ASK SARAH #8: Side Hustles, Personal Branding, Exercise After Pregnancy
Should you start a business on the side while you’re employed full-time? What are the risks and complications—and are you obligated to let your employer know?
This is a tricky question, and a lot depends state to state. I dig into the things you should know about corporate contracts, employment agreements, inventions and assignments agreements, and why getting a lawyer to look at your contracts is a really smart investment (and shouldn’t cost you more than a few hundred dollars).
Today’s episode of Ask Sarah is a hodgepodge of questions, and the questions I’m covering today include:
- Is there ever a strategy or strategies to keep a business clandestine before launch? As an example, I am currently employed by a large corporation, and would also want to reach out to potential clients.
- Do you keep your personal writing separate from Startup Pregnant as business entities? When have you observed good decisions or regrettable situations on different streams of income (writing books versus consulting, as an example)?
- What are some ways you’ve seen people make great decisions about investing in different streams of income, and watch failures have you seen? Any advice for a newbie?
- How did you get back into exercise after you had a baby and what was it like?
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A few years ago, when we first had children, my husband talked to his workplace about parental leave. He knew that while he’d like to be home during the first few weeks during and after the birth, he was also interested in being able to be around with his kids while they grew up. So, the summer after our first kid was born, he shifted his schedule to work from 8am to 4pm. From there, he advocated for taking a four-week leave every summer to spend time with his kids. We’re not taking a full sabbatical this year because of the pandemic, but we will still push pause on a few things where we can.
My first child was born on Mothers’ Day, 2016, the day before our anniversary. It blew me open, ripped my birth canal vagina more than I would have liked, and turned so much of my life upside down. So many of you are about to become mothers for the first, second, third time. You’re doing it in the middle of a pandemic, in the midst of changing rules and ideas, amidst a sea of changing information. Motherhood, in many ways, feels like a pandemic. The strange thing about the last four months is this eerie sense I have that this already feels familiar. I’ve been here before. We’ve been here before.
Every morning lately, I’ve been posting a selfie to my Facebook page and my Instagram page. Right now it feels like going to the coffee shop—I get to pop in, say good morning to people all around the world, check-in with my neighbors and parents and friends, and then start the day.
Sarah K Peck
Founder, Startup Pregnant
Sarah Peck is a writer, startup advisor, and yoga teacher based in New York City. She’s the founder and executive director of Startup Pregnant, a media company documenting the stories of women’s leadership across work and family. She hosts the weekly Startup Pregnant Podcast and Let's Talk, her second podcast. Previously, she worked at Y Combinator backed One Month, Inc, a company that teaches people to code in 30 days, and before that she was a writing and communications consultant.
She’s a 20-time All-American swimmer who successfully swam the Escape from Alcatraz nine separate times, once wearing only a swim cap and goggles to raise $33k for charity: water. She’s written for more than 75 different web publications and and has delivered speeches and workshops at Penn, UVA, Berkeley, Harvard, Craft & Commerce, WDS, and more.