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?

Patricia Sitler | Crochet Designer

A lot of our customers and social media followers are amazed at how we manage to run a handmade crochet business while working as full-time military parents. We’ve had to make a lot of adjustments to our business to accommodate to our home life. Family is the most important thing to us and is a foundation to our life, so we really focus on making sure that is always our number one priority. If that’s taken care of, then our business will fall right into place. The demand for our business has grown and we had learn ways to streamline our processes to allow for the best productivity and efficiency and not take away our own personal time. We’re very proud of how we’ve been able to manage our work life balance so far. Read more>>

Richie Zarnicki Nick McKenzie | Z&M Consultants Marketing Service

Nick: Before COVID hit I was still in the routine of my 9 to 5, and during that time I wish I had more time to study digital marketing. I was furloughed as soon as the world shut down while simultaneously given the opportunity to turn our marketing services into a full-time business. We were thrusted into a do-or-die situation to make this business happen, because at the time there was no fall-back plan with the state of the economy. In those initial months we spent hours upon hours in a sort of “marketing bootcamp” to learn, build, and adapt with our clients industries and evolve our marketing skills while ignoring other aspects of our life like health, creating, & socializing. As soon as we laid down the foundation of our business, we recognized a need to establish balance in our business with our overall physical and mental health. With time, we were able to create more efficient systems while maintaining and improving the quality of the results we were servicing to clients. This extra time opened up space to give attention to what we saw as “empty time.” Read more>>

Jen Boyle | Owner of MORE Lifestyle Management

My balance has changed so much from inception to now. I began this business with what I had seen growing up. I learned so many valuable lessons about delegation and defining a work / life balance from my parents. After I found my first client, I didn’t realize just how much valuable time people are losing to work or mundane to-do list and how many little things on the home front seemed to slip through the cracks. I started working, maybe a little too hard, on both myself and my business, learning time management tricks and trades, and being exceptionally attentive to detail especially with organizing a whole household. I saw this need for more time in other’s lives and realized that while I was the answer, I can’t do it alone. After establishing my client base and my business’ trajectory, I made it my goal to keep growing, keep hiring vendors and team members. Only now I’m realizing we’ve been so busy and so focused on the details of making every family happy, I might have lost sight of the bigger picture. Read more>>

Garrett Brown | Owner of Garrett Brown Designs

This is something that I always struggle with. As GBD grows and we become more established, I am able to make more time for myself. But in the beginning, all I did was work. Seven days a week and rarely took time for myself. It was a miracle if I was able to break away to go snowboard for the day. COVID has actually helped me create some space from the every day struggles that used to weigh so heavily on me and would prevent me from taking care of myself. Or at-least that was always my excuse. When COVID hit, it forced me to start working from home, I was so focused on what was going on every day and never left the office. But working from home has forced me to create separation, take care of myself more on a daily basis, and look into the future more with GBD. Spending time with my girlfriend also helps my check out from work. When I am with her, I try to leave my phone at home so I can focus on what we are doing and avoid distractions from work. She is a constant reminder to be conscious of having that balance. Read more>>

Gabriel Smith | Singer/Songwriter and Producer.

Balance, in my mind, is key to everything. As they say, too much of a good thing. My life’s balance has been consistently shifting since I can remember. Family dynamics, work, relationships and school used to be everything on my plate. After some time with a set way of doing things and reasonable expectations, one comes to a point of feeling content and may even become complacent. Once I went to college and met the woman who would become my wife, everything changed. We began to move around the country in any direction we could. I believe that in doing so for around 4 years, it really helped me find out how to balance my priorities and find what worked all over again. After we got comfortable, that’s when my wife and I decide to expand our family. We now have a beautiful 2 year old son, Elliott. This child then brought on a whole new set of challenges and changes that left me scrambling to find balance in any way I could. After trying several things out including working 3 jobs, working part time, skateboarding and even becoming stay at home father. Read more>>

Jason T. Graves | Professional Artist & Owner of Apollo Ink Printing

I’m not sure I think of it as being balanced. I think of it more like what are my priorities and how do they relate to my/our immediate and longterm needs. When I was younger I put an emphasis on life experiences, now I’m more focused on accomplishments. As an artist I don’t look at work and life as separate entities. I look at the things I want to do that relate to work as goals that I want to achieve in my life. Read more>>

Katie Becker | Executive Director, Future Holders

Admittedly, I have never liked the concept of work-life balance. It implies that somehow our work is one thing, and every other aspect of our life sits separately. But it has been totally redefined for me after the year of 2020, where balance has been almost a hilarious conversation. I have three young children, ages 9, 7, and 2, and we are a dual working household. COVID hit, and everything collapsed into itself – into our home. We had to drill down to what is essential and most important, parenting, schooling, working, and finding some joy in it all. I have actually appreciated the opportunity to be able to see more clearly how much we had in our lives that was non-essential. It has allowed me to now have a fresh perspective on what to prioritize and how to ensure I have adequate time for the things that matter most, and remove those that matter least. Read more>>

Allyson Owens | Founder, Pleni Naturals

The balance has definitely changed over time – especially with sleep! When my kids were younger and went to bed at an earlier time, I would get back on my computer after they went to sleep and crank out work until around midnight. I would be very productive with my work later in the evening, but I would wake in the morning feeling like a complete zombie and it was hard to get through the day. Now that the kids are older and go to bed later, I go straight to sleep after tucking them in, around 9:30pm. I wake at 6am every morning and have enough energy to get through the day. I don’t believe it’s necessary to work a 14 hour day to be a productive and effective Founder. I think balance, rest, being organized and prioritizing are what’s important in the work day. Plus it’s important to consider our circadian rhythms and the effects of staring at a blue light screen late in the night and how that effects our sleep and health. Read more>>

Dalton Carlson | Figurative Oil Painter, Printmaker, and Draftsman

My work/life balance has changed dramatically over time, especially after my time in school. I graduated from Colorado Mesa University in the middle of the pandemic with my Bachelor’s of Fine Arts where I worked for hours on end and would never take time for myself. I would even spend more time in the studio than I would at home. As I began to work independently as an artist, I have found that my work/life balance was very unhealthy, and surprisingly thanks to COVID-19, I have begun to shift that balance to a more even place. I have found that without life, my paintings were becoming boring and harder to make. My work relies on the interactions between myself and others; and, if there weren’t any interactions with the outside world, I began to fizzle out. My passion is to paint, and my work doesn’t feel like work no matter how long I do paint. I do have to have things to paint though and my life experiences provide me with that. Read more>>