Considering a big life change and wondering how it will impact your business?
A question that I asked all the time is:
Will having a baby ruin my business?
Now, I wouldn’t say I’m an expert on this because I have only one child and one on the way but I understand where the question is coming from because for years I really identified as a businesswoman and didn’t think that being a mother was compatible with that.
So, I really was worried and stressed out about having a baby.
Today I want to run through some honest, real talk with you about how having a baby has impacted my life and business.
I was always clear that I didn’t want to have a baby early in life. If you’re there, no judgement from me. came from a single parent family. My mother had me at 18 and I did not want to follow in her footsteps. I wanted to be a career woman and my mother encouraged me to go to University and travel before I started a family.
I got into my late 20s/early 30s and my hubby’s like, “Are we ever going to have a baby?”
I was really non-committal, like “Maybe one day, but I’m really into my business right now.”
Then a couple years later he approached it again, “Are we going to have a baby now?” and my first thought was, “I really don’t want to ruin my business. I love my business and freedom. I’m not sure if I’m cut out to be a mother.”
If you’re having those feelings, I think it’s completely normal.
I spent about a year in exploration around that one question:
Do I even want to have a baby?
I asked myself – What am I afraid of? What am I really worried about?
I spoke to life coaches, I spoke to kinesiologists, I asked my acupuncturist, I spoke to everyone to explore that question for myself.
I acknowledged all my fears around it;
I had to work through all that mental stuff first.
Actually, this is what I teach in any of my manifesting courses. If you want to manifest anything in life you have to…
For me, I knew I probably wouldn’t be able to get pregnant if I had all these questions in my mind, especially if I believed all these negative consequences about what having a baby meant for my life.
As I said, I’ve got one and a half babies right now – but I’ve done a LOT of work around the “downsides” of having a baby to get here. I got REALLY clear on everything I was afraid of.
The biggest being that having a baby meant that I couldn’t be a real entrepreneur anymore. That I would be so obsessed with “mom stuff” that I wouldn’t be interested in business afterwards. I thought it would completely change me and I wouldn’t have any ambition left.
Here’s the truth: when I had my first baby, Willow, I actually doubled my business the first two years after her being born. As in, I doubled it and then I doubled it again.
So myth busted for me – but because I decluttered that fear, I could actually plan for it, and prepare my business for the possibility that I wouldn’t be as interested anymore.
But I had to embrace some key concepts.
You can’t do everything yourself anymore.
Bummer right? And lots of women go crazy TRYING to be super-mom because they refuse to get help.
I was one of those people too. I did everything myself.
When I was pregnant with Miss Willow, I was planning out my maternity leave with my assistant and she said, “I’m ready to take over your newsletter anytime you like,” and I was like, “I’m not ready.”.
I procrastinated like crazy handing over the reins.
She said, “I’ve done it millions of times before for my other clients. I’m ready.”
I did my first newsletter after Willow was born while I was in the freaking hospital. Because I was that stubbornly independent.
I also did a speaking application in the hospital because I just didn’t know how to let other people support me. That was a huge detriment to my business – and you know what – as soon as I gave up control of my newsletter, it went like clockwork. It came out at the same, predictable time each week because it wasn’t procrastinated on.
So yeah – if you want to have a baby and do business with a baby, then you probably need to start delegating in your business!
Especially if you want your business to have consistency during your maternity leave, you have to start setting your business up that it can run without you.
You might have a little chillow baby like mine, or one that doesn’t sleep. You could get sick or (hopefully not) Post Natal Depression. You never know, and you want your business that you worked so hard to build, to be able to support you during your time off.
This next baby might not be a chilled out baby. You never know, so the thing is to be able to protect your business and protect that precious time with your baby.
It’s okay to want to keep your business growing while you’re on maternity leave – it doesn’t mean you love your baby any less.
I still LOVE LOVE LOVE my business, but now I’ve set it up so it doesn’t stress me out, and I can grow my family too.
But real talk: You have to set it up in a way that supports you
If you’ve been procrastinating on delegating, now’s the time. (And seriously, whether you have a baby or not, it’s going to grow your business).
The mindset shift for me was…
I’ve noticed that women have a lot of guilt around getting help in their life and business. We’re expected to do it all – or somehow sacrifice sleep to fit it all in.
Media does not help. I did a Google search recently on the term “busy dad” and there were about 36,000 hits in the media.
BUT then I did a Google search on the term “busy mom/mum” and there were millions and millions of hits because the media likes to portray women as frantic and busy and if they admit to having help, it’s this really big deal.
It doesn’t even matter what the article is about – the stories all lead with “Busy mom of 3….” whether it’s a story about a highly successful entrepreneur, inventor or a community story where that term has more context.
You’ll start to notice it everywhere, but I think the impact is that we’re just meant to feel guilty about it all the time. If you’re not “busy”, what the hell are you doing?!
To be honest – I don’t consider myself a very busy person. Yes I have a family, house and business to look after, but I’m really conscious about outsourcing the things that stress me out.
Start looking at that now. Start planning out what kind of help you’ll need if you had a baby.
It’s okay to get lots of help. You don’t have to do everything yourself.
I have a part time nanny who comes 12 hours a week and that gives me some solid desk time. I don’t have to squish my business in at the crack of dawn or when everyone else goes to sleep.
The nanny can do play-dough with Willow, do these amazing creative things that aren’t in my zone of genius.
The nanny can also do some laundry and re-stack the dishwasher, which saves me valuable energy – tasks like that don’t bring me fulfillment OR make me any money.
And honestly – being really clear on what my time is worth has made me a better entrepreneur. Nobody is paying me to keep my toilet clean. I also don’t feel like I have to spend 24/7 with my kid to be an awesome mother.
It’s okay to bring in other people to help you because it takes a village and it’s not just up to us to do it.
For our second baby, we decided, as a family, that Mark should quit his job and have more flexibility as a consultant.
That was a big family decision that we made so we could both continue to do our business, do things that we love, but be together as a family.
When you have less time to spend on your business, you get REALLY clear on what’s important. During my 12 hours of desk time a week, I don’t have a lot of time to procrastinate, and I’m way more discerning with my time.
You might look at projects and go, “No, that’s going to take too much time and it’s not worth it.”
You actually really become a better CEO when you make powerful decisions, instead of saying yes to everything.
I’m not saying everyone should have a baby to be a better CEO, because trust me there are quick and probably easier, less expensive ways to become a good CEO.
For me, I had to force myself into that role!
Having a baby forced me to be more discerning with my time and not have my life and business be dictated by other people’s opinions or requests.
I also realized that I can’t do everything and I don’t need to overwork.
I’ve had people say, “Oh, it’s a bummer. I can’t travel as much anymore when I have kids.”
Look. You totally can if you want to. There are no rules about how to raise a family anymore.
I know people who do travel with their business and their kids.
For me, I decided not to. It’s okay to slow down.
I realized that I have time…
There’s time for us to have babies and there’s time for us to be in hard-core business. This will fluctuate depending on your energy, how your kids sleep and what else is going on.
That doesn’t mean that you have to completely put a hold on either one if you don’t want to.
But don’t get FOMO because you have time – you’ve hopefully got a long life ahead of you. Look at amazing women like Louise Hay who continued to tour and teach into her 80s. Who said you have to do everything NOW?
I had these big realizations…
“Wow. I don’t have to write all of the books of my career this year.
I don’t have to go to every conference in the world right now.
I realized that it’s okay for me to take things a little bit slower right now, spend time chilling and do the things in my business that don’t require travel or don’t require a lot of mental energy.
Funnily enough – when I made decisions from a place of time abundance, I got a LOT more done.
Here’s the last secret to maintaining a successful business while you grow your family – and THIS one is a life-changer.
If you structure your business to have more passive income, then you can absolutely maintain a profitable business and have a family. It’s also awesome when you don’t have to stress about every dollar and feel the pressure to go back to work before you’re ready.
In fact, this is where I can say I might not be the most expert mom, but I have really kicked ass at creating a passive income business that supports my family’s lifestyle.
Now I get to reap the rewards of having built that business.
If that’s something that you can see for yourself on the horizon, guess what, you can start now on that. You can start building your million dollar course now (because trust me, everyone starts from zero)
It’s not going to be a million dollar course in the first year. Mine wasn’t either. It takes time to build a model like that, but you can start building something NOW that gives you options later, even if you decide not to have kids. It’s insurance proofing your business.
If you are someone with small kids right now, don’t worry. It’s not too late for you.
I just want to reassure you. There’s time for everything and sometimes there are different seasons in your life. You don’t have to give up your business dreams, you just have to pick and choose what you’ve got time and energy for right now (and seriously, ditch or outsource the rest)
But be really brutal with your time.
Focus on income producing activities, get rid of all that other crap.
No, it absolutely doesn’t have to.
I’m sorry that I took 10 minutes in the video to say that. I could have just said it right at the beginning because OBVIOUSLY it doesn’t have to ruin your business. But those of you who don’t have kids yet, you probably had time to watch it!
It’s been an amazing journey for us, having kids and having a business, and you really can have both if you want to have both.
It’s your time and you’re ready for the next step.