Baby Proofing Your Business… Or taking a long leave, sabbatical, step back to part-time hours to explore other passions, etc.
This is a hot topic in my world lately. If you’ve seen any of my content before, you know that I often talk about my journey to combine motherhood and entrepreneurship. (How the eff can we do it all?)
I knew before baby B came around that I wanted the best of both worlds.
And well. I was determined to do things well.
Here’s a list of ALL the things I did over the 9 months leading up to baby B’s arrival so I could step away from my business for a bit, but still count on revenue coming in.
Maybe you’ve read my recent post breaking down the 3 stages of business growth: BUILD, GROW, and SCALE.
When we found out in the summer of 2021 that I was pregnant, I was somewhere between growing and scaling.
Life was GOOD.
Enter: The two little pink lines that changed my life.
Sure, everything was working with the above. However, everything was directly tied to ME. Which meant that time off would equate to basically $0 coming in.
As my Type A self, I made a list of everything that needed to happen in order to take time off without stressing…
Plus there was the question of after… What would my return to work look like?
And a lot of what I worked on during those months wasn’t just to be able to step away, but come back easier. The bigger goal is work-life integration, so I had to think long-term.
I got to work checking things off the list.
Increasing sales: I already paid the deposit for my new brand and website prior to finding out, so the level up of all things marketing over here was already scheduled to happen.
Growing the team: I focused on getting help with the day-to-day stuff first (s/o to my assistant, Adriana who schedules a lot of my content, helps manage my inbox, keeps track of things in ClickUp, and more). Then moved into extra support for client deliverables.
Team-sized processes: I focused on streamlining, automating, and overall getting hyper organized, so the growing team could help me with more and more every week.
I won’t lie… The above was a lot of freaking work. There were some 6am mornings that didn’t end until midnight (thank youuu second trimester energy 🙏). My biggest months in business came while also hiring and training.
And let’s not forget how I approached nesting… Extreme edition. If you followed my Instagram at the time, you may have seen me organizing duct cleaning services and attic insulation pros, renovating our main bathroom, ripping up flooring at 8-9 months pregnant… Good times. 🤪
→ The DFY side of my business has grown into a studio that can offer full-service support. New client start dates book months in advance here, even with increasing capacity. And all my long-term clients assured me that they felt both supported/ready for my time off and excited for my return (that feels good). But can’t stop won’t stop on that front. I’ll always find new things to improve on. 🤪
→ The Biz Bar kept growing, which isn’t just exciting because of the “passive” income attached (“passive” is a debate for another day). I genuinely love that I can help more good people grow their businesses online. It’s so f*cking cool.
→ I had 2 entire months free of commitments personally, so I could focus on learning how to be a mom before coming back to work… But I gave myself the flexibility to work on things a bit before I was “in the office” if I wanted to.
→ When I got back to work, my personal schedule was lighter than ever (especially at first), but the results for clients continued to go up. The coolest thing about bringing on more support is realizing that I can deliver MORE + BETTER this way. It’s not just my eyes on everything now, but typically 2-3 pairs.
→ We crossed a sh*t ton of house projects off the list too and it feels good.
It’s HARD to shift your biz to be less about you and more about the bigger results, especially when you’re planning time away from the office. But all that work pays off… And business doesn’t need to always feel so hard.
The key to setting up your biz for time away AND for your return is knowing exactly where to focus.
Not to brag, but I think I did a damn good job setting everything up to run smoothly. I’ve returned to work, and even though life these days looks a lot different than before, business is thriving.
Now I’ve come out the other side of maternity leave, here’s what I would consider the most important stuff to baby proof your business like I did.
1. DO BIZ + PERSONAL PROJECTIONS.
You need to know your numbers before anything. How much do you personally need to pay yourself while you’re off? How much do you need saved? What are your biz projections for post baby? How can you achieve those numbers?
2. CREATE SYSTEMS FOR EVERYTHING.
Literally everything has an SOP in my world. I live and thrive off of workflows and love when my tech tells me exactly what I need to do each day (without me having to think twice—ain’t got time for that). Even better if some steps can be automated.
3. HIRE THE SUPPORT YOU NEED.
Preferably, long before the baby’s arrival because you don’t know how things are going to go when the little one shows up. Do at least the bulk of your training prior to eliminate stress. This is a stress-free zone. 🙅♀️
4. GET RUTHLESS WITH YOUR TIME.
I talk about Mom Speed all the time… But aside from learning how to work more efficiently, you gotta be hyper strict with your time. Boundaries. Cut what’s not necessary. Delegate. Only focus on the tasks that you truly need to do.
5. SET REALISTIC GOALS.
You’ve heard me say I’m on a mission to “do it all” aka be a present mama + successful biz lady. BUT the caveat here is that I get to decide what IT ALL is. And “it” often involves cutting sh*t from my to-do list. There’s sooo many projects or efforts I’ve chosen to NOT put time + resources into, which means I can show up better with those that do make the cut.
6. GO WITH THE FLOW.
If I’ve learned anything the past couple years, it’s that baby is the boss. He dictates my schedule. He does things on his own time. You gotta be flexible, otherwise you’ll drive yourself nuts. Even if you’re stepping back for other reasons, when the unexpected happens, going with the flow will help you stay sane.
Maternity leave for the self-employed is possible. You CAN still take maternity leave as a freelancer. And a smooth transition from your time away back into the daily grind can actually happen—all it takes is a little planning. Solid strategy. Focused work beforehand to make it all come together.
And life after mat leave? It’s pretty sweet.
These days, I do more in less time working an average of 3 focused hours on work days and communicating with clients and the team as needed. Do you have goals for similar work-life integration too? See what’s possible for your schedule with the 6-Figure Schedule, a free download and BTS look into what my days look like as a freelancer and SAHM.
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