When entrepreneurship meets your home life

There are women who pursue entrepreneurship because they have a creative vision to change the world. And then there are women who pursue entrepreneurship because they have to.

Amber Anderson was sitting in a conference room with her colleagues, talking about the George Zimmerman trial. As her peers expressed disbelief in the not guilty verdict—and then went right back to their work—Amber put her hand on her pregnant belly and thought, “What did I do?”

Concerned about bringing a child into a world where an African American child was murdered, and no one seemed to care, Amber and her husband Kai came up with a plan to be as involved in their son’s life as possible: Kai would stay home with the baby, and Amber would continue at her job in tech.

But then her water broke at just 31 weeks, and Amber’s son Kayson spent three weeks in the NICU. When Amber’s maternity leave was up, she decided she simply could not choose between work and family. She wanted to be there for her son, so she chose entrepreneurship out of necessity—to create a new model that would weave work and family together.

Today Amber shares her family systems, explaining how she and her husband structure their days around their son. I ask her how she came to start multiple companies and how parenting has changed the way she shows up at work. Amber discusses the idea behind her latest venture, The New More, and what conference organizers can do to accommodate women. Listen in to understand the concept of a necessity entrepreneur and hear Amber’s take on how to evaluate success.

The Startup Pregnant Podcast Episode #029

Some quotes from the episode

  • “When the option came up of me having to leave my baby or having to work, I decided that I wasn’t going to do either.”
  • “I wanted to be there. I wanted to breastfeed. I wanted to hold him, and I wasn’t going to give that up.”
  • “It really just changed my perspective on the narrative of what we’re saying to women in the work environment. A lot of what I was hearing was that we do have to choose.”
  • “One out of seven women are struggling with postpartum depression, most cases in silence.”
  • “[Conference organizers] recognize that when you put women in a position where they have to choose between either their family or a plus-one, a majority of the time women would decline—whereas men were more likely to accept an opportunity if it was just them.”
  • “We decided that in order for us to make sure [my son] was on the right path and had the right nurturing and the right experiences, we would have to create that—and entrepreneurship was the only way for us to create that.”
  • “Frankly, I don’t have time to deal with assholes anymore.”
  • “The startup isn’t really what’s sexy. What’s sexy is when you can have a fifth-generation business because that’s where you start to see true wealth, you start to see real power, and you start to see flexibility.”
  • “When we’re looking for what it is that we want out of life, we should probably be thinking about what really matters and focusing our energy on getting that—all the time… The work and the money I make from it should be funneled into something that brings me closer to that joy.”
  • “I really am trying hard to pick the things that I’m good at and outsource the other stuff.”

Business strategist and thought leader Amber Anderson is the founder of Kayson, a business consulting agency that works with innovators, entrepreneurs, VCs and business owners to thoughtfully develop and strategically launch new products and services. Amber is also the co-founder of MORE, a community that is redefining balance by helping working parents advance their careers—without leaving their families behind.



Thank you to the sponsor of this episode: Meet Edgar! Grab your free two-week trial of Meet Edgar, a social media scheduling tool that allows you to create content once and re-use it as much as you need, at http://ed.gr/startuppregnant.

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