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.

Alison McStravick | Pro Photographer

Work life balance is a tough thing to navigate for any person, but especially those who run their own business. As a business owner you frequently feel as if you’re constantly working. Clients email, text, DM, Facebook message or call at all times of the day and night. I always have something I could be working on so it becomes difficult to put my work away and fully separate my work life from my personal life. As a wedding and family photographer I spend many weeknights shooting sessions and most weekends shooting weddings. In the fall I’m so busy with family sessions and weddings that I am typically shooting six or seven days a week. And this doesn’t include the numerous hours I spend editing all of the images I capture. As a mom of two young kiddos this means I often miss family dinners, and don’t always get to kiss my littles goodnight. Read more>>

Dave Munson | Owner & Designer Saddleback Leather

When I was single, for a few years I worked 14 hours a day getting my business going. It was brutal, but my Black Labrador, Blue, didn’t really mind as long as I scratched on him now and then. There are seasons in life to work like that, but those days are when you’re single or for a short burst now and then. When I do have a few days like that, I tell my wife and kids ahead of time that they can expect it and when they can expect me to get back to normal again. And that works. But if I start to extend my long days past when I first estimated, then something is wrong and I set myself straight. I recently read a great great book on the subject of being busy and hurrying. Best book I’ve read in years. It’s called The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry. It confirmed what I have been thinking and it has helped me to slow down. Read more>>

Nick & Caitlin Knabe | Woodworkers

Almost 7 years ago, when we first started Knabe Woodwork, we both had full time jobs and only did the work after 5pm and on the weekends. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. We were newlyweds with no kids and were focused on building a brand, not just a business. If friends wanted to see us, sorry you needed to get on the schedule. Family just understood, we would come around when we could. Flash forward to now, and it’s changed only because of one thing. Her name is Ms. Leighton, and she is two and a half. When she was born, Caitlin took on Knabe Woodwork full time and quit her nursing job. The one thing Caitlin tries harder now than before is in the evenings we try our hardest not to work. It doesn’t happen all the time. But we try to make it happen more than before. Read more>>

Jenny Reitz | Yoga Teacher, Studio Manager & Spiritual Educator

This is the million dollar question of my life! Work life balance is incredibly important to me. When I first graduated from college, I took a corporate job where I had an extremely long commute and worked a lot of hours which left little time for family much less anything else that wasn’t work-related. It was an incredible experience and I learned a lot, but it wasn’t in alignment with my higher purpose, so it left me drained. Fast forward a few years: I decided to leave my corporate job for a low-paying job doing something I was really passionate about that was much closer to home. Outwardly, it didn’t make a lot of sense, but I was so happy! This was the point in my life where I made the promise to choose the path that is in support of my happiness instead of following someone else’s plan for my life. Success to me is being deeply fulfilled and happy in what I do – not the amount on my paycheck. Read more>>

Darby Merriman | Top Producing Realtor

Since my personality is an interesting blend of Type-A and super creative and outgoing, finding balance is always something that I have struggled with both personally and professionally. My number one priority is always my family but at times, my job as a top producing realtor can be very consuming because of the demands of clients schedules outside of the regular work day and the tight deadlines we are sometimes under in this crazy DFW housing market. I am also running a small business in addition to the client services side of what I do which takes more time people realize and requires I do all kind of things that have very little to do with selling houses. I used to be really hard on myself because I felt like I was spinning my wheels and no matter what I did, I would fall short in at least one area of my life when I was excelling in the other which was a total joy zapper. Read more>>

Jeff Rockow | Chef

My balance has shifted significantly. It had to for my family. I went from working 60 plus hours, sometimes even 80 hours a week, nights, days, holidays and weekends, in the Hotel industry. All the while I had become a dad to Sage (11 years old). That got old and tough, my little girl was growing up with me not around much. My next shift in the balance is when I got a job at a school. Great, Mon thru Fri, very few nights, no weekends, summers are slow, This was a great shift for the family (3 of us). Then we, Amanda and I had Violet (8 years old). She was great but there were hurdles. Which brings me to the last shift in balance. I went into business for myself, so I could spend down time with my family. As my kids have grown I have got to be there, the bike rides, the bumps the bruises, the highs and lows. There are more shifts in balance that will come, Covid has been a game changer. Now lets see what the changes will be. PROST! Read more>>

Kevin Wohlman | Founder & CEO

“Work-life balance” is a term we often hear in the professional world, but is rarely actually achieved. Before I launched Southern Scholar, “work-life balance” meant working 80+ hour weeks for 4-5 months out of the year so that you could work 50 hour weeks the rest of the year (with the occasional Friday half-day). Maybe it’s just me, but that’s not quite my definition of “work-life balance”. Now, when I started Southern Scholar, I understood fully that my hours were going to increase at first. What I did not anticipate, is how long that would last. I did not expect to be completely consumed with work for the next 4 years. When I began working on Southern Scholar I was still employed at the accounting firm that I worked for. As I mentioned, I was working 80+ hours a week at the office during the summer and fall, and now I’m working nights and weekends trying to get my business ready for launch. Read more>>

Hiram & Kari Castro | Owners

Work life balance is the classic struggle of nearly every working person with a family. This is something we have learned to embrace and constantly reevaluate with the changes each season in our lives brings. For example, when we were newly married, we were able to devote more time time to growing our business and used our free time to really invest in it. Now that we have two small children, we are pulled in other directions. The key is, we have to understand and accept that it isn’t always going to be an even balance. Some days we have to pour more into our work, and other days we have to pour more into our children and ourselves. It takes a constant mindfulness to be able to find that balance every day, because at the end of the day, we have to remember why we are doing what we do. We work hard to provide for our family and to be able to enjoy our life together every single day. Read more>>

T’Edra Jackson | Personal and Professional Development Trainer, Author & Mentor

My balance has changed over time, I stopped believing in balance and started prioritizing. Balance offers a false sense of security when two things are carrying the same weight and it’s hard to do in many situations, it creates strain. At this point in time I started to prioritize what is relevant. Prioritizing has allowed me to be more proactive in setting and achieving my goals. Read more>>