You’re pregnant and you’re running a business. My sympathies. I’ve been there. If I’ve learned anything from pregnancy it’s that no two are ever alike. So I won’t presume to know exactly what you’re going through. But I want to share my experience and perhaps some of it will resonate with you.
Every day was a bit of an emotional roller coaster. I could tackle specific client tasks, because I had an external deadline. I’m an Obliger so it was easy enough to get work done when someone was expecting something. Yet, I knew I needed to start preparing my business for all the changes ahead. I was taking a maternity leave and I didn’t know exactly how I would run my business once I got back to work after the baby.
Taking time to work on advancing your business is not a problem isolated to pregnant entrepreneurs. Most business owners that I know, struggle to carve out the time to work on their own business development (taking it to the next level). Everyone is so focused on finding clients and working on client work that their own brand suffers. Now throw in pregnancy hormones, morning sickness, and extreme fatigue and it’s so easy to push those tasks off until tomorrow.
I thought that the BIG, LOOMING deadline of delivery would push me to get my business in order. But surprisingly, that never happened. I was able to focus on home affairs. We painted the baby’s room and washed and folded his clothes (among other things). This drive that suddenly appeared seemed like magic, but in actuality my body was at work exercising an evolutionary trigger that we’ve been doing since the cavemen days. Of course you’ve heard of it, I was Nesting.
Most animals do this to prepare for the arrival of their offspring. Birds find a safe space and begin to pluck their feathers to line their nests, fish blow bubbles to create a foam nest for egg laying. Our ancestors would begin to stay closer to home (it’s hard to outrun a wooly mammoth when you have a nearly full size baby in your body) and prepare the cave with soft, warm blankets to give their baby the best chance for survival.
Today, our nesting is still biological but not as necessary. Our homes are generally safe and warm without our additional effort. Where it would be nice to direct this effort is towards our businesses. There’s a lot of prep needed to sustain our enterprises so they can survive while we take a break and run differently when we return. Unfortunately, that internal, natural driver just isn’t there.
Prior to getting pregnant, I had no problem with a big project. I was a project manager by trade. Give me a big, complicated task with 100s of moving pieces and I was in my element turning it into a smooth operating process. Determine the deadline, map out milestones, work backwards from there turning everything into specific tasks and breaking it down into daily to-dos to get everything done on time and on schedule.
I thought this project would be no different. I had nine months to get my affairs in order. I had a course that I wanted to develop, I planned to outline, complete and automate 3 months of blog posts and social media content, I was going to hire someone to work with my clients, and I was going to build a waitlist of work for when I returned.
And guess what - none of it got done. I couldn’t believe my drive just completely vanished. I woke up everyday just wishing someone would give me a list of things to get done. I needed my own project manager.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get my own project manager. The days kept slipping by and Bennet was born. We had saved for my maternity leave so we just sort of it winged it and it worked out ok. Still the planner in me wishes I’d put a few more things in place. That’s why I created Nesting Your Business. Having control over your environment in a key feature of preparing for childbirth and, as a business owner, your business is a big part of your environment. It’s really tough to go through the process by yourself so whether you just want a little direction through a strategy session, 1:1 support over a series of months, or the community of a MomMind group - I’d love to help you modernize those nesting drives and truly prepare for your child’s upcoming birth.