Being an entrepreneur means working through challenges. But running a business while pregnant comes with a different set of problems.
In the male-driven business world, female entrepreneurs already face many more hurdles than their male counterparts. Finding out you are pregnant on top of that might seem like the end of your emerging startup.
Because when you are at the initial phase of your business, you have so much to balance. You do not have big company perks like a cushy group health insurance policy, someone to pay the salary of your maternity leave replacement, and the satisfaction of eating cake in the conference room.
Here's how to manage a business and a pregnancy, from the "plus sign" to the fourth trimester:
Pregnancy is a joyful time but, it needs an adjustment in expectations and work routine. During the first trimester, you may succeed in pretending you are normal even when you are nauseous and functioning at less than a hundred percent of your normal capacity.
As an owner, you are supposed to be the inspiring force of nature and you are supposed to be working 12 hours a day and that is very difficult for you to pull off in the first few months.
Once you reach your second trimester, you need to open up to your team about your situation and need to adjust your work to what your body was telling you it needed to build a baby. Once you accept your ability and say before people, you get a kind of flexibility to decide when and where you complete your work.
Funding is a vital part of running operations in any business. The major decisions to be made here are whether to pitch during or after the pregnancy and how to bring up the elephant in the room.
To understand their reactions, you can fix meetings with a few investors. Here, try to integrate your pregnancy into your pitch story and use your pregnancy as an example also address maternity leave in the roadmap.
You are going to be a mother. Although it will be very difficult, it can be done with patience and support. Let your confidence and patience shine through and take it one step at a time.
Make sure to create a rough adaptable plan to use for the reminder of the pregnancy and months after that. There is no such thing in pregnancy that is set in stone. Do your planning in advance to delegate tasks and prepare for your well-deserved maternity leave.
After hearing the pregnancy news, how your team reacts varies from person to person. Few male employees can quit while valuable team members will stay.
The people you hire, mainly the first ten members of your company, will bring a major impact on how the culture at your company develops. Try to hire those people who have an open mind and are passionate enough to work in any situation.
While you are in the initial stages of creating your startup, you should be thinking about company culture. When you have a clear picture, you will be easily able to hire the right people from the start.
One unexpected advantage of being pregnant while starting a business is how easy it is to let things go. Starting your startup gives you an incredible perspective on what matters.
You should not stress about having every answer, closing every lead, or the day-to-day setbacks that come from being your boss. Somehow, despite your Type A personality, you hold the ability to remain laser-focused on the bigger picture; the fact that you are not only doing this for yourself but your family.
Ultimately, what keeps you going past the tough days of early entrepreneurship is that hope that your kid will be proud of his or her mother, and maybe even start a business and a family his or her own one day.
When you are an entrepreneur your business is your life. It does not mean your family cannot be part of this life. Try not to distinguish between work and personal life; working in your space you have the flexibility to combine both.
A startup company is like a family, and that is one of its competitive advantages. If you grow a strong professional and personal bonding with your team, you will be able to trust and rely on each other.
But this should be from both sides when you have great people who are helping you build your vision, you should give back by providing them with a supportive and flexible environment.
Planning to establish a startup while raising a family or already have? Don't forget to share your experience in the comments below. Also, if you have advice for other aspiring mompreneurs, share them in the comment section.