Designing Business Structures for Resilience — Episode #181 (with co-host Cary Fortin)

by Apr 12, 2021Blog, Podcast

Welcome back to co-host Cary Fortin! We’re back for another friendship episode, where Sarah and Cary talk about business design, parenting stress, and dealing with the pandemic. In this episode, we also take you behind the scenes of The Wise Women’s Council and the Class of 2021, and the ways that we think about community design and creating strong containers for personal growth.

If you haven’t heard the story of how the Wise Women’s Council started, listen in as we talk about what it took to create a program while I was five months pregnant with my second, kiddo while already taking care of a toddler at home. Business as usual wouldn’t work, so I asked myself how to design a business and a high-touch mastermind community differently. As a result, the early version of the Wise Women’s Council was forged with a network of teachers and coaches. I launched the program while six months pregnant and stepped away during the middle to give birth and allow other teachers to join in.

Designing For Resilience (with co-host Cary Fortin)

The Startup Parent Podcast — Episode #181

In this episode:

  • The early days of the Wise Women’s Council, and how I launched the program while pregnant and with a young kiddo at home (although, to be clear, we also used daycare!).
  • The growth of WWC over the last four years and what it has transformed into today. Plus, how I am scaling the Wise Women’s Council and what it looks like to grow a program and a community while maintaining intimacy.
  • How too much ego can get you into trouble if you design a business where you (and your personality) has to be at the center of the business.
  • The container, the structure, and the prep work required to create truly intimate and honest conversational space. Plus, what many business owners miss when trying to create strong communities.
  • Some of the lessons learned from running masterminds, retreats, and events for over a decade, and how to create a great program and experience.
This episode is a casual conversation with lots of sideways chatter and banter between long-term friends Cary and Sarah. We also have episodes with guest experts and speakers, but this one includes everything that friends talk about (including adult language), so listen with headphones if you have kids around.


If you're growing a business, leading a team, or figuring out entrepreneurship and you have kids, this podcast is for you. We go in-depth with founders and entrepreneurial parents about what it really takes to have babies, grow businesses, and get a little bit of sleep. Sign up for the newsletter to get new episodes in your inbox. And leave us a review on iTunes. 

Listen to The Startup Parent Podcast on Apple ★ Spotify ★ Google  ★ Overcast ★ Stitcher ★ Castbox or wherever you listen to podcasts. Find another podcast player or the RSS feed here.

Sarah K Peck

Founder, Startup Parent

Sarah Peck is a writer, startup advisor, and yoga teacher based in New York City. She’s the founder and executive director of Startup Parent, a media company documenting the stories of women’s leadership across work and family. She hosts the weekly Startup Parent 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.