Class Introduction - Skype Call
Hello and welcome to Creative Live. Today's class is how to take maternity leave without putting life on hold with Stacey Trock. Stacey is the entrepreneur and the social media maven behind FreshStitches, the uber popular design craft supply company. During her daughter's first year, she was able to make 65% of her earnings from the previous year, whilst working in the evenings and during her baby's naps. We previously recorded with Stacey but we've got her here in the studio via Skype to chat a little bit about the course content and to get excited about the course. Welcome Stacey thank you for joining us.
Thanks so much for having me.
We're really excited about the course and we've got a couple of questions that we'd love to just pass by with you.
So whether you're working in a corporate situation or whether you're running your own business, what are the main fears and challenges that people face when they're taking maternity leave?
Yeah I think there's a lot. S...
o I think the biggest one for women is, especially a lot of us who have spent so much time so much effort building our career or building our business, we feel like we're going to become irrelevant or we're going to lose our place if we somehow step back a little bit. And stepping back can mean some time off or it can mean part time, or it can just mean not being the one who's in the office until 10 p.m. Or not, you know, burning the midnight oil, and so I think there's a real fear that any kind of maternity leave or even being seen as a mom, you know, would make you less relevant, less ambitious, and so that's one of the topics we're going to talk about is how really it's important that you honor your life and it's important that you spend the time that you need with your little person but it doesn't mean that you're just flaking out on your job or career.
Now this of course comes from your own life, so can you tell us a bit about your personal experience?
Yeah so I started FreshStitches which as you said is a website that's become popular beyond my wildest imagination, in 2008. And I had my daughter in 2014 and I knew I wanted to spend time with her, you know. And that means different things to everyone. For me it meant taking care of her at home and I worked during her naps, when she fell asleep she's not as big of a sleeper as I has dreamed and I think that just happened, but I was really committed to my business remaining successful. And so I turned down some opportunities but as you said was able to earn 65% of my income during her first year of life. And this course isn't at all about saying you have to stay home or you should be earning x amount of money. What it's about is doing the thing, allowing your career to shift in a way that's comfortable with your life. So I think all of us who are watching this want a great career three years from now, five years from now, and we wanna be positioned to do that and we may have monetary constraints like we need to earn x amount of money and we wanna spend time in whatever faculty with this little person. Even if it means that you're just gonna be going to a nine to five job and you still have tons of juggling to do in your personal life when you get home, right and that's crazy different from the way your life was before. So that's what we're going to be talking about in this class and it's not just my experience, but I've interviewed a number of women in different career paths, different choices they took and it's giving you worksheets and ideas for how to make this new phase of life work for you in a way that you're really happy with. Doesn't mean it's not gonna be tiring or stressful, but in a way that you feel really at peace with.
And can you tell us a few of the actionable solutions that the audience will be walking away from once they've watched the class?
Sure well a couple just things we're gonna talk about is a big one is streamlining your work or business I think we've all had that feeling of when you have a full eight to 12 hour work day you're sort of on Facebook you're sort of checking in with whatever you might be doing. We're gonna identify tasks that are super important and streamline your work or job, or business, down to what really needs to be done, so you can be more efficient time wise. We're gonna talk about organizing your personal life in a way that supports your career, and this may mean asking for help from other people or changing certain things about the way you run your personal life, 'cause you only have 24 hours in a day. And if it's, you know, it's gotta come from your work or your personal life or somewhere, and we don't want it to come from our sleep too much if we can help it. We're gonna talk about strategies for outsourcing, so when you're self employed this would mean hiring freelancers or if you're in a traditional career trajectory this would mean talking to HR about responsibilities that aren't crucial for you to be doing that can perhaps be passed along to another team member. We're gonna be talking to HR abour how to approach HR or your customers, because if you're in a career trajectory I guess HR is your customer, how to talk about this change you're going to be doing and how you wanna set it up. Because I appeared to be working pretty much full time from my home maternity leave. And that's also a choice we'll talk about making. We're going to explore directions for guiding and altering your business. Like just as a random example I have kept traveling and working, you know, to teach at Creative Live, during my daughter's life, because it actually works really well for our family for me to be gone a weekend because that's when my husband's not working. If traveling is a super big hardship for you, then we wanna talk about ways to shift your career path so that you're doing things that are earning money, that are advancing your career trajectory, but not causing undue stress on your life.
What are top strategies for jumping back in again or you know perhaps making everything a smooth transition?
Yeah so we actually talk about different stages, from being all the way back not in it to moving in smoothly and then jumping back in, so those are our three different stages but they have different names. And you, I think it's really important, we feel like there's this thing, called six week maternity leave or called 12 week maternity leave or whatever you think it is and you just get hit right back in with it. And one thing I'm really encouraging people to do is think about what they need and have the conversation, go down the path of hmm, what would it look like if I took six months off? Could I, do I dare ask HR for a part time job? So think of what you need for that easing in period and make the easing in as chunky and as big as you need and if all goes well, by the time you're jumping back in, you are so ready and you've been doing the work to keep things on course. Like you don't have 5000 emails to answer the first day back, that's the biggest thing for easing in. And then once you've already jumped back in, setting limits, and being really honest and upfront about your expectations is my biggest tip. You know, I can't be in the office after five, or, i only check email once a day now. Whatever it is for you, going back to the key steps and key features that you've identified are crucial for your career. So that's what we're focusing on the whole time. What is crucial that happens in your business, and what is, you know that doesn't have to happen.
And what's gonna be the big take away for the, you know, for the audience watching do you think?
Yeah so I really really hope that everyone who takes this class will do the work that they, 'cause you have to do the work yourself I can't just hand you the plan, 'cause it's about your life. But we'll take a maternity leave that leaves you feeling completely happy five years from now. That's what I think is gonna happen. Because it's gonna be a little bit stressful, right? We're working on a new human being and a career, and, or, your own business and those are really big things to manage but what we're going to learn how to do is to pick key priorities that are super important and position yourself to take time off but also rev back up really smoothly, and so that in a few years you'll look back and you'll be like holy crap, I can't believe I did that, but I did, and I'm really happy with where I am now. The other thing I just wanna say this on the side. I get asked all the time by people who are overseas who are like, you're teaching a class on what? Why do you need a class on maternity leave? Like the government gives you, however, a year off or gives you pay like perhaps where you're from, so one thing is that, so, for Americans who don't know, countries like Australia or the UK would pay you money for taking your time off even if you're self employed, you would receive a stipend, and this class is still for you because it's not just about the money if you run your own business and you just don't answer emails for six months, you can't come back and have a thriving, successful business so it really isn't just about the money. It's about when you're self employed you are the machine. So how can you take time from that, and you know if you've been running a business it's your whole life. It's people emailing you at crazy times at night, whatever so how do you deal, with the 24/7 running your own business -ness with taking a step back, crafting a maternity leave that's not just worried about the income but is worried about how your business is going to be next year and so I think it's a super important issue, worldwide, whether it's a financial issue for you or not, and the same thing in a traditional career trajectory, you may not care that much about the money, but if you feel like you're going to like, be booted off of the ladder, by taking a bit of a leave, that's really what we want to work to prevent because it's just not cool that women who have so much experience, so much education feel like they have to make a choice between seeing their child and continuing on a career trajectory, we, I have 30 more years in the workforce and so this is about getting through those sticky couple of years and moving on so that you feel like, ha, I did it.
And you mentioned the workbook. So those who purchase the class get an amazing, 19 page PDF workbook to work through. So can you tell us a little bit about the content of that?
Yeah so the workbook is really fill in worksheets asking questions and it's not something you're gonna do in five minutes. It's something you'll watch the class, you'll listen to it and then you'll really spend time thinking about what are my priorities? Answering these questions in the workbook, because no one's situation is the same. It may be super important for you to take six solid months off and not hear a peep from a customer, or my path was more, yep, I can spend a couple hours every day and that's it. And you have to work through these situations yourself. And it depends on the rest of your life like I didn't have any family near by so that really made a difference in terms of childcare, is there someone who can come and help out, whether you're running a physical business or a more digitally based one. Whether you're in a traditional career path. So these are questions you have to answer for yourself and I can give you insights and experiences from other people, but I can't tell you what's gonna work exactly for you and that's the work you have to do and that's what you get in these worksheets.
Well we're really excited for the class, we can't wait to get started. Thank you so much for joining us again today.
Okay well let's get started with How to Take Maternity Leave Without Putting Your Life on Hold?
If the term “maternity leave” makes you nervous, you’re not alone.
The big challenge: stepping away from life for 3 months with the expectation of returning to work after maternity leave like nothing happened. Many working women already put in 12 hours a day, so how does one manage with fewer? This common practice is particularly detrimental to small business owners, who find their business slipping away during maternity leave, along with confused and disappointed customers, even when the business has returned to normal.
There’s a better way.
Instead of a traditional maternity leave, in How to Take Maternity Leave without your Putting Life on Hold, Stacey will show you how to put your business into maintenance mode for as long as you want: keeping your business functioning at a high level to keep your customers happy, but not requiring your full-time attention. It will make returning to work after maternity leave much more seamless.
Many business owners spend time on tasks that are not essential. By eliminating these excess activities, you can distill your business into a few hours a day of powerful productivity. Keep your business going while still spending the time with your family that only comes once in a lifetime. When you’re returning to work after maternity leave, you’ll find that your newly-discovered efficiency has transformed your business. You may even decide to limit work to a few hours a day, permanently!
You’ll Learn How To:
· Determine which tasks in your business are worth your time and attention
· Streamline your business down to the bare essentials, creating successful systems
· Calculate how much money you need to earn during your leave, and work the minimum number of hours to achieve it
· Take advantage of ‘down time’ in productive ways
· Decide when to hire out tasks, even if you’ve never considered hiring contractors before
· Find non-standard childcare options… there’s more than full-time daycare!
· Effortlessly shift your business back into ‘full-rev’ mode
During Stacey’s daughter’s first year, she earned 65% of what she earned the previous year, working during baby’s naps and in the evenings. She was able to do this by streamlining her business and working on only what brought in results, cutting work time down to a couple of hours a day. Her daughter entered traditional daycare when she was 20 months old, with a transition that was seamless to customers, because it appeared as if she had been working full-time all along.
Learn how you can apply Stacey’s techniques and strategies to your maternity leave plan. Even if you’re not a small business owner, you’ll find ways to assess and streamline your work, make time for this once-in-a-lifetime period, manage childcare, rev up and get back in the game.