Being an entrepreneur is stressful. You are running your own business, trying to bring in new clients while also managing a website, hiring employees, coming up with marketing strategies and everything in between. Being a pregnant entrepreneur means double the stress.
We have two young kids so I (Blake) have gone through the experience of being pregnant while running my own business twice. And going through this has been challenging and rewarding for both of us. Today we are sharing some of the things we have implemented in our lives to help us both successfully run our own businesses while expecting a child.
This is a topic that isn’t talked about very much in the business community so we wanted to share our experience in order to hopefully help anyone going through this in their entrepreneurial journey.
There are definitely some pros and cons to being an entrepreneur while pregnant. Some of the pros include:
Having complete flexibility. You control your schedule, which means if you don’t feel well or you didn’t get enough sleep you can adjust your schedule to work best for your needs.
You can spend a lot more time with family. In our situation with both of us being entrepreneurs it really helped because Jacob was able to be at home to help me when needed. And during my second pregnancy Jacob was able to help with our first child.
You can take as much maternity time as you need. No one is telling you when you have to come back to work. And you are able to ease back into things when you are ready instead of having to go back full time on a certain date.
You can say no to things. Working for a company if the boss assigns a project to you, there’s not much you can do. Working for yourself you have the power to say no to projects you don’t want or can’t handle.
Nobody is going to be on your case about coming back, or workload, or taking time off before giving birth. Everything is up to you.
Some of the cons include:
There are always going to be things you can’t control. No matter how well you plan for your pregnancy, your maternity leave, etc… there are always going to be things that don’t go according to plan.
You have to pay for everything. When you are your own boss you are not going to get any financial support aside from the money you save on your own. Most likely you won’t have a paycheck coming in while you are on maternity leave and any other time you take off during the pregnancy.
Less stable than a full time job. There are a lot of uncertainties that come with running your own business, even in normal times, let alone when you are pregnant. Working for a company there are some things that would be more stable and predictable, that as an entrepreneur will be unknown.
The good thing is that regardless of the hardships that come with being a pregnant entrepreneur, we know firsthand it is possible. So here are our tips and strategies that we implemented into our lives to make this experience easier and more manageable.
Have a backup plan. There are a lot of uncertainties that come with pregnancy, so you definitely need to have a backup plan in case things go differently than you expect. You might have to be on bedrest, there may be issues, you don’t know how long you will be able to work. Your body can be a wild card. You don’t know how you are going to feel day to day. Have backup plans, save up as much as possible, and be flexible.
Keep stress levels down--Being an entrepreneur on its own is stressful. Being pregnant is stressful. So you have to do what you can to manage that stress. If you have difficult clients or stressful projects, try to stay away from those things if you can. At the same time, don’t be afraid of pushing yourself in knowledge work. Pregnancy will not be affected by how hard you work mentally. Do what you can to keep yourself healthy. Eat healthy food, exercise, take time to meditate or relax, don’t try to do everything on your own, lean on your partner or spouse.
Give yourself a timeline--It is important to give yourself a cutoff for when to say no to work. Have that end date in your mind and stick to it. You may lose projects, but that’s okay. Focus on yourself and the baby and don’t let lost money be a factor. Work will be there when you come back.
Communication, communication, communication--During this time it is important to over communicate to those around you to let them know how you’re feeling. You are going through a lot and it can be overwhelming. But the people around you probably don’t know how you are feeling. Keep an open dialogue with your family so they know what they can do to help.
Don’t feel like you need to tell the world--If it is not going to impact your ability to do a job, no one needs to know you are pregnant. If you are cool with your situation and you are confident and positive no one’s going to make a big deal about it. It’s nobody’s business outside of your family and close friends.
This is part one of two. In the second part, which we will get to next week, we look at how to run a business once the baby is born.
Meet everyday entrepreneurs and learn about the hustle behind their business in the School of Hustle podcast from GoDaddy. Host Sarah Funk, NYC tour company owner, producer, and YouTube Creator, chats with everyday entrepreneurs about their successes and struggles and gets real strategies you can use to help your business thrive. Listen on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts.