A host of factors, developments, and dynamics have made most industries more competitive than ever. As a result so many of us wonder whether there is still such a thing as work-life balance. We reached out to the community to hear perspectives on finding the right balance.

Justin Talbot | Photographer & Mountain Lifestyle Brand Founder

I am extremely lucky in that the many types of work I do compliment each other and enable me to do the things I love. I started as a photographer taking pictures of my climbing adventures both close to home and in wild places like Alaska and the in the Canadian arctic on Baffin Island. My love for photography and adventures as well as sharing information about wild places led me to start creating guidebooks for the area around Leadville, Colorado. This in turn has led me to explore more of the quiet corners of my backyard in a fun cycle of climbing, running and hiking all activities that bring balance to my life. Read more>>

Zeke Greer | Small Business Owner

Owning your own business is great because you’re not tied to a traditional work schedule. I get to decide everyday how much work to do and how many vacation days to take every year. I love what I do, but I can’t spend all day every day just working. It’s important to me to spend time doing things I love like snowboarding and surfing and spending time with my friends and family. If I think that my business requires more of my time than I give it more of my time. If I feel that I’m spending too much time working and not enough time doing things that I love, then I take the day off and focus more on other things. What matters to me is to always be in charge of how I spend my time. Read more>>

Kristen Davis | Photographer

I never really had anything that I was passionate about or that I was excited to pursue, except raising my kids. I always knew I wanted to be a mom! When I started doing photography, I knew it was going to be my thing. I knew I wanted to put my everything into being the best at it. At that point, my twins were almost two and it seemed nearly impossible to devote the time I wanted to being an active parent and starting my own business. I watched my kids all day while my husband worked and then I worked evenings and weekends. I tend to be obsessive and too consumed when I’ve set my mind on something I want. This quickly lead to me being exhausted while spending time with my kids AND when I was working, making me feel sub par in both areas. Read more>>

Paul Vance | Gym Owner, Coach & Personal Trainer

My work life balance has been a challenge! Being a business owner, Trainer, Coach and focusing on my on fitness can be a lot. however, I embrass the non stop lifestyle. I really focus on setting up my weekly plan and sticking to what is on my planner. I do not like having open time in my planner. Once my day starts I want to make sure I utilize every minute of the day! Read more>>

Dawn Ramsden | Licensed Massage Therapist

When I was younger, I can remember times where I worked three to four jobs at the same time. I would go to school and work five days a week, then helped my parents with their businesses on the weekends. I had watched my mother work long days when she managed a medical office, then she and my father worked hard growing a jewelry business from traveling trade shows to a brick and mortar store in Virginia. After post high school education, I was working a full time job in medicine, but couldn’t let go of my massage practice so I worked all day and most evening and weekends, but could never get ahead. I longed for deeper relationships with my daughter and felt so guilty that her teachers, after school providers and the teens running the child care room at the gym had more time with her than I did. Read more>>

Shelly Larson | Graphic Designer, Avid Hiker, Amateur Baker

I’ve been in the graphic design/advertising game for over 30 years. Literally the only career I’ve ever had. In my 20s and 30s, I paid my dues and worked the 60+ hour weeks and weekends to get to the top of my field and feel I am well-respected in design and production (I make a mean print mechanical). In my 40s (and as my stepkids got older and moved onto their own lives and careers), I realized work can’t be the be all, even though it paid the bills. Moving to Westcliffe earlier this year cemented a decision earlier in my 50s to choose projects that give me or bring others joy (I know a little cliché but it’s true), To help people or businesses not only get a logo, look or design that perfectly fits their vision, but also leaves time for me, my family and friends and hobbies like just being outside and hiking the Sangres/Wet Mountains with my two dogs. Read more>>

Kimberly Corrigan | Writer, Performer, Marketer

I came up in a time professionally where more meant ‘more’ – more hours, more meals at the office. Even if you didn’t believe in it internally it was an unspoken rule if you wanted to be competitive. The creative space can be a different speed on its own, but after moving on from Broadcasting to creative agency work, I learned to better prioritize. Owning my own business helped me ultimately see the true benefits of balance, bc I truly was completely relying on myself as a freelancer. I worked hard, and took time to relax. Both my professional and personal life have benefitted from letting go a little and not living to work. Read more>>

Monica Louise | Muralist & Graphic Designer

I’m a certified workaholic, and a very early goal of mine was to be able to work around an active lifestyle in order to subdue the need to constantly be working. Living in the Southwest Colorado mountains, skiing, biking, hiking, and riding motorcycles are all very big parts of my life. So being able to work at unusual hours in order to catch any and every powder day or flower covered meadow is very important to me. I can’t say that I’ve found the perfect balance by any means, but I’m constantly working towards it. Read more>>

Rachel Garcia | Sports Performance Trainer & Fitness Model

Balance seems to be the drug we’re wishing would consume us all- am I right? Instead, we spend most of our time on one side of the spectrum. I have been a work-a-holic as long as I can remember. I have always wanted to overachieve in sports and academics. Balance was something that was never taught to me- all or nothing was the way to go. I have always viewed challenges as opportunities to tackle and grow upon. Read more>>

Galena Staroselsky | Travel and Landscape Photographer

Work-life balance was a tough lesson that I had to learn over the years and still continue to overcome. Every job I’ve had as an adult I’ve always been a perfectionist and considered a “hard-worker.” While I’ve experienced burnout in the past, it’s been nothing compared to the moments of burnout since I started photography. I took that constant effort and hustle I practiced over the years and immediately applied it to being a photographer. I’ve always been passionate about it but quickly became hungry and obsessed with becoming successful at this new hobby. Read more>>

Erica Adams | Owner & Content Creator of Mountain Girl Creative

When I was first out of college, I always believed that the harder I worked, the more I would be recognized and appreciated. What I learned in time is that you have to have boundaries, and if you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t have anything to give to your job. Having my daughter definitely was a turning point in my priorities. They say when you are a parent, the days are long, but the years are short; it truly goes so fast, and I never want to look back and regret missing out on her essential milestones. I think you have to find an organization that values that work/life balance or find a career path that allows for more flexibility in my situation. Looking at what the pandemic has taught us, there are more important things than our careers, and we have to cherish the life we’ve been given. Read more>>