In the heavily male-dominated tech/startup world, she describes her experience living in a unique juxtaposition of her personal & professional worlds. This, as a founder of a company intricately tied to babies and a mother of a toddler, I can actually totally relate to.
"Reactions were all over the place. Some investors just wanted to talk about their children and grandchildren, others gave me a hard time about drinking coffee, working too hard or being out in the cold. A few told me I should really take the time to stay at home with my child and worry about work later. Others just got awkwardly quiet and stared at their notebooks for the remainder of the meeting."
In my experience, everyone relates through their own personal experiences, and some just "get it" while others "get awkwardly quiet"...
Rachel found an investor who understood per position and simply accepted her ability to integrate her personal & professional life as a norm.
"He walked in unfazed. We spoke about how wonderful building a family is and how great it is to have love for two babies — my company and my soon-to-be-daughter. The rest of the meeting was spent in product and cohort analysis. He was able to embrace the fact that I was about to become a mom and also see that my team and I were building something incredibly special. He never doubted both could happen at the same time. When he walked out, I knew we had found the perfect partner. "
She also talks about her own work-life integration experience, which sounds very familiar compared to what we've been hearing from our CoHatchery community as well as other famous work-life "integrators":
"As for my daughter and me? I’m not the ramen-eating, stay-at-the-office-until-2-am, HBO-fiction kind of CEO. My daughter is very much center stage. I watch her learn how to do new things every day, and I’m amazed by every breath she takes. I’ve learned that it is possible to leave the office at 5 p.m., spend quality time with my daughter and jump back on email and late night calls with clients in California and New Zealand after she falls asleep."
Rachel also credits her incredible support network (consisting of her husband, team, family, and investors) for being an essential part of her journey. It takes a village to raise a child, and it takes a village of f***ing incredible people to raise and child AND run a start-up.
"At the end of the day, it’s not about work-life balance. It’s just life." - Rachel Kaplowitz