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.

Jessica Hoffman | Process Engineer & Model

I think work-life balance is a myth, because ONLY the thing you pour time and energy into will reflect that input of energy; the other area(s) will necessarily suffer, and work can be a sink when it comes to energy input. You have to choose sometimes what is more important, for different reasons and at different stages of your life. Obviously, work is important for stability, physical security, and putting food on the table, but work cannot fulfill your emotional, spiritual, and physical wellness needs. Ideally, your life and work merge seamlessly together so that one is not separate from the other, and one day I hope to be among the lucky few who have the privilege of an occupation that allows that. In the meantime, I just try to always do my best at my day job, and on my time off, put energy into my own passion projects and entrepreneurial endeavors. Read more>>

Jennifer Ward | Personal Chef & Caterer

When I first started in the culinary industry, I learned very quickly that to get ahead sacrifices were expected to be made. Things like missing out on family holidays, birthdays, summer vacations and more. I thought that was normal. As time went on, I realized I was really missing those important things in life. That I needed those things more than I thought. My work life balance was not there. I spent about 75-85% of my time at work. The time I had at home was usually spent taking care of my space or prepping for the next weeks work schedule. There was no balance. At more than one point I actually felt ashamed and selfish for asking for time off because I needed the break. It’s grueling work. It’s not just physical but it’s also mental. It as agonizing asking for my earned vacation time. I often felt like I was being an inconvenience even though it was well earned and deserved. Read more>>

Allison Song | Owner & Designer

When I first started rebranded my business, it consumed my life. I worked on the branding and new jewelry styles for many, many late nights. But after a few months, I was realizing how it was negatively affecting my mental health, social life, and my family. I took a step back to reprioritize aspects of my life and knew that getting more rest and creating quality time with family & friends would ultimately help me as an individual. And in turn, having a better work life balance helped me become more motivated, creative, and free!. Read more>>

Dr. Nicole Lewis | Naturopathic Doctor, Certified Naturopathic Doula, Certified Pre and Postnatal Coach

Work/life balance is something that is very important to me, and a topic I continually come back to and re-evaluate. When I started working as a Naturopathic Doctor, I had a very young child. From the beginning I have had to balance building my practice, with spending time with my family and being present. Initially it was very important for me to put in effort and longer days because that is what I, along with most people, had been taught is necessary to be successful. As my family continues to grow, my mindset has shifted slightly. While I absolutely love my job and I love treating patients, I do not want to miss out on my children being young. Also, as with many moms, I am on the journey of learning how to fill up my own cup so that I have more to give. This means that I am prioritizing “Me Time” and self-care. Read more>>

Jason Antin | Professional Guide, Mountain Performance Coach, Outdoor Storyteller and Collaborator.

Work-Life Balance is an interesting topic. When it comes to the concepts of “balance”, I’m well aware that at many times in my life I can’t possibly be excelling at all of my life’s focal points, but it’s important for me to be engaged in many things at once. I will say that in my early to mid 20’s I was very focused on climbing up the professional ladder and as I’ve become older I’ve put more of a focus in things that make me happy – some of that is work, some of that is creating, some of that is being part of my family and some of that is continuing to explore the limits of my mind and body in a variety of ways. One aspect of my outlook on life that hasn’t changed from my younger years to present day, is that it is important to be passionate about something in life. That could be family, work or play. Read more>>

Jess Sato | Business Strategist

This is a really great question. Throughout most of my corporate career, the term work-life balance was en vogue. But in my experience, I rarely felt like I was balancing all the parts of my life… and if I was “balancing” it, it was precarious at best. Over the years, and especially since starting 2 Smart Girls, I’ve learned that it’s less about perfectly balancing my work and life and more about integrating all those aspects of my life and business when it makes sense. As a mom and a business owner, my traditional work day is a lot shorter than the standard 8-hour day because I’m dropping kids at school and then picking them up for activities. So, I work in pockets because that’s how I can be present for them, and at the end of the day, I chose to be an entrepreneur for that very reason. But there are also times, especially during launches and other promotional periods where I’m more focused on work. Read more>>

Hayden Dansky | Boulder Food Rescue Executive Director

As a leader in the nonprofit space, practicing self care and time away from work has become a crucial practice that I cultivate in my life. Under capitalism, we are expected to give our lives to our work. We live in a system that takes everything you need to survive, and makes you work for it back. As a nonprofit leader, there is a perpetual societal association that we are supposed to overwork and give ourselves away as martyrs. At Boulder Food Rescue, we work to counter that destructive norm by giving adequate PTO to all of our staff, self-care days off, self-care stipends, and we encourage each other to say no and take the time and space we need to take care of ourselves. We celebrate and share stories of travel and nourishment. We check in weekly about our self-care practices and ask for support when we need. We practice asking for support in our work assignments, and making sure that we have adequate time to accomplish certain tasks. Read more>>

Eleanor (Hooper) Medina | Wholistic Psychotherapist

When I first started The Makaranda Method, my therapy private practice, I worked all the time. I didn’t give myselves weekends off because I was hustling to connect with people and share about my wholistic work. Now that I am 3 years in, before I reached the point of burn out, I started taking weekends off and limiting my hours during the week from 10-7pm. This shift was HUGELY helpful for me and now I have so much more energy during the week to dedicate to my work. Read more>>

Ashley Mauldin | Licensed Professional Counselor and Founder of Daring Women

The Myth of Work-Life Balance As a business owner, community leader and mom of two I have learned over the years that the concept of “work-life balance” is really a myth. It is perpetuated by perfectionism, which requires we set the bar so high we can never reach it – or if we do it cannot be sustained. We may have times where we feel like everything is balanced but these moments are fleeting. Life has a way of coming along and pushing us in a direction that causes us to stumble, losing that momentary balance. Instead of balance I prefer to think of life in terms of rhythm. Each new season has its own beat and we need to adjust our movement to it. When COVID-19 hit last year and the world shut down we all had to readjust – and quickly. Rather than fighting it I took some time to get clear about what I was truly committed to – which was being adaptive, flexible and resilient. Read more>>

Jennie Kiessling | Painter

I have found that it is absolutely true that as you get older you become very aware of limited time to do everything you would like to do. As an artist there is a sense of urgency to make the work that says what you need to say; to complete the story that you feel needs to be told. In my case, “life” and “work” is the studio. Years ago, I was happy to work long hours both administrating and in the studio. I turned my mind’s argument over interruptions between studio and work into an acceptable flow. That view has changed. The studio is the priority in a different way. As I get older I am not willing to sacrifice studio time. As a result I am teaching less, researching and working in the studio more. This does mean less income. However, that is the reality of being a maker. So, now, there is no “balance” from the stand point of an either this or that. There is only one thing, that is my work. Anything else is a small satellite bopping around. Read more>>

Marissa Hernandez | Hair and Makeup Artist

For me I love my job but I also love my family! I started my career and married my husband in the same year and I think that I had to learn very quickly that if I wanted to grow my career it needed my full attention but the same could be said about my marriage. In my first two years I worked crazy hours and quickly felt burnt out, and even though my paycheck was full my heart was not. I switched up salon and restructured my schedule finding time for work but also finding time for my family and myself. I think that the balance will always be changing based on what you need in life at that moment but for me I always have to follow my heart. If I am feeling energetic and creative I put more time into my work, but if I am feeling burnt out or like I need more time with my family I take that time to recharge and enjoy the best parts of life. Read more>>

Courtney Burleigh | Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Private Practice Owner

Most people would expect therapists to be the best at understanding the importance of boundaries, balance, and self-care. The truth is, we do. We understand it really well. We understand it so well that people pay to come to see us about boundary issues. We understand it so well that we pay other people to tell us to start practicing what we preach. Boundaries and work-life balance have always been a difficult part of my personal and professional life. In a cynical sense, I credit my lack of boundaries for my career progression as a young therapist. I entered the field of social work and mental health at the age of twenty-one, the youngest, and likely the most inexperienced social work intern in my Master of Social Work program. This personal insecurity led to the belief that clients and colleagues would judge my lack of wrinkles as someone who lacked maturity or the necessary life experience to provide quality therapeutic care. Read more>>

Saige | Modern Mystic, Medicine Woman + Founder of The Rosewater Temple ( Global Institute of Transformation )

I always knew I wanted a career that would blur the lines between “work” and play. For me a huge motivation to begin my own business came from the frustrations of an imbalanced schedule after my first child was born. I was staying at home with my daughter while my partner worked long hours – something that I thought I wanted. While I was grateful to have the opportunity to connect with my baby and integrate the changes of becoming a mother – I was also depleted physically and emotionally. I felt deep in my bones there was another way to exist, with living and BEing as the priority and work being an extension of play. I created a business from my frustration of the classic modern nuclear household structure – taking everything that had previously limited me and creating a lucrative and nourishing business that facilitates healing and transformation for others – a business I can run from anywhere in the world. Read more>>

Marcella Domonkos | Design Consultant

I strive to find this balance each day. I think any entrepreneur with kids has a difficult time finding balancing. I love what I do, and it does not feel like work most days. I have two young boys, one just this past year. When you first start your business you are all in, you must be to really get it off the ground. When it takes off its hard to reel it in and slow down, all you have ever wanted was to get to that point. It is a daily struggle if I am being honest. My children help me slow down which is exactly what I need. They are my balance for sure. They are only little once, and I know this time is short lived. Read more>>

Kiara Hicks | Educator and Photographer

Along with myself being an educator to the youth, I became a full time mom in 2019. It has been a challenge at first with learning how to balance my work life and my home life along with my photography. With family support I take everything one day at a time. Photography has been an outlet for me to express anything that I feel to come to life. Read more>>

Renee Wright | Owner of p.o.m.e | Product Of My Environment (Earth Conscious Clothing Company) | Networker | Creative

I am a Libra so balance is in my blood! The quest for balance is a day to day forever journey. About six months ago I cut my rather large network down to a few people. I started an off grid/hangout hiatus. I started focusing more on my self care and structured routine. Once that was kind of dialed in; next was to let go of projects, people or situations that don’t serve me anymore. I even put a disciplined travel ban on myself until March. The travel ban was to commit to reaching my goals. This past year was fast, wild, intense and very rewarding. Heading into my phase four of my spiritual off grid journey I am traveling to Hawaii for a while to work remotely, reground and to continue to work on the balance in my life. In order to succeed in my professions and within my inner self I needed to go a little off grid. I am a social butterfly that loves to give. But also must remember to protect my own energy and stay focused on my goals. Read more>>