12 People Define Work-Life Balance in 1 Sentence

Discussing work-life balance is a huge can of worms, but before we twist off the lid, it might be helpful to figure out what work-life balance is in the first place.

Is it a certain number of hours worked, or a number in your bank account? Perhaps it’s a mental state? “The answer to this question is as unique as the person answering it,” says Julie Cohen, a career coach who has worked with hundreds of people and authored Your Work, Your Life…Your Way: 7 Keys to Work-Life Balance.

Here’s how 12 entrepreneurs and other professionals define the elusive “work-life balance.”

Feeling in control

“To feel like I have the freedom to design my own life, at work and home”

– Lina Sandén, coach, singer, and songwriter


“When you stop looking at emails, life begins”

– Erick Bzovi, developer at HealPay

“Work-life balance means turning off my phone, iPad, and computer the minute I step foot into my house to ensure I can spend quality time with my family, which in turn leaves me motivated to be productive the next day”

– Josh Otten, CEO and managing partner of Screenpush International

Not feeling rushed

“That sweet spot where you get everything done, maintain healthy relationships, a healthy mind and body, and you’re still able to sip (not chug) your morning coffee”

– Sarah Jacobs, cofounder of The Wellness Project NYC

“Attempt” is the keyword

“The attempt to keep the people in your life happy while not letting your business fail”

– Chris Sonjeow, cofounder of LoveBook

Being able to live in the present

“The ability to be present at work and at home, keep things in perspective, and enjoy your life”

– Angie Schiavoni, founder of Mamajamas

“It’s about being so totally alive in the moment that work, relationships, spirituality, mission, responsibility, and opportunity blend seamlessly into one thing: life”

– John O’Leary, inspirational speaker, president of Rising Above

Money and time

“You have to be able to afford the lifestyle you want and have the time to enjoy it, as well”

– Jason Weberman, dating and relationship expert

Being a whole person

“Work-life balance is a state of peace where who you are and your enjoyment of your life is equal or exceeds what you do for your business. It’s a daily practice of self-observation and choice”

– Kim Castle, creator of KimTV

“Work-life balance is letting neither your career nor your personal life define you”

– Mary Beall Adler, CEO and owner of Georgetown Bagelry


“When your life is a pleasure”

– JC Niala, writer and creative

You know it when you see it 

“If at 2 pm on Friday afternoons, you can’t wait to get home and out of the office, and at 7:30 pm on Sunday evening, you can’t wait to get out of the house and back to the office, your work-life is in balance”

– Alice Price, professional organizer and coach at Organize Long Island

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Written by:
Kira M. Newman is a Tech Cocktail writer interested in the harsh reality of entrepreneurship, work-life balance, and psychology. She is the founder of The Year of Happy and has been traveling around the world interviewing entrepreneurs in Asia, Europe, and North America since 2011. Follow her @kiramnewman or contact kira@tech.co.
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