One of you, dear readers, requested I share what I’ve learned so far about running a business while in the early stages of pregnancy, and I was immediately flooded with unexpected resistance… And in my book, that’s a perfectly delicious reason to explore it more deeply!
At first, I thought… ‘I feel like I’m just making it up as I go, so who am I to shed light on a path through this?’
And then I thought… ‘Most of my audience either don’t want children (in some cases, yet) or already have them, so who would even relate to this topic?’
While the reasons why NOT to talk about this topic bubbled to the surface and then evaporated, I started to see what sharing about this journey COULD offer you all, whether or not you are going through this particular experience.
You see, pregnancy has summoned and challenged ALL of my core values as a person and business owner. It has tested what boundaries, needs, and choices are required.
So in this blog, I will share the 3 core discoveries that have led to massive breakthroughs and new levels in my personal and professional growth – that, for me, were catalyzed by pregnancy, but by no means are limited to it.
1. As I grow, I must continue to reinvent my business around the life I want to live, rather than fit my life around the business I currently lead.
As someone who loves what I do, working is fun, making money is awesome, and growth is thrilling! For the first several years of my business, my goal was to grow my practice by filling all 15 of my 1:1 spots and continue to raise my rates as my skills and social proof increased.
I worked full 40+ hour weeks predominantly as the practitioner in my business, since as a solopreneur… we don’t have a business if we don’t have clients! My time was filled with networking, sample sessions, and delivering world-class coaching to my clients. I wanted to grow fast, and I had the time, energy, and motivation to build a solid foundation of steady clients.
Then there was a turning point in 2020 for me in my desire to grow the scale of my impact and regain back some of my time to work ON my business more than IN my business, which I decided looked like developing a signature group offering. Hence, the Powerhouse Entrepreneur Program was born!
Building a program, learning how to launch, and diving into the deep end of delivering something I’d never done before required that I leave my cozy, safe comfort zone of how my business looked and operated with private clients only, and instead required me to take risks, make mistakes, and grow exponentially as a leader.
It also meant reprioritizing my time, albeit still working 30-40 hour weeks, just doing different things with my time. This shift marked a change from me relating to myself as a coach to relating to myself as the CEO of my business.
When I was planning to start a family earlier this year, I noticed yet another shift that has only become more pronounced as I’ve begun pregnancy. I realized that although I could run a business with 10 1:1 clients and another 10 group clients, along with running the day-to-day, I simply didn’t want to.
The amount of energy needed to show up for that number of clients AND work on my business as the CEO felt like a battle I could only lose. I felt my energy moving in a different direction – creatively, personally, and spiritually – and the size of my business was actually getting in the way of the life I wanted to live.
I found myself the CEO of a business I no longer wanted… when I was the one calling all the shots!
I craved space to CREATE. Create music, create memories, create new life… create whatever the hell I wanted!
So, I restructured my launch process and program design (by shortening the program), I downsized my 1:1 practice by half, and I started investing my focus in systems that would sustainably give me more space in my schedule to pursue creating my new dreams.
Now that I’m pregnant, I am basking in the spaciousness I spent the last 6 months preparing for… and it’s been… strange.
My business is thriving with only about 20 hours of work from me a week.
I still have consistent 5-figure months, but I work half as much as I used to.
The dream, right?
It has been a shock to my system, to be quite honest.
You know that feeling of “I know there’s something I SHOULD be doing right now?” that haunts you in downtime?
I’ve had that feeling constantly for the past month because I’ve now set up a business that afforded me the freedom of my time… and it’s been a struggle to remind my lizard brain that nothing is wrong, my business is safe, and it’s okay to enjoy this spaciousness.
The gift that specifically pregnancy has given me is it has FORCED me to slow down and claim that space for myself! Although I imagined this newfound space would be used to create new content or take new adventures, mostly it’s been filled with resting or napping.
Y’all, I am NOT a napper. I was one of those kids who read during naptime at school. Time was meant to be USED for something, otherwise it feels WASTED. Sleeping extra has always felt like a waste of time.
Not. In. My. Pregnancy.
Resting is required. Napping is mandatory. When I work past those 4-5 hours allotted in a day, my body is wrecked, I get violently nauseous, and I end up sleeping for 14 hours straight.
If, however, I rest and nap and respect the work hours I have scheduled, I have some energy left over to go on a date night with my husband, go for a long walk on a beautiful day, daydream and journal about parenting, and maybe even think up which topic to film for my next Youtube video or which song cover to sing.
Pregnancy has been the ultimate accountability structure for me to take up more space than seems reasonable and live a full and vibrant life. And because I listened to that inner voice that begged for more space months ago, I now have it when I need it most.
The intuition is one of our most powerful compasses. It leads us exactly where we are meant to go.
2. Getting our needs met and sourcing a sense of well-being is not a one-and-done thing to figure out. It changes as we do.
Many parents reading this will probably get this sentiment – as soon as we feel like we’ve figured everything out, everything changes.
I’ve heard this to be true about parenting, and this is 100% my experience with meeting my own needs as well.
Over the last 8ish years of personal development work, I’ve noticed that every time I establish the perfect morning routine, something changes and I have different needs that that routine no longer satisfies.
Before becoming pregnant, my morning routine was designed to fill me up and energize me. It stimulated my senses, my mind, my body… and it brought into focus what I was moving towards each and every day. It worked for me!
Now, as I write this in week 9 of my pregnancy and my baby is growing at exponential rates that require endless sources of my energy, my goal in the morning is not to be energized… it is to find my center again. I wake up in a fog most days – drowsy, perpetually hungry, and slightly queasy.
If I were to hold rigidly to my pre-pregnancy exercise regimen, I would literally make myself sick.
If I were to expect my body to spend energy to produce more energy, I wouldn’t make it through my work day.
In summary, I need different things right now.
And this is undoubtedly true for you, dear reader, at some point or another as well.
How in tune we are to our needs – physically, spiritually, emotionally, mentally – is the secret to harnessing our energy and therefore growing our capacity.
3. If growth and evolution is of importance to you, then you first may become unrecognizable to your old-self in order to become more “you.”
I was discussing this with my associate, Jess, recently about the growth process.
Both of us are professional coaches and have navigated our own transformational process as well as faciliated the transformation of hundreds of souls over the years.
One of the scariest parts of growth is allowing yourself to become someone new.
There’s an expression I heard in my coach training that’s stuck with me:
“You have to go out before you can come back.”
What that means to me is that in order for us to shake up old systems of beliefs, we have to be willing to abandon the structures, relationships, or modalities that hold it all in place – and once we’ve let that go, we may choose to return and pick back up the things we wish to keep, discarding the rest.
Oftentimes, these internalized systems or beliefs are too enmeshed to parse out the good parts from the bad parts.
So, we must be willing to leave old ways behind in service of taking on new ways of being – more boldness, more compassion, more directness, more trust, or whatever it is you desire more of.
By practicing more of those things we desire, it will lead us to new results as well as new consequences.
An example of this personally ties into my marriage and pregnancy.
I shared in my previous blog about how much therapy and spiritual healing was a part of my process to becoming a mother. I refused to allow my personal and ancestral rage to be passed down to my children, and it took messy, difficult untangling in my soul to work through.
The result of me healing that rage is that I have a new relationship with and response to anger in myself and others.
When people around me or I become noticeably angry, I now become stiller, quieter, more centered.
This is not a “me” I’ve ever known.
It’s called into question what my power means to me, and how I stand my ground. It’s released my need to win, and therefore my need to demonstrate how I am right or justified. It’s revealed boundaries of how I’m willing and not willing to be treated by clients, friends, family, and even my own inner critic.
I am a changed me, and sometimes I act like someone I don’t recognize.
Sometimes in wonderful ways – like showing deep compassion for myself and others.
Sometimes in frustrating ways – like not being direct when I’ve been mistreated.
By allowing myself to fully transform how I handle anger, I now see ways I can integrate some of the good parts of my “old me” response to anger (the directness, the self-advocacy) with the “new me” response to anger (not taking it personally, showing compassion, waiting to respond instead of reacting).
I can only imagine as I step into motherhood that I will continue to “go out and come back” to parts of myself I’ve never known before, and then integrate these qualities into the “me” I seek to become.
I hope that, whether you are pregnant, wish to be pregnant, have been pregnant, or will never be pregnant, you saw something for yourself in these three latest discoveries in my journey.
Allowing ourselves to reinvent our businesses, our self-care, and even ourselves is an essential part of transformation and growth… And it’s also where the messy, weird unknowns exist in this work.