Our community is filled with hard-working, high achieving entrepreneurs and creatives and so work-life balance is a complicated, but highly relevant topic. We’ve shared some responses from the community about work life balance and how their views have evolved over time below.

Kelly Arnold | Proud Mama & Wife, Compliance Director, Chief Meditation Officer

Thankfully I can say now that I have work life balance. But this only came when I realized it was up to me to make it happen. For many years, I juggled a heavy, stressful workload while trying to also manage family responsibilities and personal relationships and obligations. Doing it not so well, I found myself super stressed, imbalanced and unhealthy at a point. The pain of staying that way began to outweigh the pain of making the changes I needed. When my balance and centeredness became most important, I was able to shift from work life balance to life work balance. Where all aspects of life are respected equally; and work doesn’t always get priority above all other things. While grateful for my job and career, I also cherish time spent with my family and friends and doing other things that I enjoy. I found that a dedicated mindfulness, meditation and yoga practice of over 5 years has been pivotal in my achieving and maintaining a steady state of balance. Read more>>

Aaron Friedland | Woodworker/Entrepreneur

I get on well with the work that I do, so I may not be experiencing the same stark contrast between ‘work’ and ‘life’ that others do. However, there is still a big part of me that would always love to be wandering the winding streets of some foreign city, or lost in the jungle embarrassing myself trying to speak a non-native language. I can’t let those dreams fade to too dim a shade, nor can I get lost in the vibrancy of them and let my work ethic slip. My plan is to work hard for the time being, make the most of it, and then earn an extended break from all work related obligations within the next 2-3 years. During that time I am working, though, I plan to give myself weekends, take a weekday here and there to go snowboarding, and plan several 2-3 week trips abroad when work slows down. I have no advice for others looking to find their own balance between work and life. I’ll just do what feels right to me. Read more>>

Kyle Foster | Chef/father/ Sandwich Slinger

Early on in my career I made work my life. I just threw myself to the industry and let it have its way with me. That’s just how restaurants were back then. There was no open discussion about work life balance or mental health as there is today. Now it is important for me to have balance. I have a family that takes priority. However I still have to work hard at the career I’ve spent more than half my life working in. Read more>>

Jillie Johnston | Worthiness Coach & Speaker

Abso-freaking-lutely. 3 years ago I don’t think I had the word balance in my vocabulary. It was do more, be more achieve more, how can I sacrifice more to get ahead. I was burnt out, exhausted, not taking care of myself, immune system was down, and I had been working 50-70+ hours a week for years. One of my affirmations at the time was, “I have complete balance in every aspect of my life. I live a life of purpose, pleasure, play, prosperity, and service in all that I do.” 3 years later, balance is a leading force in my life. I devote my life to my work, but this has a new meaning. It means that my “work” includes self-care, practicing what I preach, investing in my own growth and healing, moving my body, and taking time off whenever I need it. I have healthy boundaries around my phone and my computer, when I’m accessible and when I am unplugged. This balance of when I’m on, I’m fully on, and when I’m not I give myself the space and rejuvenation I need. Read more>>

Dana Andrews | Creative, Designer & Artist

My balance has changed drastically over the past year & just my life in general. Rewind to only a year and a half ago, I was living in a different state and working the job I did for over 10 years. Since I was about 16 years old I worked in the coffee industry, it was what I knew and I was good at it. But it was never what I wanted to do or how I wanted to spend the majority of my day. Throughout working my many coffee jobs and moving around, I would always be creating on the side or finding a way to let my creative side loose. I grew up painting, drawing, sewing, wood craving and sculpting either in school or just at home. I truly thrive on the idea of creating and making my visions a reality. Finding time to do those types of things was hard, but I knew I had to have it be apart of my life one way or another. I would enter art shows, sell prints, paint utility boxes, carve wood, sew or do whatever allowed me to express myself when time allowed. Read more>>

Brandon Busch | Chocolatier and U.S. Marine

Chocolate is a very seasonal product, meaning my team and I are very busy Fall-Early Spring, and less so in the summer. Balance is clearly much harder to achieve in our busy season. I have recently made it a point to keep a daily schedule, and to schedule time to exercise, spend time with my family, and so forth. Balance has to be a decision. Read more>>

Jailyn Jenkins | Educator, Advocate, & Wellness Enthusiast

During my time as an educator, there has always been a universal and implicit understanding that we work beyond our traditional duty day; however, it has been a paramount goal of mine to reverse that stigma and sustain balance. In the first five years of my career, I thought I had mastered a work-life balance, but then the pandemic hit…I was working remotely… and the “end-of-the-day” boundary quickly got blurred. I noticed all of my routines and priorities were shifting and everything suddenly became difficult. In noticing both the shift and struggles, I had to truly get in touch with myself (mind, body, and spirit) to appropriately adapt and thrive. With my personal and professional norms being rocked, I had a choice of either sinking into grief and chaos, or treading lightly into new waters, by exploring new approaches for my current season. Although I gave myself the grace to “feel”, I had to also use that as fuel for productive change. This was not an overnight, “quick fix” process. It took time, reflection, patience, and grace. With that being said. Read more>>

April Axé Charmaine | Global Movement Leader / Holistic Performing Arts Educator / Choreographer/ Writer

I have to say this is an area of my life that has truly evolved. I feel like I used to be confined by my schedule, other people’s needs and priorities, always going, back and forth doing 100 things in a day. Now, and I believe, before it even became popular and a global pandemic made us slow down, I took on this value of Rest as Resistance. I feel it’s so important to listen to our body’s signals and trust our own rhythm in life. Through my career, especially in the last few years as I became nomadic–I have learned to honor myself, my time and needs in a much more organic way. I go through periods of time where I produce A LOT and then I go through other moments where I rest A LOT. Balance is a continuous practice–and as I carve and create my life of my dreams, I prioritize the feelings, people and environments I want to be in. I prioritize time in nature, taking naps, being with friends and I also create space to vision, dream and be in ritual to manifest what I really want in my life. Read more>>

Jody Buck | Mixed Media Artist/Cattle Rancher

I am probably a little more relaxed in terms of work balance. I find that simply putting the highest priority task first and taking things one step at a time from there is my best strategy. Our cattle ranch is our livelihood, so the cattle work comes first. There is nothing quite like working together as a family, outdoors (sometimes during extreme weather conditions), doing physical labor being stewards of our land and livestock. It is very gratifying if not always financially rewarding! My art is a wonderful counter balance to the ranch work. I am indoors in my beloved studio, working by myself, following my creative whims or artistic deadlines. I love having several “to do” items on my list so that I have direction and purpose. Together between ranch work and artistic projects, I find that I am blessed to have a perfect/imperfect balance that fits me to a T. Read more>>

Brenda Bradfield | Mom, Clinical Research Nurse and Student

Work/Life balance can be an incredibly difficult to achieve. I struggle at times to manage the commitments that I’ve made, while also giving my family the attention and time that they deserve and that we all crave. It is so easy to get wrapped up in the daily grind at work and let it seep into the time I have with my family and for myself. Focusing on what’s most important guides me to prioritize my time. One of the exercises that has helped is to think about the life I’m working to create, my “ideal” future. When I imagine what that life looks like, being with my family and having quality time together is at the top of my list- it’s the reason I work so hard to begin with. I also see myself done with graduate school and managing my career successfully, but It’s a great reminder to be present in all aspects of my life, especially when my energy is limited. Read more>>

Heather Stevens | Artist and Tattoo Artist

In the beginning of my career as a Tattoo Artist I had a hard time clearly defining my boundaries and how to juggle all of the needs in my life. It could be very overwhelming. I became a new mom right after my apprenticeship was completed so from the very beginning I had to find a balance between family and my career. This took a long time and lots of practice. I often overworked myself, was far to accomodating to clients and bosses. With juggling motherhood and getting my feet firmly planted in the industry it could definitely be exhausting. As I got older I started to space sessions out better, put limits on how long I worked. I took more time off so I could be more available to my family and own personal life. It also made me a better artist and be able to give more to my clients during the time I tattooed them. I am now in a place where I have very firm boundaries on what I need as an artist and how I manage my time. Read more>>

Selena Thiele | Co-Founder of Office Mercenary & Lead Virtual Assistant

When you work for other people, it’s much easier to leave work “at the office.” Switching to working for myself was much harder to find anything resembling balance. I had to acknowledge that I’m the type of person who defaults to working until I drop, which is not uncommon with entrepreneurs. So, I worked. And worked. And worked. I’d be late to dinner with my husband, then head back to my computer after. I worked weekends and hesitated to schedule time for anything else in case a client had an emergency. Then my system would burn out, I’d catch a cold because I was physically spread so thin, and get taken out for multiple days. When I felt human again a few days later, I’d, of course, be behind again and go back to working until 11 pm and weekends, and starting the process all over again. You have to work hard to succeed, right? But why did I leave the standard work life with a steady paycheck to work for myself? The wake up came that working hard and sacrificing yourself were, overwhelmingly, not the same thing. Read more>>

Emily Moon | Photographer

Work life balance is something I’ve had to really work on over the years and changed drastically once I became a mother. When I first started my photography business I didn’t have any children and didn’t mind working most weekends, staying up late editing and taking on every client I could. Now days, I have a three year old and am a single mom working hard to continue my business success and be present for my son. I’ve found waking up earlier works better than staying up late to edit, as well as manage emails first thing in the morning is best. I have two calendars, one linked through my emails as well as the old hand written monthly. I feel more organized writing things down still, even in this technology based industry. Being sure to give myself time off throughout the week, as well as a weekend here and there is important. Keeping certain days strictly for work and others strictly for relaxation or adventures with my kiddo. Read more>>

Jordan Twiggs | Guitar and Vocals for Serpentfoot

Everyone in Serpentfoot has had to make sacrifices to continue pushing this band forward. Phil and I (Jordan) recently moved to Tacoma, WA and were forced to leave Michael behind. While we hoping that he would come join us he ended up moving to Michigan with his wife. We’ve since found a new drummer here in Tacoma named Jake Hupp. Beyond that we’ve all had to find careers that play nicely with our touring and show schedules. This means we’ve had to say no to family/work trips, lose jobs, and find work that has the flexibility to allow time off for the band. Not to mention our partners having to understand how important it is to us as a passion. Read more>>

Ariel Strickler | Licensed Esthetician. Master Lash artist. Owner BOLD N’ Bitchin’

Fantastic question! Work life balance is so important. When I first started my business I was non-stop working. As the business grew so did my exhaustion- I eventually burnt out. Clients and employees call and text any day and any time. I knew I needed to set strict boundaries between work and life. I established “working hours” and “off day” hours as well as allowed myself to have a few hour grace period to respond. I try to respond as quickly as possible but I realized I was dropping everything to get to work. I was missing out on family time, girl time and me time! I still have to adjust the balance at times but overall it has helped my mental and physical well-being. I am actually more present, and more productive in my work life and my personal life because of the healthy balance. Read more>>

Meeg Conroy | Artist & Bartender

Finding work life balance has been one of the most difficult aspects of being an Artist. Over the years my time between creating art, bartending, and finding time to recharge mentally, emotionally and physically has fluctuated greatly. When I first began eight years ago or so, I was bartending full time, with art only being a hobby. Over the course of these eight years I’ve come to bartend at establishments that encourage and support my craft. I have been able to build a schedule that works best with my creative flow, and allows enough time to make art. At this time I spend approximately 40-50% bartending, and 60-50% creating art. Being able to still bartend helps me engage with the community in a different way, which is greatly appreciated because my community is a huge inspiration. When I create it’s usually a solitary, introverted space, so my balance comes from having another work space that is social. One helps the other. Read more>>

Lindsey Miller | Graduate Assistant & Counseling Student

Balance is always a goal of mine. I love to be busy, but not to the extent that I can’t do anything well! I was a competitive swimmer for about 15 years, so I learned how to manage my time efficiently at a young age. Juggling athletics, academics, and relationships was challenging but rewarding. Now that I have finished my undergraduate degree and am working while pursuing a Master’s, I find myself in a familiar position of needing discernment and discipline in how I choose to spend my time. If I had to sum up what balance looks like now, I would say that I prioritize my mental, spiritual and physical health first so that I am energized to put my heart into work, school, and relationships. Read more>>

Amanda Nieves | Vintage Reseller, Herbalist, Tarot Card Reader and Reiki Healer

I attempt to maintain in all realms of my life. Since leaving my 9-5 to focus on my vintage business, to now starting a new business venture, and having a baby this past year, balance sometimes feels like an unrealistic term. Somehow I manage though. I am an advocate for schedules and organization and I truly believe that being strict with myself in terms of creating a schedule, really keeps my life as balanced as possible. Now there are diaper changes on the schedule, but nonetheless, the work gets done and that’s what matters. Read more>>