How My Kid Teaches Me About Leadership

Listen, I won’t lie and say that parenting is easy.

A lot of the things that are worth it haven’t been easy. There are days when I’m a frazzled, tired mess just trying to figure out how to get the stroller on the subway and maneuver my way to the next coffee machine.

But there’s also a surprising amount that I’ve learned about leadership from becoming a parent. Last Fall, I pitched the editors at Inc to write a new series about the intersection of leadership and parenting, and I’m excited to share I’ve got a new column over on Inc.com all about personal and professional growth, and how my kids teach me more than I expected about leadership and business.

The learning curve of building a new human from scratch and re-wiring yourself as a parent and a functioning adult comes with plenty of challenges. All-nighters, toddler sick days, teaching empathy and learning to juggle household demands with workplace deadlines can feel insurmountable. Yet it also feels strangely familiar: like the long days of marathon training, or like the late nights studying to get your MBA on the side of your full-time gig.

I’ve interviewed hundreds of entrepreneurial parents and there’s one consistent theme I keep hearing: how much the jump off the deep dive into parenting readied them for business challenges in a way they didn’t first expect. In fact, of the many skills they gain are completely in line with what entrepreneurship asks of us.

Here are five ways becoming a parent changed how I grew my business–for the better.

Also, if you enjoy that article on Inc, I’ve also got a column over on Forbes all about parenting and leadership. In my latest article, I write about how one entrepreneurial mom built a business out of her need to keep her four kiddos entertained, and how the business took off unexpectedly. Check out Shelby Rideout’s new company, Bright Signs Learning, and her tools that help her educate her kids:

How this mom of four created a business by trying to entertain her kiddos.

If you enjoyed it, I’ve also got articles on starting your own mastermind, the challenges of staying connected when you work from home, and how my interviews with entrepreneurial parents reveals how they are pioneering a new work revolution that’s changing what work looks like for a lot of people.

The Word You Keep Using

Our subconscious has a way of winding itself into our writing, if we’re paying attention. This practice always startles me, by reminding me of something that was sideways and not quite at the surface.Read the article

Three Things To Grow Rich In (That Aren’t Money)

Wealth can be created across more areas than just financially. Sure, monetary wealth can be a beautiful thing, and I’ve got aims to grow wealthy in money. But there’s three areas that are more important to me for wealth than just money. Read the article

Why You Shouldn’t Give Up After One Launch

Launches aren’t easy. Sometimes when you launch, it’s the first time people are paying attention to you. They’re watching and learning and listening and waiting. Putting into the calendar for next time to join when you do it again. Listening, reading, learning. Finding out about you for the first time. Deciding and debating, hesitating. One data point—your first launch—is not enough data to make a decision. It’s only the start of an exploration. Your next steps? Here’s what I recommend.Read the article

If Facebook Went Away

If Facebook went away, what would change for you? How would you spend your mornings? Your workday? And what would you miss? And conversely, what would change for the better? It might be the biggest social network we’ve ever seen, but it’s also constantly changing, and it’s undergoing more investigation for its role in changing how our brains and communities work. Here’s what I’d miss, what would change, and why I still use it (for now). Read the article

One Hiring Mistake I See New Entrepreneurs Make All The Time

“I’ll start a podcast and interview people I know,” someone says. Twenty episodes in, and they realize that they’ve accidentally interviewed people that look identical—all one gender, all one race. Did they do it on purpose? Of course not. Most people don’t mean to. We don’t set out to say “Hey look, I think I’ll create the most biased podcast out there and only interview people that look like me.” But when we don’t pay attention, this happens over and over again. Here’s why it happens, why it’s important to notice it, and when to intervene to change it. Read the article

Letting Things Break

In the process of pursuing new ways of working, it means you’re going to build new habits. Building new habits isn’t always a piece of cake: sometimes it’s rusty, weird, and feels uncomfortable. If you want things to stay the same, then keep doing exactly what you’re doing. If you want to get new results, you have to try new things. Right now, there’s one area of my life where I’m deliberately letting things break, and it’s not pretty. It’s uncomfortable. And I’m probably going to disappoint people. Read what it is and why I’m okay experimenting with it.Read the article

The 20-Hour Work Week

Around December last year, I realized that I wanted to plan ahead for the year differently. I was tired of pushing for “more,” and feeling like I was spinning my wheels trying to do a hundred things at once. Instead, over a series of notebook pages, I started to sketch out where my time was going, and what I was truly working on. The results shocked me — and they made me rethink how I set up my business in 2018. Listen as I break down the process I used while live on The Kate & Mike Show!Read the article

Working Parents: Transforming What Work Looks Like

One of my favorite things to study and observe is how work is changing. Two decades ago, we didn’t have any of the social networks we have today. Three decades ago, email and the internet weren’t regular tools. So much about work is changing: what it looks like, what our expectations of it are, what our requirements are, how we engage with each other, where we work from. Some of the progress is great, while other areas still leave a lot left to be improved.

For Forbes’ last week, I got to write about eight entrepreneurial parents that are changing the way work looks, whether it’s through their company, or by how they’re showing up in the work world. I’m consistently inspired by entrepreneurs, and by parents. Here’s the article if you’d like to read about these outstanding entrepreneurs, and if you’re interested in parenting and leadership, you can also follow my column.Read the article

Never Choose Seven

A simple trick that helped me make better decisions. Truly—this mindset shift has stuck with me every since I learned about it many weeks ago.Read the article