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How to take a Paid Maternity Leave as an Entrepreneur

How to take a paid maternity leave as an entrepreneur. A Blueprint Story with Ashlyn Carter. | Shanna Skidmore #myblueprintstory #theblueprintmodel #entrepreneur

As told to Shanna Skidmore by Ashlyn Carter, written by Sara Shelton
Part of our “My Blueprint Story” Series

I was only two years into my business when I got pregnant with our first child.

I had left the world of corporate marketing to pursue my own career as a copywriter for creative entrepreneurs. And for two years, I’d worked hard to build a business that helps people make more money with their words.

Two years in, it was growing and going strong. I had no problem finding clients, and seeing the business take off from the start was so exciting for me.

But for as much as I knew about words and marketing, I knew very little about finances and money.

I had no knowledge of the numbers I needed to know to grow my business the right way. And as result, I was burning out as fast as I was building up. Just like that, I found myself right back where I was when I left the corporate world: stressed.  

That’s what kickstarted my desire to dig into my finances. I started working with Shanna to create a financial plan for my business. She helped me get an understanding of the numbers in my business—to define my enough and know what I needed to make in order to get there. She helped me set goals for my business and create a plan to follow to reach them.

And for me, one of those goals was to get my business to a place where I could feel confident enough to step away from when it was time to start a family.

My vision was to set my business up to run on its own. I wanted to create systems and plans and processes that could keep moving without me so that if I stepped away, the business didn’t have to suffer.

I was six months into working toward that goal in my financial plan when … boom. We got word of a huge blessing—a little sooner than I had designed in my head!

And you guys, I was scared. Not only of what it would be to actually become a parent, but of what would happen in my business. What I realized pretty quickly was that the financial plan I created with Shanna was going to be key to making motherhood work for both me and my business. We set up a plan for my business, and that plan could still work. It just had to change a little to include a new thing: maternity leave.

It was scary, but the financial plan helped me feel like actually taking a maternity leave was possible. And here are a few things I did to make it work for me.

1.

I focused on my bottom line.

In creating my financial plan with Shanna, I defined a bottom line for my business. I knew what number I needed to hit for the year. Getting pregnant didn’t change that number, but it did change how I would go about reaching it. So when I looked ahead to plan and think about my maternity leave, I did so with that bottom line in mind. The question became: What needs to shift in order for us to still meet our goal even with me stepping out for a few months? How could I make enough to pay my team while I left? How could I afford to pay myself while I was off those three months?

2.

I made a plan.

With my bottom line in mind, I looked back at my financial plan and focused on creating a new plan. I focused on planning ahead and shifting things around to make sure my business could make the money it needed to regardless of if I was working or not. By the time my maternity leave came, I had a plan to follow so that I didn’t have to worry about my business.

3.

I did some team building.

At the point in my business when I got pregnant, I had started building a team to work with me. It was a dream of mine to keep growing and investing in that team, but one that I’d put on the backburner for the time being. But when I was thinking ahead to stepping out of the business for a few months, I realized I couldn’t do that without first building my team up. I gave significant time to team building so that we could get on the same page before I stepped away. Doing that gave me the confidence to step out and know my team was there to serve my clients well.

4.

I let go of fear.

Truth be told, I had a lot of fear over what was going to happen if I stopped working. I was afraid to spend money or even pay myself and see that number in my bank account drop if I wasn’t actually working. One of the biggest steps I had to take in order to step into maternity leave with confidence was letting go of fear. Every single day I had to remind myself that it was okay. Because I took the time to really know my numbers and set a plan in place, I didn’t have to be ruled by fear that the bottom was going to fall out. That was a huge lesson for me!

My son was born in December 2018, and has an incredible little personality that’s brought so much to our lives. And the best part? I was able to spend the first few months of his life resting and really being with him.

Knowing the numbers in my business and creating a plan to keep them growing and going while I was out gave me the freedom to do that. And for me, that isn’t something I’d ever trade!

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P.S. DO YOU DREAM OF:

→ finally making money doing what you love!

→ understanding your core motivator in life and business

→ providing real income for your family without having to sacrifice all your time and energy to the non-stop hustle.

→ transforming your business (and life!) just like hundreds of other men and women who’ve implemented this proven business blueprint.

If that sounds like a dream year, then I want to invite you to join us inside The Blueprint Model!

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How to take a paid maternity leave as an entrepreneur. A Blueprint Story with Ashlyn Carter. | Shanna Skidmore #myblueprintstory #theblueprintmodel #entrepreneur

Hey! I’m Shanna, business strategist & financial coach. I'm here to help you make money doing what you love!

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