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.

Imani Murray | Entrepreneur & Digital Content Creator

When I first started my business, there was no such thing as a work life balance for me. I learned very quickly how real and unhealthy burnout was. It wasn’t until the middle of 2020 when I started taking my YouTube channel serious that I realized I needed to introduce a real balance into my life. I slowly began implementing new boundaries and it’s amazing to see the difference from now to over a year ago. Two of my main boundaries include allowing myself to take weekends off and to actually listen to my body. You may want to work nonstop but if your body is shutting down, it’ll be hard to successfully accomplish your tasks. Take a break and come back to it. Setting these boundaries has allowed me to have a very positive, less stressful work life balance. Read more>>

Jayna Jennings | Musician, Singer/Songwriter, Designer, Mental Health Advocate, Writer

As an owner/co-owner/operator of 3 independent businesses (my music brand, ERA Bridal Collection, music lessons), I have found that work/life balance is SO important. Otherwise, you will never get sleep, and you feel unfulfilled and drained. Taking the time to relax, spend time with family and friends, and enjoy your hobbies and creative outlets is what will help keep you going and make you excited to do the work that you have ahead of you. My work/life balance has changed over time in a good way- in the beginning as I was trying to get started in the music industry and develop a brand, I was not sleeping, not taking time to eat, and not taking time for myself at all. Now, I set time for myself to do what makes me happy. Whether it’s painting, spending time with my little ducks and my fiancé, taking a walk, or even just scrolling through my phone. Read more>>

Sheri Strzelecki | Business Owner

Work-Life Balance to me is really all about the ebb & flow. I don’t believe that work-life balance actually exists, but instead it’s about how we set our intention & priorities that truly affects this concept in our lives. For me, living my life with intention & purpose became my driving force to discover what work-life balance looked like for me. I began to explore where I was spending the majority of my time and where I was physically, mentally & emotionally. I discovered the areas that didn’t feel in alignment with who I wanted to be as an individual, parent & business woman. So, I made adjustments. I got very specific with when & how I manage my days. I decide what presence looks like in my work & personal life & I consciously choose how I show up. I say all of this with the caveat that of course there are moments that my attention gets pulled elsewhere, but that’s why it’s an ebb & flow. Read more>>

Sarah Aderson | Product Creator & Empire Strategist

My concept of balance changed once I became a mom while working in corporate America. I struggled with mom-guilt every morning I had to drop my son off at daycare or when I had to work late. I used to think that balance was all about multi-tasking and having it all together. Boy did motherhood change that misconception! I quickly learned that I didn’t have it all together and I was doing a horrible job at multi-tasking. The pressure I put on myself was slowly stripping away my confidence. My definition of balance simply wasn’t working for me, so I scrapped it. I spent some time reflecting and realized that everything in my life wasn’t equal as the word balance implied. I chose to seek harmony instead. This term resonated with me on every level and felt good to my soul. It made space for me to be imperfect and not stress out about the pile of laundry that needed to be folded. On the other hand, it allowed me to joyfully prioritize what mattered most – my happiness and my family’s wellbeing. Ultimately, this mindset shift led me to leave my unfulfilling job and start my own business. Read more>>

Yan Ying “YY” Sim | Theatre Artist

The balance is a perennial challenge! As a freelance theatre artist, I have very busy periods where practically every waking moment is taken up by work – rehearsals, meetings, drafts to write or look over, a constant stream of emails and messages; and also lull periods when I stop, breathe, look around and… feel insecure because everyone else seems to be busier than me. But before I have time to let that sink in, I’m whisked off to another project again. Because of my constantly shifting schedule, I’ve found it important to schedule dedicated break times or block out an evening every week to be a “chill night”. And because work messages and emails can come in at literally any time of the day, I’ve started intentionally putting my phone on airplane mode when I’m having meals with friends or family so I can have uninterrupted quality time with them. These little ways of compartmentalisation have helped me be more present and at peace. Read more>>

Meg Flanigan | Artist and Designer

The balance between work and life is constantly changing for me. As a freelancer, there are dry periods where there is very little work, or clients are dealing with other aspects of a project. These times are both relaxing and a little stressful, but if you save and plan accordingly, you can mostly enjoy them. As an artist, or a creative person, you can also hit stretches of time when nothing comes easy, or your work doesn’t accurately represent your vision. I call it ‘artist block’, and it can be more stressful than not having any work at all. A lot of the time, this is caused by trying to do too much too often. Read more>>

Sheinata Carn-Hall | African Jewelry Artist & Crystal Healer

I have operated my African Jewelry business for 21 years. When I first started I was in a relationship with my husband. Two years later we got married, bought a house and started a family. For the first 14 years of operating my business most of the attention was on my entrepreneur endeavors. My business ideas are original so I had ups and downs but the majority of my goals I accomplished with ease. Participation in collaborations, volunteering at fashion events and networking created a large community that I could work with. But something happened in my 15th year of business. I realized that although I had accomplished many things in my career I wasn’t completely fulfilled. Spending time with my two growing sons, husband, mom, sister and niece and nephew starting to become more important. It lead me to begin to work with crystals and stones, go on nature walks and deeply think about what future happiness would look like. Many messages came to me in this state of being. Read more>>

Arvat McClaine | Best-selling Author & Transformational Thought Leader

There was a time in my life when I believed that hard work=success. With that being the case, I literally worked around the clock, doing everything in my power to ensure the success of my business. In the process, I lost myself. I had no life outside of work–no family time, no time with friends, no fun, and, ultimately, no real joy. After 10 years of that, I found myself to be mentally, emotionally, and spiritually bankrupt. Luckily, I came across a book that I still credit with changing my life–The 7 Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra. I distinctly remember one of the laws being The Law of Least Effort–do less and achieve more. At that time, I thought it was a cute law, but it made no sense in my logical brain. I wanted Deepak to come live my life for a day and then talk to me about doing less and achieving more. Read more>>

Mark Harris | Owner of Spazz Apparel

Before starting a business, my life was simple; I went to school, work, and home. My lifestyle became somewhat demanding after starting my clothing line Spazz. Becoming an entrepreneur takes up a large amount of my time. Even though I understand the importance of dedication, I
must constantly tell myself “do not become obsessed Mark! You have other obligations” it never works. However, every day I work diligently on day-to-day task for my business and personal life. Overall, I maintain a balance to my work life and personal life. It is not always an easy task. I use the calendar and reminder apps on my phone to make time for
social gatherings, exercising, and other things. Although I have not mastered time management. Read more>>

Aquintas Jones | Quint Jones

My balance has changed over time in a tremendous way. Last year I was working 3 jobs and trying to maintain my business/ministry. It was very tiresome. By the end of 2020 I decided I needed to make a true faith move and take a risk. I quit 2 of my jobs and continued to trust God to provide the finances to supplement my income. I knew as long as I was working the amount of hours I was working and not putting in the same amount of time for business it would not succeed. Now I have true work life balance. I believe it is God first, then family and then business. And God provides my every need and He makes provision for my business/ministry. It is important for me to walk by faith, as well as have time for my family and my business. Take a risk. Your only failure is quitting. Walk by faith. Read more>>

Melissa Libby | Owner of MLA

I’ve gone from completely unbalanced (all work) to pretty well balanced most of the time. To me, that seems normal when you think about the stress and fear of starting a business compared to 25 years later! I have definitely learned that time off – whether it be 30 minutes to walk the dog or 10 days on vacation – always makes me more creative and a better problem solver. Read more>>

Tauri Janeé | Creative Writer & Digital Artist

My grad school and undergraduate experienced trained me to be consumed with work. Even in the moments in which I wasn’t working, I was obsessing over the work I should be doing. I’d be at a house party at 3am, twerking on somebody’s couch, thinking about how I could get ahead in Psych 401. I was always trying to split myself down the middle. It was exhausting but that was my skewed perception of balance. I now know that balance is never really 50/50. The scale will always tip towards what you’re prioritizing at that moment and that’s okay. True balance happens in a rotation, spinning circumstances from one open door to the next. As long as I can commit my attention towards the present moment I feel balanced because I know that my priorities will continuously shift. It’s okay to live a life that is sometimes 60/40. Everything will receive its time when it’s time. It can’t be forced. Read more>>

Jean Atman | Self-Mastery Mentor and Energy Medicine Specialist

Balance was not a word I would have used previously. I have always been extremely driven in my desire to help others and uplift all I could, and would often sacrifice myself for that purpose and cause. But, I learned some important lessons along the way that were life-changing and finally created space for that unicorn of a concept… balance. I learned that you cannot help those who refuse to help themselves. I spent years dedicated to others who I thought needed me but were not prepared to take responsibility for themselves. Once that lesson was learned, it was a game-changer for me and freed my time and energy for other experiences. I also learned the importance of inner work and healing. I was desperately trying to protect others from harm based on difficult experiences I had in my past and was reacting through my old traumas. Once I healed my stuff, I could see what the actual need was, vs the amplified version I created through the lens of old trauma. Read more>>

Elegra Watren | Creative

Overtime, I think I’ve gotten better at balancing. Initially I struggled to put enough time into things and got easily distracted. For me, balancing starts with organizing. I found that I was always more productive when I scheduled things, and planned it all out. Read more>>

Alycee Byrd | Fashion Photographer

My work-life balance has changed over time in the sense that now I give myself more time for life outside of work. When I first started photography I was on a hard grind shooting almost every weekend while in college, whenever I had free time I was doing photo shoots. And up until recently, I was keeping up the same mentality that every moment without a photoshoot was some kind of a failure or a sign that I am unsuccessful. But with the recent pandemic and more clarity within my business plan and my overall life and career goals, I realize that days off and non-busy days are a blessing. Not only for my own physical health as shoots are very draining but also for my business’ is health. Off days are great admin days where I can answer emails, organize my equipment, research new techniques, etc. I was listening to a zoom interview with a duo of established photographers and one thing they said that stuck out to me the most was how they talked about work-life balance. They said something along the lines of, boring days/days without work are a blessing. Days off are God’s way of telling you that you deserve to rest. Read more>>

Diamond Evita | Occupational Therapist & CEO of Emira’s Mamas

Since one of my core tenets with Emira’s Mamas is self-care, my work-life balance is fluid. Sometimes my family and/or I have a lot of juggle, so I have decide which areas are most important to maintain. I always remind myself that I want to support maternal health for the long haul, so there’s no need to burn myself out or move without intention. That balance will reflect what my community needs at the time, since providing support is not always about the physical product. Over time, I’ve learned that community care plays a big part in work-life balance. I don’t know that we were designed to do it all. Having a community that can help pitch in with engagement, household management, or just with finding space for quality time makes all a difference. It makes me even more motivated to provide that community care to others. Read more>>

Louis Raffaele | Electronic Funk Artist

Time management is super important, and I’m still working on it! Working a full-time job during the day and then coming home to put in more hours into your craft can be difficult. You have to make sacrifices. When I’m focused on a project, it can be tough to make time for everything else because all I’m thinking about is finishing my fresh new song. Producing by yourself can also get lonely at times because it involves so many hours of writing, recording, mixing, and tweaking every little detail until it sounds just right. I’ve learned I need to force myself to take breaks and socialize for a bit, which actually helps me be more productive when I eventually get back to work. Also, when you’re first getting started, it can be discouraging to spend so much time creating, and then realize it’s just not that good yet – you don’t have the experience to sound like your idols and the inspiration in your head. Read more>>

Neiasha Russell | Founder & Chief Executive Officer

I’ve been a school counselor for most of my working life. In that role, I had to make sure my time was balanced appropriately and used wisely in order to deliver and maintain a comprehensive school counseling program. At the start of every week, I’d spend time calendaring – carving out space for every small and large activity, task, and responsibility in my eight-hour day (for the entire week). Not only did that system help me stay organized, and on-top of things, but it would often prevent me from bringing work home. I could enjoy my evenings and weekends with peace of mind and the “work life balance” came easy. Over the years, it became habit to organize my days and weeks in that manner. And when I failed to do so, I felt off-balance and out-of-order. Read more>>

Abigail Sykes | Photographer & Music Instructor

I feel like a lot of the language amongst entrepreneurs is all about “hustle.” Well, “hustling” and constantly putting the job first leads to another fun word: “burnout.” For me, home life always gets first priority. My husband, my own mental health, and our collective plans are much more important to me than “hustling.” Obviously, running your business is hard work. I work hard. And in order to be able to healthily pour into my business, it’s very important to maintain that balance. I don’t know that that mindset has changed much over time, but I’ve seen how over time the truth in it has been proven. Read more>>

Ciarra Hunter | CEO & College Student

ven though I am the CEO of Alexia’s Body Bar LLC, I am still a full time student. I study almost 70 hours per week. I love my business but I still have dreams of becoming a nurse one day. I think finding a balance between work and other life activities is extremely important because without balance, things tend to go haywire. Still today, I am trying my hardest to find time for my business while actively trying to get into nursing school. Read more>>

Ayasia Wright | Life Insurance Broker & Credit Specialist

When I first became an entrepreneur, I was single, no kids and still living with my mother. I had just graduated from Georgia State University and I was fed up working for other people. At age 24, I became an Uber driver. I loved being able to create my own schedule and make money on my own accord. The more I worked, the money I made. I was able to take care of my bills and expenses but it wasn’t enough to do forever. I started seeking other opportunities and I realized that I didn’t know anything about money so I got into the financial services industry as an entrepreneur. I knew how to hustle because of driving for Uber and I was extremely successful. I had made more money in 3-4 months than I have ever made at any other job I have worked. I would work all day every day. Then everything changed once I fell in love and had a baby at 26. I had to change up my working habits because it wasn’t just me anymore. Read more>>

Ameera Steward | Journalist & Fashion Enthusiast

I’m not going to lie, I still struggle with balance unfortunately. But I think there’s a struggle with finding balance because there’s a sense of balance within that. It’s mostly about being intentional. With intentionality comes discipline and consistency which takes a sense of balance. What I’ve learned is that you’re never going to be in perfect balance – it’s like a seesaw, sometimes you’ll be further on the right and sometimes you’ll be further on the left. You’ll have your perfect days, months, or even a year but because life is so unpredictable, I think there will always be something to try and tip you toward the left. I’ve struggled with finding any sense of balance because I was the person to put my all into work and everyone else and didn’t take care of myself until after I broke down. Eventually I grew tired of putting myself last and although I’m still learning how to balance life and what she comes with, I’ve realized there are small things I can do to keep myself centered and balanced. These things included constantly talking with God, burning incense, getting back into my healthy habits, and the rest I’m, still figuring out. Read more>>

Calvin Thompson | Sales Associate

I work a regular job now so my business has been on hold but I try to always make pieces to show that I am still working. For personal reasons I just try to make pieces for my brand page when I have time because life isn’t where I want it to be right now and its pretty hard to maintain my business through this pandemic. Read more>>

Darlene Wilson | Mother, Leader, Entrepreneur, Consultant & Accountant

I’ve spent years attempting to answer this question for myself. I spoke to a group of female professionals/entrepreneurs several years ago on this very topic. My response then is likely very different now. Work Life Balance definitely changes over time and it’s directly related to your business opportunities and your personal life. Many professionals attempt to speak to this topic on “How to Achieve Work Life Balance” and it still remains a formula that is challenging to calculate because the dynamics of work and life are always changing. I’ve approached this from two different angles: 1. What are my personal priorities and how will that impact my company? 2. What do I want to do now professionally that can wait until later to ensure I meet the needs of my family? My son has been my number one priority and personally my company grew as he grew. He continues to be a part of my every decision because his stability is as important as myself and my company. Read more>>

Columbia Williams | Doula and Family Photographer

My work life balance has changed exponentially after being married and having a kid. I understand how valuable time is compared to money. I can’t get the time or memories back, so creating a business allows me to have complete control over when, where, how, and how much that I work. Read more>>

Ruth Guerrier | Professional Organizer & Coach

Work life balance is really important to me. In the past I have struggled with over working and not taking time for myself. I often share my story about how I learned to be more organized at home and in my personal life. During that time I also learned the importance of balance. Today, I’m passionate about helping women create that work life balance. These days when I feel myself over working I think about my clients. I definitely want to practice what I preach so in a sense they encourage me to keep a balanced life. It’s not easy but with a little intentionality it can be done. Read more>>

Jordi Lara | Artist & Music Teacher

Balance was something I used to really struggle with. It was difficult for me to keep up with school, work, and have time to progress in my music both in and outside of academics. I am grateful for the fact that now all of these things revolve around music: I’m finishing up my undergrad in Cello Performance with Jazz minor at UGA, I teach private music lessons and do studio work as often as I can, and I spend most of my time outside of work and school rehearsing with my bands or jamming with my friends. It took shifting all of the moving parts of my life towards music to help me start feeling balanced; I have found that I can be learning and growing at all times of the day through practice, teaching, and working with other musicians. I don’t often feel like I’m standing completely still, which was an issue in my past unbalanced life – letting things crash and pile up. Read more>>

Jasmine Edwards | Higher Education Professional and Natural Hair & Lifestyle Content Creator

Before starting my YouTube channel, my schedule was pretty simple. I started my day with my morning routine and breakfast; went to work for 8-9 hours a day; came home for dinner; and then I would spend the rest of the evening on social media until it was time for bed. My weekends were meant for relaxing from the busyness of the week or hanging with friends and family. I decided to start my channel in May of 2020 since I was working form home due to the start of the pandemic. Because my schedule was inconsistent at work and we were in lockdown, I had a lot of time to create content for my channel and my other social media platforms. Over the summer, I was able to take the time to make many videos because work was very light and I had the time to create and edit multiple videos. I was able to get out two videos a week plus maintain my presence on Instagram. Read more>>

Vernon Barrett-Dozier Jr | Chef, Content Creator

My work life balance has changed over the course of my journey because I prioritize the need of recovering. It is important to not burn yourself out that can cause mental and physical exhaustion. I like to set a adequate work amount and once that is complete I relax and do something I love to do. Read more>>

Joyce Latson | CEO & IT Systems Specialist

I must say that my work life balance has been a roller coaster ride! At the start of business, things were a little slow. I was just learning the business so I was able to still have time to have my 8 to 5, focus on myself, friends, and family. As business began to pickup about a year or so in, I was still able to do these things but it started to get more challenging. I would find myself not being able to answer personal calls as much and by the time I’m done at night, I’m too tired to call back or it’s just extremely too late. Now that I am almost in my third year of business, I had to tell myself to slow down and take a breather from time to time. Last year during the pandemic, business really picked up especially because I was designing face masks. I had time for absolutely nothing and I was fortunate that my family and some of my friends would come keep me company while I worked or helped in the process. It was our bonding time. Read more>>

Lori A. Manns | Philanthropist

Work life balance is a concept that changes as you get older and priorities begin to shift. In my opinion, balance implies that there is equal time allocated for work and home life. For me work life balance has evolved into work life integration whereas the two coexist as a whole. I have learned to integrate my work into my life so that it doesn’t overwhelm me. Additionally, I have learned the hard way that taking time away from work is absolutely essential to operate at my highest self. Read more>>

Joya Johnson | Actress, Ballerina, Spiritual Teacher

My balance between work and life has changed drastically throughout the years. However depending on the stage in your career it varies. In the beginning, I took every opportunity that I felt represented me in a positive light for my brand and my own moral code despite the pay. It was important at this stage to make sure I was meeting as many people as possible in my field considering I had moved from out of state. As my resume started building I became more selective with the jobs I would accept due to structuring and developing my brand in a light that is parallel with my end goal. Currently I decline more jobs than I take because of the knowledge, experience and respect I’ve gained for myself through the lens of a creative. After seven years of molding and structuring it becomes easier to navigate exactly what you want and I don’t accept anything outside of those perimeters. Read more>>

Cha’Lea Stafford | Cha’Lea Stafford | Leadership Advocate | Mother | Podcast Host

Work-life balance? It’s time we bring clarity to this poorly defined term that fails to represent the raw human experience and rarely if ever, leads us to this promised land of ZEN. Work-life balance doesn’t exist, at least not continuously or in the way, we may envision it. I’ve learned this the hard way fighting the Pinterest vs. reality way of integrating work and life. After 12 years of leading in the corporate world while raising my two young sons and navigating married life- I’ve made a few wrong turns and discovered some pearls that can help you along the way. Let’s be honest and take a big picture perspective. The longest investment of your time is in the 47 years (18-65) that you’ll spend building your career to give roots to the life and things you value most. Understanding how to navigate this part is critical, messy, but worth it. Read more>>

Mar Na Carter | Founder and Owner

Balance is truly key when it comes to your mental, physical and emotional health. I am the kind of person that keeps going no matter how tired I am. But lately, I had to realize how unhealthy it was to keep pushing without acknowledging how it can effect your home life. There are times when I will remove myself from social media to spend time with God and myself. I also etch out some time to be with my son. The last thing I want to do is grind so hard that I miss all the important moments with my family. We are in a society that we believe we sleep when we are dead. Please acknowledge that you will get to the mountaintop in due time but if you don’t balance out your work life, you might end up at the mountain top by yourself. Read more>>

Jasmine Philpot-Slocum | SLP, Entrepreneur, Wife, Mother

I am a huge supporter of the work/life balance. I think the balance changed over time as different components of my life changed. When I started my company I was not married and had no children. A lot of time was spent working, learning and building my company. Now, I am a wife and mother and I think that priorities sometimes shift. My attention is given where it is needed most and I try to make sure I am pouring into both. Sometimes it’s more work, sometimes less, but overall I just do my best. When I think about balance, I think about not getting burnt out in one area, as too much of anything is not good in my opinion. Nothing is every 50/50, but you can try to shift the paradigm from time to time so that one thing doesn’t become heavier than another. Read more>>