Achieve more by doing less and being more present: this episode features entrepreneurial mother Kate Northrup.

Kate gave me chills when she said, in this episode, “My greatest satisfaction has not come—ever—from doing more. It’s come from being really present doing the things that matter the most.”  

It’s hard to argue with Kate Northrup’s contention that the eight-hour workday doesn’t work from a productivity standpoint.

Study after study shows that only three (or so) of those eight hours are productive ones, and I think we can all get on board with the idea of getting better results—while putting in less time at work. The problem is, how do we shift that mindset? How do we shift the idea that tells us the only way to get what we want is to do more and more work?  

Kate Northrup always knew she wanted to be a mother, and she pursued entrepreneurship partly because of the freedom it could afford her to be there for her kids.

What Kate wasn’t counting on was the way pregnancy would change her drive and refocus her energy when it came to the business. 

She admits that it took her a long time to “get back in the game,” and that her husband and business partner, Mike, picked up the slack. But Kate credits having her daughter, Penelope, with initiating a personal evolution that allowed her to clarify her desires and ultimately renew her interest in the business and the way she thought about showing up for work in the first place.  

Perhaps there was something revolutionary here: because, as she shares in this episode, she found that she was able to achieve more even while doing less. And that some of her most productive weeks happened when she was working only 20 hours a week on the business.     

Today Kate shares her “shocking and awesome” birth experience, explaining how parenthood impacted her business as well as her marriage. I ask her how she and Mike make their relationship work, and her take on what women need moving forward. Listen in to understand why it’s important for us all to initiate the difficult conversations around current events like Charlottesville, and how her latest project, Origin Collective, works to help entrepreneurial moms achieve greater results from doing less and showing up more fully with each other.   

The Startup Pregnant Podcast Episode #008

 Some quotes from the episode:

  • “Our culture has a pink cotton candy filter on pregnancy, and especially motherhood. I just wish we were a little more honest, that we were willing to be a little bit grittier.” 
  • “It took me a long time to get back in the game … to even really care about our business. Now I’m more excited about it than I ever have been. So, it did come back, but in a very different way.” 
  • “We make our own hours, we make our own money. We have this total freedom. We both can do whatever we want, but … freedom does not necessarily mean it’s going to be easy. In many ways, having a life without clear boundaries makes things more difficult because there are so many more decisions to be made.” 
  • “We just try to duct tape the week together … and we try to over-communicate about scheduling because I don’t want our fights to be about logistics. I want to fight about something real.” 
  • “I want for my kid to know she is safe on the planet with people who are not me.” 
  • “Our government and companies need to be more supportive of families; however, I don’t want to wait around for them to get a clue. I would much rather hand the women tools to do this themselves.” 
  • “An eight-hour, industrial model workday doesn’t actually make any sense from a productivity standpoint.” 
  • “Work will expand to fill the amount of time you’ve allotted for it, so I just don’t leave myself very much time.” 
  • “My greatest satisfaction has not come—ever—from doing more. It’s come from being really present doing the things that matter the most.” 
  • “I just want women to know what they have, and I just want women to know they’re not crazy.” 
  • “You can take a nap, and it doesn’t mean you’re a less worthy human being.” 
  • “We’re so afraid to say the wrong thing that we say nothing, and that hurts people even more.” 

Kate Northrup is a professional freedom-seeker and creative entrepreneur. She is also a best-selling author, mother and activist who is on a mission to support ambitious, motivated women in lighting up the world—without burning themselves out in the process. Kate had created her own financial freedom by the age of 28, and she lives by the philosophy that if you free yourself financially, you can be fully present to fulfill your purpose on the planet. Kate launched the Origin Collective in May of 2017 to help entrepreneurial moms achieve greater results by doing less. 


Thank you to the sponsor of this episode: Taskerly! They’re a virtual assistant company that helps busy parents and entrepreneurs get more done at work by doing the things you can outsource of don’t have time for. Check them out at and mention the Startup Pregnant Podcast to get 10% off of your first three months working with them. 

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