As founders and makers, what is your work-life balance like?

Lluís Ventura
15 replies
I have 4 kids, and it has been a long journey for me to balance how to be able to spend time with my family and kids while building effectively. Being remote and async first has helped a lot. What's your experience and how you do it?


Makis Spyratos
Work wins mostly but when home (even a year before covid) I found you have no choice but to engage there and there so I went from 120% work to 80% work/life. Yeahy!
Gabriel Bujold
On my end, I believe it's important to be clear with your significant others that this is your passion. Some people have hobbies, and this should be considered more important than a hobby. I'm working fully remotely for a year and a half, and when my door is closed, I'm unavailable. We were able to make things clear on reasons when it's okay to break my focus but it's going well. One of the major points that helped me a lot is about time-blocking spaces to focus on the projects that are meaningful to you.
Bill Flitter
I've been a maker for 20 years, married for 21 years, and kids for 17 years. Prior to kids, I was definitely out of balance - more work, less life (by the way don't do that). Now with kids for 17 of those years, I am definitely more conscious of that balance. Case in point. Last night I had a mountain of work to complete for my side hustle. It was about 7 PM and my teenage daughter asked if I would watch a movie with her. For a brief moment, I thought to myself when will I get this done. For the next 90 minutes, there was no place I would rather be than watching a movie with her. Since having kids, I completely changed my work schedule. I am up at 4:30/5 AM every day before anyone wakes up. Work for 3 hours on my side hustle. The wife and kids rarely see me working on my side project. Summers are harder with the kids being home and no school. Point is, if you are single and anticipate having a family, be out of balance completely with work while you can - you're young, have energy work your butt off. Generate income and save. IF you want a healthy relationship when you do have a family balance is a must. My typical schedule looks like this: 4:30 am - 8:30 pm, side hustle - 7 days per week 8:30 am - 5 pm, job - 5 days per week 5 pm - 7 pm side hustle or family time - 5 days per week Sunday is completely devoted to the family (except the early morning when they are still sleeping). Hope that helps. Bill
Don't take what your are doing or building too serious. Businesses fail more often than not, it's your family and friends that will remain. Life can change instantly for the better or worse, so optimize for happiness and love. If you do that, and are honest with yourself - things will work out. Define a schedule and stick to it. Leave work at work (even if it is in your house).
Aaron O'Leary
It's something tough to manage for sure, first thing is decided how much of a balance you actually want, work for me is something I actually love doing in my life, I like working on weekends etc so I figure out my commitments to others in terms of seeing people and manage burnout or fatigue by taking regular breaks and days off to go offline
Lluís Ventura
@aaronoleary good points here. I love to have some time to work on weekends too. What I learned is that on weekends i try to make kids and family my priority trying to find some spots to move on with work (sometimes at night instead of seeing Netflix, sometimes early in the morning or after lucnch)
Senuka Rathnayake
Giving more priority to work when there's a large project etc. Then working around 12 hours a day and spending like 2 hours with home activities. Other times spending around 3 hours home and the rest work. It's great if you can split them into an ordered manner and work accordingly.
Erman Ergün
@lluis_m_ventura I believe there is no such a thing as a perfect work-life balance unfortunately :/ During some periods of your life, work seems to be the one consuming all your time, this might be 3 weeks, 3 months, or even 3 years... You might have life frames in which you'll have a considerably balanced work-life balance but in my opinion, that is not something that you can apply to your entire life. You just have to accept the fact that, in some durations of your life, you won't have a healthy work-life balance.
Eddie H.
I've heard the term "work + life integration" used instead of balance and I like that better. Balance implies that you have to choose one or the other, that work and life are at two ends of the spectrum. For me, I've integrated my work into my life, very much in the same manner that farmers' lives and work are intertwined. It's both a means to make a living as well as their identity. By doing this, you find better ways to integrate "non-work" activities into your life. I have two kids and it is definitely much harder this time around than when I had none. Sometimes when I'm working in the office, my daughter will come in and ask to practice programming. She'll sit on my lap and I'll ask her to find certain letters and type them. She ends up writing a line of code and then I add a comment to indicate that she wrote it. It's 5 min out of actual work, but it's well worth it.
Lluís Ventura
@eddieaich love the concept of work/life integration instead of balance and the farmers example! Thanks Eddie!!!
Taus Noor
My co-founder (@motasimrahman) and I are far from home -- so as founders we sleep 6/7 hours a day, work out 1/2 hours every other day, talk to our family/loved ones back home 1-3 hrs per day, maybe 1/2 hours per day cooking -- and spend the rest of the time completely focused on working (usually averaging around 10-12 hrs per day, 7 days a week). Not sure if it's too balanced. Thoughts?
Elizabeth Bukys
50% of most people's waking lives are non-work. It's frequently a split between family (or friends) and a hobby or several (friends may end up being your hobby if you have a family in the first priority "non-work" time category). My work-life balance is great, but it's 100% because this is my hobby. If I didn't enjoy what I was doing, working late nights or early mornings or weekends (because I genuinely want to solve a problem/level up at something) wouldn't work. There are other parts of life that get thrown out as a result, but the reality is that if I had a family but also wanted to do a different time-intensive hobby, I would have equally little time for friends. It is what it is, and I kind of love it.
get carrier
if you want to be successful, then work should come first
Nicole Kobilansky
So much depends on personality, determination, flexibility and priorities! We started our app during lockdown and I've relished the opportunity to go 100% heads down exclusively working on this for the last few months - seeing/engaging with friends or hobbies every other weekend or so. I am also about to have a baby and expect things to change significantly, which is why I chose to focus hard in order to set up a good foundation...Having quit a corporate role at Google, I love working in a very flexible environment with a very flexible international team and hope to continue this during maternity leave too - but powered down to 'low' :)