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.

Lorenzo Brown | Singer and Guitarist of The Fills

Starting out as a band in college, we all lived together. This allowed us to jam and practice daily if we wanted to, and didn’t require much organization for us all to get together or play shows. Now that we graduated college and have jobs, we’ve had to learn how to make time for our band and writing sessions. We now focus our work on the days we are all able to be in the same room, working on our music or just jamming out new music. Whether that be once a week or twice a week, we have had to adapt to get most of our work done in a shorter amount of time and collaborate from home if needed, especially in the midst of the pandemic. We feel that this balance has worked for us. Read more>>

Dr. Chelsea Fiduccia | Licensed Psychologist and Assistant Clinic Director

Work-life balance is one of those things that people are always chasing. As a therapist who works specifically with veterans and military families, I talk to people every day who are trying to do just that. Veterans and military families face unique challenges balancing their many roles (work, school, caregiving, duty, etc.) and can be a great example of how to achieve this type of resilience. I’ve learned that it works best to measure the work-life balance over time rather than in any given moment. Think time-lapse photo vs. snapshot. Some weeks will have more work, and some will have more life, so look for balance in the long-run. Personally, I find that setting firmer limits and boundaries with myself helps prevent work from encroaching on quality time with my family. Some of the things I practice are saying “no” to extra projects, walking away from my computer after a certain time, and turning off (or swiping away) notifications outside my normal working hours. Read more>>

Sherry Potter | Memory Makers Founder and Lead Wedding Day Coordinator

Work life balance seems to be a worldwide quest. We believe it will create success and a greater sense of well being. There isn’t a perfect, one-size fits all scenario, as we must each find our own balance between work, family, friends and self. My personal view of this balance has evolved over time, which it should as we grow. I learn the most when I am off balance. You know that feeling, when you get grumpy and feel like you don’t have enough hours in the day! I have to step back and ask myself what is most important to me and am I giving it the attention it needs. I have found that I am a very spiritual person and when I get away from that core part of myself, I feel off. I have learned to recognize these signs and get back to my center in order to return to the calm I desire. It’s important for me to set clear boundaries that give me permission to say no to the things that are not aligned with a healthy work environment and my overall self care. Read more>>

Amanda Mohammed | Board Certified Family Medicine Physician

Work life balance is essential for any occupation but speaking directly from a physician’s perspective it can be extremely difficult to put away the computer after a long work day. There is always something to work on, especially with having a large patient panel and many responsibilities as a leader of a clinic. However, I had to make a pact with myself to ensure balance and protect the amount of time I spend with my family and doing things I enjoy outside of medicine. I remember hearing a former colleague tell me that “you can perfect being available but it will come at a cost.” There are so many duties that we have as physicians that many don’t understand or couldn’t imagine. The administrative tasks are a large portion of the daily work flow of a physician- between charting, teaching, meetings, community outreach, following up with patients regarding test results and ensuring quality as well as evidence based medicine is implemented every step of the way. Read more>>

Thanh Rasico | Recipe Development & Brand Collaboration

In my early twenties, I devoted so much of my time to work. I arrived at the Fox & UPN advertising sales office Monday through Friday before it opened at 8 am and worked way past 5 pm, until my colleague would tell me to put down the contracts and just go home. There were times I had to stay late, working towards deadlines for clients such as Pepsi/Mountain Dew, car dealers, and other major advertisers, determined to meet marketing goals. My sales success lead me into the pharmaceutical industry, which demanded even more personal time. I had to wake up at 5 am to arrive at my first breakfast meeting with doctors three hours away, check in my samples at the storage unit the same evening once I got home, and most likely take a timed test later in the evening which determined my product knowledge, one minute per question, with a 90% pass rate or fail. After having two children, I balanced life and work 50/50. I accomplished many personal goals, building a house with my husband in a nice school district for our kids, putting them into preschools where we felt good about taking them, while simultaneously achieving career objectives. Read more>>

Jenny Park | Multidisciplinary Designer

We all think about work life balance and long for that perfect ratio; our tolerance to whatever that ratio varies wildly for the job and life we lead. With the pandemic and all of us suddenly challenged to blend work/life in the same physical space, I’ve thought about work/life balance way more than any other years in my career. In the past, I was physically able to leave the office and separate myself from the conventional work hours. Without me actively making that separation mentally, working from home presented so many layers of complex thoughts about how I “live.” My husband was also doing the same in the living room and me in my office… We managed but definitely went thru lows and highs during 2020 into this new year with this new ways of working and living.. As companies pivot and think of different ways to extend capabilities of small teams, more work and pressure is put on each team member. I’ve definitely felt that last year. Read more>>

Brittany DeVille | Permanent Makeup Artist

As mentioned in my last article, I’m a Mom, and so it takes a lot of planning and balance. I also help manage and run the salon I rent my space from. Shout out to Panther City Salon! With working two jobs, keeping and adorable 9 year old alive and well, I have to make sure I rest, and make time for that. I also keep one of those big bulky paper calendar books. I know, I know; I’m old school. But I just have to be able to write and see my schedule on paper! The weeks I don’t have my daughter I work a lot, and balance those weeks as my busy weeks. When I have her; I keep my schedule light, so I can pick her up from school daily, and have my evenings and Saturday’s with her. I think that balance has worked so well for me! I want to sew into my daughter and give her all my time and attention, and I don’t ever want her to think work is more important than her. So if you see me on my non-kid weeks: I may look a little crazy cause its go go go!! Always make time to rest and care for yourself (ONCE A WEEK), and remember your family comes before work. Read more>>

Tiashia Underwood | Veteran Small Business Owner

After starting my business, I soon discovered that balancing work vs. life, professional vs. personal, or shall I say when to grind and when to stay still is essential to your success and well-being! One thing I know, there’s no stopping time nor is there any going back so often times you only have one shot to complete task and accomplish goals. My balance has been a roller coaster ride, sometimes I do well (have my highs) and sometimes not so well (have my lows). Overtime, I’ve learned to plan week by week and then day by day based off of what that week and even month consist of. During my planning, a number of things help me such as writing tasks down, taking simplified notes, marking my calendar for reminders, and having a start and end time for work and life tasks. I try not to over commit but sometimes it’s unavoidable. Balance is a necessity to being successful, accomplishing your goals, and not overloading yourself which causes burn out and stress. Overall, I’m a firm believer of balance and that there’s a specific time for everything!. Read more>>

Jack Clark III | President & CEO

Most business owners have experienced the occasional 100+ hour work weeks, and many of them have experienced the 80 hour/week prolonged seasons. In fact, many would say that those types of hours are required to truly reach success in business. Well, I would totally disagree. Although I experienced those types of work hours as a single man for many years, everything changed after marriage and having kids. I’ve known too many men and women who sacrificed their families in exchange for monster businesses and financial empires. Early on, my wife and I decided that we would never do that. Balance as a business owner is quite easy when you implement certain non-negotiables in your schedule. We have dinner as a family at least four nights a week. We work and rest as a family on the weekends. And we go on 3-4 vacations a year. Read more>>

Keturah Burnett | Hair Braider

When I first started doing hair full time, I never had a set schedule. It would be a week full of clients and then it would be weeks where I had nothing to do. Once I had a full book of consistent clients, I had to set up a strict schedule otherwise I wouldn’t have time for anything. I used to run myself ragged trying to be kind and fit everyone in, but it was taking a toll on my body and my social life. So now I have to stay on myself about taking on too many clients in one week so I have to to relax and just spend time with my family and friends. Balance is key for longevity in this field of business. Read more>>

Thomas Renner | Life Coach and Yoga Instructor

Work to live or live to work? Two years ago, I didn’t have the capacity to answer this question. I was working/teaching 6 sometimes 7 days a week and it wasn’t until I suddenly lost my job that I realized I was working so much I forgot what I was living for. That’s why I became a Life Coach. To help people find balance in realizing their relationship with themselves is as important as their work. Life Coaching is a lot about finding balance in many areas of your life. And the further I get into entrepreneurship, finding that balance speaks even louder. I lost myself with my previous work and now with my workaholic awareness, I choose when and how much work I want to do. In expressing balance in your life when you do what you’re passionate about, the less it feels like work. Read more>>

Eli Mabli | Photographer/Videographer/Creative

I would have to say that their isn’t much to balance and that is what keeps me focused on being successful. I do not have a wife, kids, or any dependents at all. I do some things for myself but my work is my hobby and I enjoy doing it. This means that I can kill two birds with one stone. Read more>>

Natalie Kreidler | Painter & Designer

My idea of a work life balance has shifted significantly over the past year. I used to have a very rigid view of productivity wherein work was literally the only thing I would let myself do all day everyday. I didn’t invest time into any aspects of my life other than work, because I thought that was the only way to succeed. But I came to the realization of just how unhealthy that dynamic was. I realized that while doing all of that work I didn’t give myself the time to invest in my relationship with myself and with other people. I want to focus on deepening the love in my life, so I have tried to restructure my work life balance as much as I can to put joy at the center. (This is hard sometimes because I am still a student who both freelances and works another job) I think of the balance now as a more reciprocal relationship, where instead of sacrificing time away from work, my time away from work makes me a better person, and in turn makes my painting stronger. Read more>>

Tiffany Wolf Smith | Artist & Educator

I’ve had some incredible opportunities. I was a member of 500X, a large artist coop in Dallas. And a founder and collaborator with the Fort Worth based artist collective, HOMECOMING! Committee. I currently share studio space with a handful of artists that are much more prolific than I. Which is a good place to be. It’s kind of like buying the smallest house on the best block. It’s motivating to see how productive everyone is around me and hopefully a little shine will rub off on me. When I was in grad school, James Sullivan asked if I was a “servant to my space”. And I think that is still applicable to the way I work. I like to consider where the works are living. Sometimes even making work that directly responds to the character of a space. We all want to live with art. So, how does the work change when you think about how the works lives in its environment. Thinking like that definitely makes the white box of the gallery seem pretty limited. I like the history of objects and interior spaces. Read more>>

Henry Jerome Mendoza | Haircutter & Multi-hyphenate

Work life balance seemed like an unattainable pursuit for much of my career. I’ve worked 2-4 jobs for the majority of my 15+ years in the hair & service industries. Post-quarantine, I’m learning to prioritize balance in both my personal and professional life. Having a company that allows me to have a lot of creative outlets is a big part of achieving that professionally. Personally, having a strong support network of family and friends allows me to prioritize fatherhood while operating a small business. The idea of hustling when you’re young is romanticized and pressed so hard, we forget about work life balance or it becomes this impossible mountain to climb. It’s important to remember that the hustler doesn’t hustle because they want to. It’s a survival trait. Now I’m learning to hustle smarter rather than harder. Read more>>

Jamie Causey | Cosmetologist, Plant Lady, Boxer Mom

Ten years ago I was a hardcore proponent of that rise and grind life. Now? I’m still committed to “the grind” in the sense that I believe we’re all responsible for our success and trajectory, but now I’m equally committed to my time away from my professional life and setting. It’s so important to take that moment to breathe and recharge. I’m a better partner, mom, dog mom, friend, and human when I set and maintain boundaries between work/home. Read more>>

Rachel Blake | Cake Pop Baker

Blake Pops is a home based business so balancing my work and personal life can be challenging at times, but it is SO important! I try my best to make a weekly schedule and stick with it. Making a business to-do list and a home to-do list is essential for me. I find that if I am able to see everything that is on my plate at the beginning of the week then I am more productive with my work time and more intentional with my personal time. Read more>>

Bri Bagwell | Singer/Songwriter and Performer

I read somewhere, and apologies for not giving proper credit here where it is due, but the idea of “balance” is tricky. We are always striving to achieve this mysterious “balance,” and it feels like we never quite attain it. Or at least I was feeling like that. Instead, I think of everything as a necessary trade off. It makes me feel less like I’m failing at both, and more like I”m making a conscious choice of either work or personal life. I stick with that choice and dive into it fully. I recognize that if I choose date night, I’m giving up an evening of catching up, and I don’t check email. If I spend my Monday morning calling radio stations, I’m trading sleeping in on a rare day off, and choosing investment time with radio. But it is my choice to make, and I trust that I am making the best decision for me at the time. I used to feel like I had to be doing everything all at once: responding to texts right away, being 100% available through email 24/7… we all know the drill. Read more>>

Victoria Castro | Licensed Esthetician

I always talk about balance. I’m constantly changing and evolving as of lately and at times it throws my balance way off. I have to find a balance between my my son, my full time job and my business. At times it’ can be a bit overwhelming. Luckily my son is very understanding and knows that what I’m doing is for our family. One thing I find that helps me keep a balanced lifestyle is spending time with my son and family, making sure I’m getting proper rest, working out or going on hikes to relieve stress. Also being organized brings me so much peace. Read more>>

Amanda Daum | Founder & Creative Director

I love this word balance. It has recently planted itself in my life- and seems to be meeting me everywhere. Pre-Covid, I had none. No work-life balance, I was all work. I do think that when you are starting a business you have to put 1000% energy in each day. But, there’s this wall. This big flat “burn-out” wall that is so real. Not only burn-out but anxiety. I see it among my peers, my generation, and have experienced it myself. The race to be on Forbes 30 under 30 is dangerous, and what I’ve recently learned is that, slow, sustainable growth leads to lasting businesses. The way to get there? Living a balanced, joy filled, gratitude filled life. A life of service and self-love. Now, scale out a minute. Imagine the entire world. We need an equal amount of balance for our Eco-system and for humanity. And at this very moment, there isn’t any. Look at this pandemic, It’s a result of being out of balance. At what cost will we finally say, OK, no more, lets do better. Read more>>

Gi | Artist, Songwriter, & DJ

I think it’s changed a lot over the past year for me, and I think that it’s been palpable to my supporters as well. So much has changed in my life – the pandemic hitting, graduating from college with my Bachelor’s degree, moving, etc. It was really hard balancing music in my life when I was in school. And now, it’s hard balancing music with work and health, now that I’m done with school. I’m actually trying to get back into my music with a different mindset now. Since I’ve always been so busy with things outside of music, I always felt so much internal pressure to occupy any of my free time towards music. And to many people, this is “ambitious” and “driven,” but over time it’s taken a toll on my mental health. I feel like I’ve put so much pressure on myself to be constantly productive or driven, that I can’t enjoy my free time or even enjoy creating the way I used to. So I’ve been trying to enjoy life outside of music and school, and I think that this mental self-care will eventually help me fall in love with creating again. Read more>>

Daniel Hernandez | Videographer & Photographer

In the beginning it was a lot easier to manage. I wasn’t getting booked as much, so it was more of a hobby then work. However, lately it’s been a lot more work than anything because I also stil lwork a 9-5.. But I think it’s always like that when you first start a business, especially if you’re serious about it. I’d definitely like more balance because I don’t get as much family or friend time, sleep, or gaming in. I’m still learning though. Learning how many bookings I can take on, project turnarounds, free time to try to fit a dinner with family in, etc. It’ll all work itself out, but as of now there is not a lot of work life balance. Read more>>

Melina Mayfield | Florist & Event Designer

When you own your own business work life balance can be challenging. Everything, all the responsibility falls on you. If something doesn’t get done in time it is completely on you. It can all be very time consuming and overwhelming. You have to make time for the things outside of the business you want to accomplish. Which is the upside of having your own business. Instead of being constrained by the hours of a traditional 9-5 job. I can elect to work on things later in the evening to give me more time with my family. Or when I need a break, I can select dates I don’t want to accept clients to allow for vacation time. Although, entrepreneurship is highly demanding making sure you maintain a good work life balance is key. Read more>>

Antonio Basalo | Journeyman Electrician, Rap Artist “Buddarudda”, & Amature Fighter

Growing up I only had 1 goal, be in the military. Be a career Sailor and retire in service, didn’t have any other goals than that. Wouldn’t have to worry about planning a lot of things because “the military would take care of it”, ha-ha-ha, boy was I wrong. After finding out I didn’t have a Green card I went into pretty much a depressive state, woe is me pity party blaming other people especially my mom because I wasn’t right on papers. To really cut it short, I started writing raps, “Christian raps to start”, to at least occupy my mind and make me feel like I’m doing something. Met a friend and we started rapping together and thru the next 10 odd years people came and went, they start rapping then quit, I watched people get more recognition & opportunities than me then they throw it all away cause of poor work ethic. But I kept moving, and thru those times I’ve worked in the restaurant industry, plenty of customer service, factories and now construction. Read more>>

Meghan Fest | Pet Portrait Artist & Cat Themed Goods

As an artist, the work life balance is the biggest obstacle to any success. It’s hard enough to work 40 hours a week, take the necessary time to decompress, run errands, exercise, and have any inkling of a social life… but then pepper in all of the extra hours it takes to plan and execute your creations and you’ve run out of hours! Creating a consistent daily routine is the only thing that has kept me on my path. Even then, curveballs are inevitable, and that can derail you for days, weeks, or even months. This past year in a pandemic world was one of those curveballs and it gave me so much time to reflect and clearly think about where my path is heading, art-wise. I wish every artist that moment of clarity. However, now that I’m playing catch up financially, and readjusting, many of my projects have been slowed down substantially. So now I’m back to trying to rebalance and get more art time in my daily life!. Read more>>

Eric Alderete | Barbershop Owner & Barber

Balancing your work and life in the barber industry is very key. Being a barber requires work long weird hours, and you can get caught up on adding people to your schedule every night. I had to learn this the hard way. I give a lot of credit to my wife, because at the beginning of my career my hours was crazy. I’m talking 12-14hrs days and some longer. So that came with fights and arguments, and I had to learn to compromise. But over the years I’ve calmed it down, especially when I started my own shop and had my first born. Now I have 3 days off for my family and 4 days I’m at the shop. So to all the new barbers coming in, and ones with families, be sure to make time for your personal life. Read more>>

Amelia Douse | Radio Station Owner, Caterer & Booking Manager

As an owner of several businesses and being a member of a team, I found myself being a giver of self to everyone BUT myself. With the radio station, whereas I was supposed to run it, I let it run me. There was no balance and I poured myself completely into building someone else’s dreams. With the recent changes in my life I was faced with the decision to give up on the station or keep going. With the recent changes in my life, ( divorce, relocation, basically starting over) I have come to the realization that I never really had any balance or boundaries. I was consumed with business all of the time. I took a break and took time for me, to get myself and my family in order. There are a handful of people think I am gone, but I am still here…I have just been quiet. I am focusing on ME and my overall well being. Droves of people miss out on that trying to live for and please others. I feel balance is very important in life. Read more>>

Trinity White | Owner of Tri’Charms&Co. & Student

So much has changed since I started Tri’Charms.Co. I am almost done with my junior year of high school, I play sport, and I have a job that invest beach into my business. It is important to not only manage your work and school but to manage your time. I have started to write out my days and nights so that I have time for virtual school, work, homework, and some time for Tri’Charm orders. Time is of the essence and it is so important that we are able to fit everything into a timely manner. I hear people say “There just aren’t enough hours in the day.”, There are… you just have to manage wisely. Some days, there are going to be late night and early mornings but it’s for the benefit of you and your business. I think there is sense of maturity that comes with balancing everything on your plate, you want more? you’ll go for more. You want something done ? you’ll get it done no matter the time. Read more>>