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February 3, 2010

It’s All About Timing: Balancing Business & Life

Last week we held an event with babybites titled “Have Your Baby and Your Business too”. The goal of the event was to have an honest conversation with REAL business owners who are moms and learn some of their tips, tricks and lessons learned along the way. Motherhood brings about a lot of change and is often an incredible time to re-evaluate professional goals and opportunities. It is no wonder that many women consider starting their own business.

We invited four dynamic entrepreneurs to share their experience as mothers and business owners. The speakers included Eden Abrahams who is an executive coach and founder of Clear Path Executive Coaching, Cecily Kellogg who is a writer, blogger and created the incredibly successful blog “The UpperCase Woman" and Hannah McDonald and SaSaDi Odunsi co-founders of Bump Brooklyn. It was a great discussion and we were thrilled that so many moms came out to explore entrepreneurship.

I was inspired by all of the speakers. Each was thoughtful, articulate, and candid about their experiences and with their advice.

I was also equally impressed with all of the women who came to learn more about starting a business. For some of the women, this was something they have been giving a lot of thought to and they want to launch in the near future. They expressed an eagerness to be doing something new and to have a different challenge. They spoke of emerging from the baby fog and of recently hitting a scheduling groove. They were ready.

For other attendees starting a business is on the distant horizon. They were already balancing too many time and energy demands and knew that logistically a business wouldn’t work just yet. But they had a feeling that a business was something that they wanted for themselves someday. And maybe that day would actually be sooner than they imagined.

Regardless of proximity or readiness, all the women engaged in a meaningful discussion about the role and importance of a future business and significance that timing did or would play in their decisions. There was patience in talking about the future and they were certain pushing themselves to take a long-term view.

This evening was still fresh on mind over the weekend. I was spending
time with a friend who had been giving serious thought to starting a business this spring. She had spent a lot of time researching, planning and thinking about the business. When I saw her this weekend, she informed me that her business launch plans were on hold – indefinitely. She’s pregnant. While she is obviously excited about having a baby she feels disappointed that her business was not going to happen now.

But that’s exactly what I pointed out to her. All that was being determined was the “right now”, not the future. This change doesn’t mean that she will never have a business or that all her work is for naught, it just means that the timing is different than planned.

Change and the unexpected are difficult for most of us. But as moms and business owners both know, it is important to focus on the possibilities that the future brings. To remember that the future is long and that opportunities are great. And that timing is key element to satisfaction and success.

One day my friend will get to start her business, maybe at that time she will choose a different business all together or will make it a variation on the vision she already has. She will have to see what she wants when the timing is right.

posted by Amy Abrams

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