Prepping our Creative Business for Baby

11-Jul-2013

Preparing creative business for a baby

Kathleen here. Two exciting things to announce this week: 
1. We’ve moved out of my home office - Braid has it’s own space! and 
2. I’m pregnant! 

Those of you who have been following Braid and my personal blog And Kathleen may know that I’m a bit obsessed with the work / life overlap. I truly believe that dream jobs and fantasy lives are possible when we blend who we are and what we do. But I’ll confess, I’ve always felt like a bit of a fraud preaching routines and work / life balance to working moms. There’s no way I could possibly understand the chaos of what it’s like to get two kids dressed, homework checked, show & tell gathered, lunches packed, and out the door before starting my work day filled with my own meetings and priorities. Let’s get real here: my work / life balance consists of taking morning walks and meditating before writing a blog post about a recent adventure in Mexico. In perfect silence. Now, I’m not going to discredit my child-free needs to find sanity but I will say that a lot of the creatives we work have a very different reality to juggle. 

So basically, I got pregnant so I could empathize with all of you creative moms out there and better speak on what it REALLY looks like to find balance. Not really... but I do have to admit that I am a bit anxious to see how being a mom will affect my work and my life.  I’ll be sharing lots of the life stuff over at my blog And Kathleen. Today I want to share a bit about what we’re doing over here at Braid to make room for baby.  

 

creative business working mom

1. We moved out of my house and into our very own Braid apartment.
We all loved working out of my home (and Liz works remote out of her home). We don’t think you have to have an office, or overhead, to be legit. Tara and I had been playing with the idea of getting our own space to help create a bit more structure and flexibility around our work days, but my pregnancy became a catalyst for moving out sooner than later. It was time for my home to be a dedicated love nest for my growing family. And it was time for Braid, our business that has grown out of it’s own infancy, to fly the coop. 

We really loved working out of my bright and sunny historical home, so the last thing we wanted was to move into some random office space with drop ceilings and fluorescent lights. So we moved into a bright and sunny historical one-bedroom apartment. It’s technically residential, but we only use it for work (we made sure the landlord didn’t mind). It’s the best of both worlds. Be sure to sign up for our Letters for Creatives if you want to hear more behind-the-scenes details that went into our decision to get an office.

2. I will be taking maternity leave. 
The nice thing about having a sister with kids as a business partner is she can pretty much guarantee I will need a solid eight weeks after the baby is born to do nothing but feed, change, swaddle, burp, and adapt to a new teeny tiny person in my world. Tara also recommends not thinking about work and instead binging on TV series during this time. Done. 

3. We’re getting daringly narrow.
In our Braid Method Branding ECourse and in our 1:1 sessions we challenge our clients to get daringly narrow by cutting what they’re doing in half. I know once the baby is here I want to feel more like girl on the diving horse vs. the three ring circus. So we’re taking our own scary advice and have decided to narrow in on our own dream customer. Over the next few months we’re going from positioning ourselves from being for “creative entrepreneurs” (because what entrepreneur isn’t creative?) to being specifically for other designers. Right now about 50% of our clients are designers (web designer, graphic designers, interior designers, fashion designers) and they’re the people we do our best work for. We want more of them. 

We don’t work for ourselves just to put food on the table. We feed our souls and are creatively fulfilled when we do work for the people we really love to help. 

4. We hired a business coach. 
Tara and I aren’t at a lack of vision when it comes to building our creative empire. But it was important for us to get a little more clear on the more left-brain things like our financials, streams of revenue, customer flow, and our roles within our business. Our business coach helped us see the more practical side of our business from a healthy, objective distance. Which in turn, helped us see what we duties we can delegate and who can pick up my slack when I’m on maternity leave. 

5. One word: scalability.  
In order to meet our goals (creative fulfillment, customer reach & impact, and financial growth) we have to make our business model scalable. That means we’ll be creating even more affordable digital products that don’t require 1:1 attention and packaging our tiered consulting and branding offerings in very clear ways that dream client understands how to buy. This kind of efficiency and automation will give me more time to kiss on chubby little baby feet. 

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When Tara had her kids she was a creative director VP at an ad agency. So her choices were limited to  40-hour work weeks and day care. Me? I have a lot more options. I could work part time and get a nanny or utilize mother’s day out. Or I, too, could work a more traditional 40-hour work week and put my kiddo in daycare. Or I could radically adjust my schedule, split my work day into early morning and late night shifts. The choices, along with all the other parenting decisions I need to make, are a bit overwhelming. I also don’t know how this baby is going to actually change my life until it’s here — for now it’s all speculation. But I keep reminding myself that the abundance of decisions to be made are a result of the flexibility that comes from being my own boss. Plus, I’ve got some pretty awesome support from my family and my business - which also happen to overlap. It’s a lot to be grateful for. 

Are you a working creative and a parent? Let us know on Facebook what your struggles and solutions are when it comes to balancing your career with your family. 

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Braid Method Branding for Creatives ECourse

The Braid Method Branding ECourse is for creative entrepreneurs who are ready to support themselves financially with their business, create a blog or consistent online presence, and finally turn the work they’re already doing into a digital product, package, or offering for dream customers. This branding ecourse comes with 7 learning modules in a 300+ page digital download, a workbook with 20+ branding exercises and scripts, a quarterly masterclass, and an exclusive Facebook group so you can connect with us and other students.

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