Last week was my first day back from maternity leave. Since late May, I’ve been totally hands off with my business. If you’ve been getting my newsletters or seeing me pop up on social media, chances are that it was my team hard at work while I was blissfully napping with my newborn baby (okay, that’s a bit of a stretch which I’ll explain in a sec…).
This is the first time I’ve taken an “Official” maternity leave. With my other two babies, I was back online pretty shortly after giving birth. Back then my business was just getting started and if I wasn’t sending emails, landing clients and closing deals…there were no dollar bills coming in. A lot has changed since then: I have a team and a fully systemized business and automated sales funnels, etc. This time around, I was determined to take a full, hands-off, maternity leave. Here I am, always telling you to prioritize family over work and that it’s possible to have a balance between the two…so could I put my money where my mouth is? What would happen to my business if I took 10 weeks off and just focused on family?
I knew that if I was going to take maternity leave, I had to be serious about it. No appointments, no secret agendas (I’ll just write this book super quick while the baby is napping!), nobody counting on me. When I take half-ass vacations or days off, it always just ends up with me spending the entire day in “work-mode” and not actually unplugging or relaxing.
What I did to prepare
>>> I told EVERYONE that I was going to be on leave
My clients, my MDB’ers, my team, my business coach, all of my entrepreneur friends. I made sure that everybody knew that I was going to be completely off the grid for ten full weeks. I also turned off my email and slack and social notifications so that I wouldn’t be constantly drawn back in to the day to day of work.
>>> I set clear boundaries and expectations
I made sure that every aspect of my business had a team member handling it. New client onboarding? Customer service emails? Social media? Weekly newsletter? Check, check, check and check. I also made sure the team knew in what situations they should loop me in and in what situations they should handle it themselves. I’ve always been of the mindset that you have to step back in order to let other people step up and this felt like a perfect time to test that theory.
I also got clear with myself about the reality of the business hitting a revenue plateau for a few months. We’ve been having so much month-over-month growth that it was hard to wrap my mind around the idea that things would stall out while I was on leave.
>>> I got serious about household support
My maternity leave falling during the summer meant that for a lot of it, I was going to be home with 3 kiddos and 1 newborn baby. Yeah, not exactly the weeks of leisurely bliss I was imagining. In the past, I’ve made the mistake of treating my days “off” from work as days “on” in my house. I’d plan a million things to do with the kids, make a giant list of what I needed to get done, and totally put self-care and relaxation on the backburner.
This time needed to be different. Before taking leave, I hired a night nurse, made sure to schedule a housekeeper to come every week and had my private chef make a ton of food so I wouldn’t have to spend my days trying to feed four kids.
The good stuff!
>>> The team kicked ass
Across the board, the team did the most incredible job running the business while I was out. They managed the content, handled every single customer issue, landed new clients left and right, even got me to inbox zero (gasp!). Honestly, this felt like one of my biggest CEO wins of the year. I never imagined that I’d be able to vanish from my business and it would run without me. #proudboss
>>> My clients were so understanding (and had some big wins!)
A big anxiety about taking a maternity leave was that my clients would feel like they weren’t getting value from Glow Up or Million Dollar Badass if I was out. Or that there would be massive hiccups and issues. But amazingly enough, none of that happened. Yes, there were hiccups. And my clients have been so supportive and so gracious. If you’re a client, I’m sending you a virtual hug right now.
Across the board, I saw clients having big breakthroughs while I was gone. Hitting revenue goals, launching new programs, big mindset shifts. It was AMAZING! When you create a program or system, you always hope that it will work without you there explaining it and I really got to see firsthand the power of the MDB framework and the group accountability. This shit works!
>>> The biz GREW!
After I did all that mental preparing that we were probably going to plateau, we hit our revenue goals for June and July. The team also launched the new Glow Up program, hired two team members AND planned a live event. Which meant that by the time I came back to work, we were on track to triple our monthly revenue for August.
What I would do differently!
>>> I wouldn’t have planned a “optional” creative project
Yep…even after telling myself I wouldn’t plan a project, I still did it. I told myself that “if” I had the time and energy, I would just whip out this project. And then of course I didn’t get anything done on it and I started to beat myself up and get stressed out. Lesson learned: no more secret agendas while I’m on PTO!
>>> I would have hired BEFORE I went on leave
Halfway through my leave it became clear that with or without me…Hello Seven was growing like gangbusters. And that meant we needed more help. This left a gap of a month or so where my team members were scrambling to pick up the slack. This is a great problem to have, but it’s still a problem and one that I wish I had dealt with beforehand. Lesson learned: Hire BEFORE you need the help
>>> I wouldn’t have moved four seconds after having a baby
Seriously though. I was signing closing documents as I was going into labor. Crazy making! Jett came a lot later than I expected and the house didn’t close when I expected and all of this meant that I moved AND had a baby in the same week. Which was crazy stressful. Lesson learned: just because I CAN Do something doesn’t mean I SHOULD do it.
Overall, my maternity leave was incredible. I got to bond with my beautiful boy and I was reminded (again) how lucky I am to work with such a phenomenal team and group of clients. You guys = the best.
7 years ago, when I was holding a newborn baby and madly working on my fledgling law firm, I would never have dreamed that one day I’d be able to take a fully-offline maternity leave AND make money while doing it.
For me, this has just solidified how passionate I feel about my mission of getting female business owners to seven figures. I want every single female entrepreneur to get to have a fully-funded maternity leave. And that includes you.