I’ve once again been featured in Forbes, this time on the critical issue of managing work and motherhood! The complete link to the profile can be found here.
Making Room for Baby: Discovering You’re Pregnant 3 Months After Launch
Elizabeth Cronise McLaughlin
Professional Path: Lawyer turned Executive Coach
Children: 10 month old daughter, baby boy due in July
Location: New York City
Elizabeth runs ECM Executive Consulting, an executive coaching and consulting business focused on guiding high performing executives through major transitions and toward profound growth, professionally and personally. She works one-on-one with clients based all over the world, and also teaches seminars and workshops for corporations, law firms and organizations both within the United States and internationally.
The back story…
Elizabeth started her business in early 2011, after opting into a layoff from a major Wall Street law firm. Three months later she learned she was expecting. Pregnancy notwithstanding, however, the first year of business was an absolute whirlwind, and Elizabeth worked her tail off night and day to get her business off the ground. The time period right before her daughter’s birth was jam-packed with clients, networking and teaching workshops. She says, “It was a wonderful, inspired and slightly insane time.” Her impending (and short) maternity leave forced her not only to accelerate the growth of her business, but also required her to really plan ahead so she “could re-emerge quickly and hit the ground running.”
“I really had to wrap my head around my time management skills. I coach executives on time management routinely, so my ability to manage time was already pretty advanced, but I knew that one of my biggest challenges as a mom and entrepreneur was going to be the issue of how to get it all done and keep my business on a trajectory of growth.” Incidentally, the summer months of 2012 were Elizabeth’s best months of the year in terms of revenue, and her best month to date was January 2013.
“First, I automated all my social media marketing through Hootsuite. This allowed me to avoid Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter for the full month after my daughter’s birth and still keep my marketing plan intact, which was priceless.”
“Second, I advised all my clients of how long I would be off, and gave them all extended coaching assignments for the weeks when I was on leave. I did make myself available for sporadic email coaching for clients in crisis over that time. By implementing these strategies, I was able to focus on my daughter entirely for the better part of a month, with only an hour or two a week of work to maintain my business and keep my clients moving forward in a positive direction.”
On the challenges…
“There is no question that the first few weeks of motherhood were hard for me. I had an unexpected cesarean birth and a very difficult physical recovery, and I experienced a short bout of moderate post-partum depression about three months in. However, these challenges were great learning experiences. They have made me much more attuned to depression in my clients than I ever was before. They have made me particularly sensitive to the needs of working moms for support in many forms, both inside and outside the home.”
What worked for her…
“In the months before giving birth, I advance-scheduled a number of workshops and seminars for corporations and groups beginning roughly two months after my due date. This ensured that my pipeline of business and potential clients was there waiting for me when I returned, and guaranteed my revenue stream would not suffer as a result of my maternity leave. It also gave me a certain date for being back at work full-time. This was the best thing I could have possibly done for my business because it ensured continuous growth, and I am doing it again in anticipation of the birth of our second child this July.”
“I also established a personal ground rule that I would never miss my daughter’s bedtime for two consecutive nights. This has forced me to be extremely efficient in my scheduling and networking over the past ten months, much to the benefit of everyone in my household. I am very, very selective now. Given that the trade-off is precious time with my daughter, learning to say no to events that might demand too much sacrifice from my family has been a critical choice that has kept me living in integrity with both my business and my family. “
What she wishes she knew…
“I wish I had given further consideration to the issue of childcare. I am fortunate to have a husband who is not only an extraordinary father but who also chose a profession that allows him great flexibility in scheduling—he is a private chef. He opted to stay home with our daughter full-time beginning when she was three months old, and is only now going back to work. While this has been an extraordinary benefit to our daughter, I wish I had considered hiring a nanny or babysitter for at least a few hours a week, both to give him a break and also to give us some time together as a couple. I’m sad to say that in the ten months since my daughter’s birth, we’ve only had three date nights!”
What she wishes you knew…
Keep reading here.
LIKE WHAT YOU’RE READING? SHARE IT!