During a recent meeting with a woman about to go on leave, I found myself telling her: “Don’t even worry about it, your business will thrive.”
“What?” she asked. “What are you talking about? How?”
SHE MADE A GOOD POINT.
What the heck was I talking about, and where was it coming from? So I thought about it, and here’s why I’d told her that she didn’t have anything to worry about.
Over the last six to seven years, I have worked with dozens of women who were about to have a baby (myself included!). And, in every single case, I would hear from them about a year later that “I can’t believe it, but . . .”
• “My business had its best year ever last year.”
• “Can you believe we grew by 40% while I was on maternity leave last year?”
• “My business has never done better.”
It has gotten to the point where I actually become a little blasé about someone’s business concerns before going on maternity leave, because I know by now that things will be just as good, if not better. But why is that?
I have a few suspicions.
1. Nothing makes a business owner get more organized than a firm deadline. That baby is coming, and she knows it. Suddenly, processes are put in place, structures are formalized, and new people are hired.
2. You have to delegate—you just have to! Whatever last-ditch attempt someone might make to try to control it all finally goes out the window. Because with a new baby, there is less time to do everything yourself: it’s just a fact.
3. The people around you almost always step up! The rest of the world, and especially people on your team, want you to have time with your new baby. If ever there is a time to see teams come together, it’s in moments like these.
So if you happen to know a pregnant woman in the workforce (either in business for herself or for others), know this: The business will survive, and most likely thrive. Because she will make sure of it—before she even has the baby.