarks, and experience grow, it’s easier to take the foot off the pedal now. Especially with a new family, I’m glad I did go as hard as I did in the beginning. It’s given me perspective and a head start to some degree. Im grateful I can take it easier and spend time with the family and still consider Ironsmith Coffee successful daily. Balance now is much more sustainable. I work a few days and take off a few days. Read more>>

Sarah Tate | Illustrator and Artist

In the beginning of my career, I worked constantly. Most week nights, I would draw on my iPad while also drinking wine and watching tv with my roommates. I had to make it a little enjoyable. However, I was pretty strict about taking the weekends off. I learned pretty early on that in my line of work, my creative brain is useless if I don’t get time to recharge on the weekends. I create my best work after long hiatuses. At about the same time my freelance career took off, I also started dating my husband. I wanted to set boundaries for myself after that. I had put the time in to get to where I wanted to be and it felt like time to pull the reigns in a bit. Since then, I pretty much only work 9-5. As a freelancer, it really helps to have a schedule and consistency in my week. It has really changed my process a lot. I used to feel like I was always in work mode and it caused me to be constantly drained. Now, I come back to my desk after a restful night or weekend and I’m able to crank my work out while also really enjoying it. Read more>>

Holly Beals | Mixed Media Painter

As a wife, mother to two young boys and an artist, I’m constantly trying to figure out that illusive work life “balance”. I guess I’ve come to see it more as prioritizing my time according to each new season. Thankfully, our family doesn’t currently dependent on my income as an artist. Taking the time to experiment as a creative has been such a gift. While slowly growing my art business, I’ve let my creative practice settle into the spaces around the priorities of parenting and caring for my family. As my children grow and schedules shift, I look forward to continually expanding as an artist and growing the business side of my creativity. Read more>>

Cristal Balk | Business Owner & Real Estate Investor

A new entrepreneur always starts with an unbalance life until they are able to change their mindset, bring in the revenue needed to maintain the business, and willingness to work differently where they see a balance between work and living a healthy life. It was not until two and half years later of being in my business that it hit me. I was working 24/7 and I was not living my life. I was a slave of my business and I was told that in the beginning I had to salve myself to the business in order to make it work. My life changed when I saw this quote by Albert Einstein, he said, “Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value” that made me think of the direction I was heading with my business. My whole perspective of how I operated in my business shifted completed and what “value” did I want to bring into people’s life? In order to bring value to my clients, I had to changed my work life balance because I was burning myself very quickly and there is so much more to life than to work 24/7. Read more>>

PJ DeSoto | Makes Shirts & Works Seasonal Jobs

Balance has always been a challenge for me. Especially now that I’m treating what used to be an outlet as more of a business. I love art and creating, the entire reason as to why I started Pehota, but maintaining a separation between the business side and creative side has become a challenge that I never expected. I feel as though my brain is split in two. On one side, I have the business graduate that just wants to succeed. On the other side, I have the artist that just wants to create random shit for people to enjoy and doesn’t give a hoot about what others think. These two sides are at constant war but I’m learning how to make them work together. I’ve started by having designated notebooks for different things. I have sketchbooks for barfing out ideas when they pop into my head and I have notebooks for final designs. When I’m not working my day job, I try to focus on one thing for the day. Read more>>

Kristen Goodell | Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist

As a marriage & family therapist I preach to my client’s about having a work life balance. For years (pre marriage and kids) my life was predominantly focused on my education and building my career. To become a licensed MFT you have to go to college, grad school, complete 3,000 internship hours and pass multiple licensing tests. Its not easy and requires a lot of time and focus. My fun personal life was limited for many years but I knew the end goal was worth it. Now that I am married, with kids, I own my own private practice and only work part-time. I am lucky that I can be a stay at home mom most days but also can work for a living doing what I love. When first married I spent time working multiple jobs and studying to be licensed all in the hopes that one day I would earn the ability to have better control over my work life balance. Read more>>

Doreen Williams | Wellness Coach & Group Fitness Instructor

My balance has changed overtime. When I became a mother my priorities changed and I wanted more flexibility to stay home with my son. I still wanted to work and have income to contribute to our family but I wanted to be present for my family as well. I thought about the balance because it is what I grew up with. My mom stayed home with my brother and I and I have many fond memories from childhood. That was always the type of mother I envisioned myself being. Read more>>