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.

Nebiyu Sisay | COVID Lab Supervisor & Musician

Time for myself. Doing errands, eating good food, exercise, and being creative. Every week, I need to spend a couple hours a day just for myself, it can be before work or after. Without this balance I’ve found my quality at work to dwindle and as a COVID lab supervisor at the state lab, 100% attention to detail is very much needed and it can be tough when things are always changing as we intake tens of thousands of COVID samples from the public everyday. But, I am thankful to work in an environment that’s constantly moving and where structures are built up and taken down daily. And in this ever changing environment, off days are very much needed in order to find balance in my work life and personal life. This new balance that I’ve found definitely differs from my time in college. Back then, I’d play video games for countless hours or just sleep for countless hours, but now I found it beneficial for me to channel stress, anger, sadness, or even manic happiness into a craft. I’d write music, practice or learn a new instrument, or create digital art. Read more>>

Lisa Bartley | Hair & Makeup Artist

My balance has completely changed because of three little people I have been blessed with. After to moving to Colorado and having one child at the time, I knew I couldn’t work for someone else and be completely involved and have time to hang with my kiddo. I realized I needed to take the risk and start from zero and just go for it. It took a lot of time and energy and saying yes to everything but it has completely paid off and now I have three kiddos that I have to balance but wouldn’t trade it for the world. I still have a hard time saying no to any client but I have learned to put my family first and that my schedule won’t always be a normal schedule but we make the best out of both!. Read more>>

Megan Kingman | Owner CKS Main Street

I think through time my life has become work. As a parent of two young children and owner of 3 growing businesses with my husband; I often feel the line between life and work is blurry at best. However, I think finding joy in what you do and appreciation for those you do it with is how to really find “balance”. Before I worked for myself there was a very clear line between life and work, however I would say that the satisfaction I gained from work was less integral to who I am. I also think that prior to having children my ideas of “busy” or “stressed” were so casually skewed. I see now that although my free time is absorbed by my children and work often seems like “free time”, that small victories (time alone, exercise, friends) can go a long way. Ultimately your mindset is what makes all the difference. I also see the importance of my mental state, communication, and ultimately work ethic as fundamental in the development of who my children are. Read more>>

Jessica Jacobson | Owner & Founder Fireworks Chef’s Butters

Being a mother of three and an entrepreneur, I’ve learned there is never a perfect balance in work and life. Priorities are always in flux and things that get the attention are what is most important in any given moment/day/week/month. I find making time on Fridays to plan what the most important things to get done in the next week really helps keep the focus on the things that matter most, whether it is work or family projects. Read more>>

Laura Curtis | Mortgage Professional, Wedding Officiant & Photographer

Work life balance can be tough and it did take some time to get this down to a science. When it comes to our photography business and wedding business, its important to keep a schedule of everything. Work, photography, weddings, client meetings and any other obligations or plans we make has to go on this. Its exciting to get booked for photo shoots but there is nothing worse than double booking. It creates for incredibly long hours and stress. I keep myself on a schedule everyday. I check my emails, respond to clients, touch base with bookings to make sure we are all on the same page. Inquiries happen in both businesses throughout the day so I do feel obligated to answer them when they come in. Even if that is at 10:30 at night. It took me a good year to understand that its okay to get back with my clients the next day if it becomes too late in the day. I take two times a day to respond to all the inquiries and take time to do maintenance on clients and client questions. Read more>>

Matt Chandler | Hemp/CBD Brand, EndoCannabinoid System Specialist, & Father

I was 19 years old when I started my first company in the Real Estate industry. At the age of 19, my approach was to work 80-100 hrs per week and build the business as fast as I could. My motto at this time in my life was “work hard and play hard” and anytime not spent at work was with my friends and loved ones having fun and enjoying life to the fullest. Things changed drastically for me early on when I got married and had kids at the young age of 24. I began to spend less time hanging out with friends and more time on my new dad responsibilities. This left me feeling drained and feeling that I had no time left to decompress, take time for myself, and to let loose and fun with my friends anymore. It took me 3 to 4 years, after my kids were born, before I started to realize I needed to shift around my responsibilities and find ways I could still find time for myself and time for more play and fun in my life. Read more>>

Michele Rodriguez | Owner + Freelance Graphic Designer

woman show, it takes a lot to manage all aspects of your business and doing the actual work. And, when I first went out on my own, I was so afraid of making enough money that I took every project that came my way out of fear. I’m coming up on 5 years in September, I have a daughter who turned 1 at the end of April and I absolutely have a better work life balance now than I did when I first went out on my own or even a year ago. (cue 10 days of “maternity leave” after a C section and preeclampsia) Setting clear deadlines and boundaries are crucial for me in establishing and keeping that balance. I am very transparent with my new clients around when I work and respond to messages and I don’t conduct business via text, only business email. Most of my existing clients have been with me well over 3-5 years, some coming up on 10 years and they are great about respecting those boundaries. At the end of the day, we all have a life and want to enjoy it. Read more>>

Trish Zornio | Scientist, lecturer & science columnist

My work-life balance has definitely changed over time. Even when I was in high school, I worked at least 20-30 hours a week on top of my school work to pay for necessities. In college, it was the same, so I started taking over 20 credits per semester (to graduate in three years, instead of four), and worked three jobs on the side to pay for my rent, food, books and to avoid taking out too much in student loans. In graduate school I did a double track thesis, meaning I did two full projects instead of one to diversity my skills, and also worked on the side to pay my way. This kind of work-first mantra continued for years as I took research jobs in hospitals, often easily reaching 80-100 hours a week. Sure, I’d get some climbing or yoga in, but my work life became almost synonymous with my personal life, in that the people I worked with became my friends because there wasn’t much time outside. Read more>>

Ashley Kim Ruiz | Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Lymphatic Specialist, Certified Mobility Specialist

The first thing I say is.. there is no such thing as work life balance. I stopped trying to define this and the moment I did I got the clarity I needed. One of my favorite books is by James Clear, its called Atomic Habits. In the book; it talks about a simple rule: Never miss twice.. What I realized about work and life, it is simply just a series of impactful habits and those habits usually determine your work and your life. We make mistakes that’s apart of being human but its usually repeated mistakes that start new habits. Never miss twice. Read more>>

Stephanie Schoolmeester | Transformational Coach

I have a love/hate relationship with the word and concept of balance. I love it because the constant quest to find it has become a gift to the life I am now free to live. I’m not fond of it because it was always a trigger for me. As an elementary teacher for 22 years, I could not find BALANCE for my life. I cannot tell you how many times I heard someone say to me, “Stephanie, you work too much, and you need to find balance. ” UGGG!!!! I wanted to scream back, “I KNOW, but I have no idea how to find it!” My entire career, I worked countless hours putting my career, students, parents, teachers, and administrators on the MUST DO ANYTHING TO PLEASE LIST. It was exhausting, but my heart is built on serving and adding value to others, so I felt it was the ONLY way. Well, that way of life took a toll on my physical, mental, and spiritual well-being, not to mention my relationships. I didn’t work 40-hour work weeks. I worked 60-80 hour workweeks, weekends, and summers. I was a NON-STOP STRESS machine!. Read more>>

Keegan O’Rourke | VP-Partner Success at Lux Lab Production House

I used to work ALL the time. As a young single man, I could work all day and night and received energy from my work. Then I got married, which was the greatest blessing of my life! And because it was, I wanted to be sure to devote ample and intentional time to my wife. In addition, once we started having kids, that was even more true. However, I simply paid lip service to it for the longest time. I would leave early for work and come home late. I wouldn’t take my full amount of vacation time each year because I was ‘SO BUSY’. When I ventured out to join as a partner at a small strategic video marketing company (where I currently am), I was working even harder. Over the past 3 years, due to certain family circumstances, I have been ‘forced’ to take more time off to help the family and it has woken me up. I have begun to realize the critical importance of prioritizing what matters most. And to realize that taking time off for family, friendship, old work colleagues, recreation, and prayer actually augments my work productivity and success, not hinders it. Read more>>

Dr. Lara Osterhaus | Chiropractor

When I began in my profession, I was 100% committed to providing true connection and the best adjustments. I wanted to put everything I had into my work and connection is a strong suit for me. The problem with that though, is being a chiropractor requires a lot of empathy and emotional energy. I took a lot of other people’s emotional problems home with me and couldn’t disconnect from those I was caring for. I began to realize I had to have a balance and disengage when I left each and every day. Now I show up, and love on my patients and give them the best care possible… but when I leave each day, I leave their physical and emotional pain behind. I head home with a clear brain and heart so I can show up for my family the best version of myself. Read more>>

Ariel Herrera | Licensed Esthetician and Professional Makeup Artist

It’s in my nature to be grounded, orderly and have balance with work and personal life. During the Pandemic, I turned my focus on remote learning with my oldest and adjusting to having a newborn in the house, and at the end of the day I had no time or energy to put into my business. Recently, I’ve found myself finding that well grounding balance between work and life again When I think about Balance, I think about having a handle of various elements in our life and doing so in a calm manner. I believe that we must fill our own cups before we pour into others, into our work, and our business etc. It allows me to fully invest myself before I can distribute any amount of energy to anyone or anything else in my life and being able to do so at full throttle! Its important and keeps life a little less stressfull with things in my life are balanced out. Read more>>

Todd Galbate | Realtor

During my career in the newspaper industry, I was an employee. There was a specific time when the work day started and ended. Working on weekends was only as needed and not common. In my current real estate career, I am self-employed. I work when needed to build a successful business. As a realtor, I am often working days, nights and weekends and 7 days a week. Much different than my career as an employee. This makes my work life balance difficult. At times when I make solid personal plans, I may not be available to clients when needed. There are no paid vacations. Days off present themselves with short notice. In the past year, my daughter Lauren became my partner. We work together to help give each other a better work life balance. And when working extra long weeks, it’s often with my daughter which is great. Read more>>