13 Feb How we Prepared for Major Change in our Business
13 Feb How we Prepared for Major Change in our Business
You may have seen by now that my business partner Kat, had her second child last week. A gorgeous little boy, Jordan. Now as you know, Kat and I started Gloss when our daughters were around 6 – 8 weeks old, but what many don’t know is actually the real story behind it.
When Kat told me 9 months ago (yep as soon as she found out J – you need a wing women to throw people off the scent right!) that she was pregnant, I remember looking at the uncertainty in her face and asked her what was wrong, why wasn’t she happy. You see, she was elated that she was having another baby, but it was at that moment she found out, the doubt started to creep in. The doubt that she could have another baby and run a business (naysayers got in her ear, shame on you!), what would I think, how would this change affect the business and our relationship?
To understand her thinking you have to go back almost 3 years ago when Kat and I were working at a digital agency, we were both pregnant, excited to have our first child and thankful and delighted that we were sharing this journey together. What happened in our work life in the six weeks after having our babies was nothing short of insulting, discriminative, negative and unsupportive because of some male egotistical dickhead. And we hadn’t even returned to work. (I think the entire story deserves an entire blog or ten dedicated to it!)
Because of what Kat and I had experienced previously, she was very conscious of making me aware that she would still be working right up until that last minute and as soon as the baby came out. Cue my laughter to her at the thought of that on several occasions. J
One of the keys strengths of Gloss Marketing is there are two of us. Which means a life changing event like having a baby is just a little blip on the Gloss radar. It really hasn’t affected our business. (Although the day Kat went into labour I was a little lost as we speak on average 10 times a day and every time I went to call her I had to remind myself where she was.)
We did do some key things though to get us ready for Kat not being as involved or accessible in the business.
- It’s business as usual
Unfortunately, life doesn’t stop and neither does our business. We planned workshops, events, meetings as per usual knowing that Kat wouldn’t be able to present some of them or attend some meetings. We let clients know that Kat was the lead on, what was happening and made sure I was across them. Kat was really great that she planned and prepared for those clients a month in advance so everything was done when she went into hospital.
- We Communicated
You may go well duh! But communication is one of the most important aspects for your business, especially between business partners. We both brought things up with each other and continue to do so that we may not be sure about, have doubts over etc. Kat and I respect each other immensely and always speak our minds, neither of us has an ego, we’re a team and it’s important for me to keep Kat in the loop. In fact when I was at an event last week, I was Snap Chatting her so she could see what was going on.
- We rescheduled our personal and work lives
Ok it’s not as big as it sounds, but little things like having our daughters attend Playgroup on the same day, not having meetings on the day we have set aside to work together, me going to Kat’s house more in the early days etc really makes Gloss more cohesive.
- Being Understanding
One of the big things I have made sure Kat knows is that she can do as little or as much, as she wants, to the point of where she probably wants to slap me each time I remind her. I know firsthand how hard it is after having a baby, but I also know what it feels like to be shut out of a business you have built, and then be made to feel like your best interests weren’t at heart, even when you had a return to work plan. And it was nothing you had discussed and then you find out about decisions that were made behind your back.
If Kat wants to check her emails, do a bit of work, then she can. If she hasn’t had enough sleep and says she can’t do anything for a few days, then she doesn’t have to. Kat and I have planned for this in Gloss and we had been planning for it for 9 months. So, no need to ask how long she will be on maternity leave for or how I will go without Kat.
Ok, so this has turned into more or less another working with kid’s blog, and almost like I have to justify that Gloss will continue to operate or that Kat will be fine, yes she will cope. Which is a shame that in todays society I still feel like we have to defend ourselves on these issues. Unfortunately, people keep making stupid comments or asking stupid questions. Here are my favourites:
- “Kat, how are you going to cope?” Let me tell you the only thing she had to worry about coping with was not telling these people that asked this question to %&$ off.
- “So, what are you going to do Megan when Kat has the baby, client wise. Stop taking on clients?” Yeah and how about I just stop doing any work at all. Next question.
- “You must be looking forward to having time off Kat.” Um, hello she is having a baby and is already a parent. There is no time off ever again…EVER!
And the list goes on…I’m sure every woman that’s had a child and a career (how dare they!) can relate.
Change in life is a given, it needs to be embraced and not seen as a negative. Without change, you will never evolve as a person and neither will your business.
Now if you will excuse me, I’m off to call Kat. She hasn’t sent me my daily picture of Jordan after all.