The Coronavirus has given many us an opportunity to pause and think about life, our purpose, and even the right work life balance. What’s your perspective and has it changed over time?

Raul Ochoa | Singer-Songwriter

Over time music had to evolve from an obsession into something more concrete and scheduled. I’ve found the older I get in a way the more introverted I become and the quicker I am overstimulated so I find quiet much more comforting. It’s regular routine for me now to dedicate only 1-2 days a week for rehearsal or writing. I also drive to performances in complete silence versus when I was younger I would blare music to get myself hyped up. Read more>>

Zachary Conti | Entreprenuer

When I first started my business at 22 my attitude was work work work. I think in the first two years I was working consistently 70-80 hours a week. As we hit certain plateaus I found that working hard only gets you so far. Trying to do everything and not putting faith in my staff started to burn me out. I actually had to step back and stop pushing so hard and re group for a year while I figured out the direction of things. Today I have found a good balance of about 55-60 hour weeks and I rarely work weekends. I make time for exercise, I make time for friends and family and other important activities. I think if you find yourself neglecting other areas of your life to advance your business you will get diminishing returns. Early on its effective but at some point you have to hire people who do things better then you and you have to delegate. We are in the process of bringing on some important positions that will help grow services and parts of our business that I have not done well with. Read more>>

Nancy Castillo | Bakery Owner

Work-life balance is a tug of war in business, more so with the pandemic going on. We value it, very much cherish it, but can be hard to preserve a long lasting balance. Things can be very unpredictable, but there is a key point that I have learned throughout our journey: keep it simple. There are so many beautiful shops and menus that inspire, but our budget is small so we have to keep things very simple interior and menu wise. Our products are the star of the show after all, so I like to work with what we have and what we’re good at. Trendy items and themes can be fun, but they can also drain time, energy, money, and are often short-lived. I’ve learned that our main products are very flexible too and can be adjusted seasonally. In turn, a simpler menu and shop gives us consistency in products and work schedules. I am better able to control what work goes into the shop and what time off we all get outside of the bakery, which we all very much deserve! Read more>>

Monica Vaughn | Interior Designer

Trying to balance work, family and personal time can be challenging especially for a wife, mother of 4 and a business owner. I have learned over the years to prioritize my time and to make the most of that time. When it comes to my business I set parameters in place-such as specific days and hours of operational activities. It is very important to respect your time and client’s time by ensuring that business takes place during hours that work best for you and your clients. I now there are times when I find it hard to stay within those hours because of the depth that is involved in a project but I have learned that to minimize my chances for burn out I have to stick to my parameters. Family time is most important. I tried very hard to carve out quality time with my family. Read more>>

Jason Ley | CEO, Freelance Content Creator & Brand/Experience Consultant

Before I discovered the cheat code to my own life, I lived under the false expectation that career success must equal absolute burnout. But, in return, I’d earn money that could buy me all the materialist things I really didn’t need. The catch was that I was exhausting my time, spirit, and energy on a career I didn’t love, and couldn’t afford to enjoy the things I was accumulating or the life I was (not) living. I conditioned myself into believing that if I wasn’t hustling 25/8, then someone else right behind me would take my spot and I’d lose. I reached a breaking point, due to overwhelming stress, and quit a good-paying job to intentionally change the trajectory of an otherwise uninspiring path. During that self-inflicted joblessness, I soul-searched, hard. When the dust settled, new light shined in and exposed doors cracked open that I previously thought were locked shut and barricaded out of reach. Read more>>

Cody Benson | Photographer

Creating a good work-life balance is actually one of the things I’ve struggled with most in running my own companies. It’s always been difficult for me to “turn off” from work and really enjoy spending time with my family and friends without thinking about what I could or should be doing instead to further progress the standing of my business. When I first started doing photography 5 or 6 years ago, I let it envelop my life because of how eager and ready I was to learn and do more which left little time for anything else. After some time had passed I decided to take a small step back from photography to go into business with one of my long time friends selling coffee under the label ScatterBranch Trading Company. We were able to grow the company much faster than I had originally expected, but it came at the cost of constantly working to keep up with the growing demand and focus that it needed to maintain it. Read more>>

David Nichols | Owner & Coach

When I started my own business in 2008, I wasn’t married and did not have any children. Life is much different now in 2020, I have been married for 9 years to my lovely wife and best friend and we have three of the most amazing kids ever (Dawson – 6, Graham – 4, Kennedy – 2). Currently, I have the schedule flexibility to take my kids to school, pick them up, attend sporting events, and be completely involved in their lives. But that wasn’t always the case. In the beginning, I never stopped working, rarely took time off, both of which were necessary. This wasn’t a sustainable work life balance. I was very stressed. My wife and I had several discussions about how to make some changes so we actually owned a business versus having a job. I realized I needed to create some systems and grow my staff so I could spend time with my family. Read more>>

Marina Gwynn | Owner, Children’s Ballet Instructor, Vocalist & Manager

A: I’ve been all over the spectrum! But what I’ve learned overtime is that, sometimes we have to go from one side – to the other, in order to find that sweet balance in-between the two parallel’s. Work Life Balance is an area I’ve often struggled with. I had to do a lot of growing! To give you an image of the spectrum of my work life balance and imbalance… In 2012, after being cut off from my short lived music management, I went on a quest for new adventure and independence. On I whim, I took off to San Fransisco and auditioned for an entertainment position in the cruise ship industry. After what felt like endless paperwork, I arrived aboard my chosen ship. And quickly experienced what I call a “job culture shock.” Prior to this, my job positions held pretty flexible hours so this was quiet an awakening for me. See, work life balance didn’t really exist in this industry. Read more>>

Amy Claro & Amy Coffey | Co-Founders

Before we started Accessory Concierge we both worked full time in the corporate world, which allowed little to no flexibility to be present for our families and friends. The spark of AC began over a conversation of wanting to have careers yet be around to raise our kids. We made a commitment from the beginning that our days would be heavily loaded during school hours, allowing us to be around for carpools, school activities etc. As our business has grown we have kept to that philosophy, with a workforce being 90% moms, whom we allow to drop off and pick up their kids, so they, too, can have a better balance in their lives. There’s never a perfect answer for balance. There are many days where you feel that you are letting someone down… whether that’s an employee, business partner, child or spouse. But, at the end of the day, we feel confident that the “balance” we have created suits us more better than our old lives. Read more>>

James Michael McLester | Nutritionist, Functional Wellness Coordinator & Texas Hall of Fame Musician

I was a highly motivated, driven Type A personality ramping up my professional music career and then after an unforeseen health diagnosis, I ventured into a start up Network that manufactured a Proprietary anti-aging Collagen /Aloe concentrate. The company rapidly expanded it’s market reach and revenue and I worked my way into the national Marketing Director position. My Network grew to 8,000 Nationwide and was comprised of consumers, retailers, and professional clinics. I was burning the candle at both ends but overjoyed for the growth and compounded pay scale. Eventually, I learned from world renown physician that my Kidney function was less than 15% and I was diagnosed with end stage renal disease, pulmonary edema, lymph edema, and Mercury toxicity art age 34. I was a trend setting, go-getter, in a six figure income bracket with a physiology quickly falling apart. Read more>>