South by Southwest!

Gary and I had a wonderful time speaking at the SXSW convention in Austin.  It is a remarkable event, held over the course of a week or so.  It includes the latest in film and music, and also an “Interactive” segment, featuring the future of technology and the future of work.  Gary and I spoke about the topics I address in For Better or For Work.  IBM was there interviewing some of the speakers.  My interview is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y1b-uHkuLp0.  If you have the time and ability, I heartily recommend attending this conference next year!

 

Interview with John Bradberry

John Bradberry

John Bradberry of Charlotte, North Carolina, has a background in psychology and works with both early stage and mature companies on organizational development. His book, 6 Secrets to Startup Success, helps founders and investors evaluate and improve their readiness to launch, and grow, a company.

John Bradberry on falling in love with your business; on why founders need to assess their own physical and emotional health; and why passion is not always a great thing when you’re launching a company.

Q: You speak and write a lot about passion.

A: It’s impossible to understand a business and what makes it successful without understanding that it is a personal and emotional process for the founder. It can be both wrenching and glorious.

Q: How do family and personal relationships factor in to your assessments of an entrepreneur’s “readiness”?

A: I come at the topics you write about from another direction. What’s good for the business aligns with what’s good for the personal side of the entrepreneur’s life. You can’t extricate the two and deal with them separately. When we assess the strengths of a business, one of the “assets” we assess is the founder—how much gas does he have in the tank? Is he physically and emotionally healthy? Enough to stay in the game for the long haul? A lot of businesses blow up because the entrepreneur’s personal life is not working.

Q: How do you go about making this kind of personal assessment?

A: We ask founders to think it through. If they are pre-launch, we tell them to take a good hard look not only at their path to profitability, but also at what sacrifices the business will require of their families. The typical founder drastically underestimates Continue reading

Interview with Nicole Dawes, CEO of Late July Organic Snacks

Nicole Dawes is the Co-founder and CEO of Late July Organic Snacks, located in Barnstable, Massachusetts.  Late July makes certified organic cookies, crackers, and chips.  Nicole and her husband Peter (who is the company’s Co-president and COO) have two children, Stephen and Benji, who are 9 and 5, respectively.  Nicole’s father, Stephen Bernard, founded Cape Cod Potato Chips, and co-founded Late July with Nicole.

Nicole Dawes is the Co-founder and CEO of Late July Organic Snacks, located in Barnstable, Massachusetts. Late July makes certified organic cookies, crackers, and chips. Nicole and her husband Peter (who is the company’s Co-president and COO) have two children, Stephen and Benji, who are 9 and 5, respectively. Nicole’s father, Stephen Bernard, founded Cape Cod Potato Chips, and co-founded Late July with Nicole.

Nicole Dawes on working with her husband; and on why: kids should be raised at the office, anxiety is an indulgent emotion, and work/life balance is a sham. 

Q:  Your life is a crazy Venn diagram of overlapping work and life spheres:  Your father was an entrepreneur, you work with your husband, and you are raising two children.  Which aspect of this overlap is toughest to manage?

A:  Leaving the kids just doesn’t get easier.  I’ve been traveling a lot.  It’s heartbreaking every time.  I keep waiting for that to end.  Skype helps.

Q:  When do you feel most stretched?

A:  When we have more than one problem—which is very often. From the outside, we look like a well-oiled machine of magic work-life balance.  We can handle one setback pretty well.  But if someone gets sick, and a new product launch gets pushed up or pushed back, and I suddenly find I have to leave town on business—that’s when we run into difficulty.  Oddly, though, when Peter and I are in those situations, we’re not that tense.  We just do it.  We triage.  Tension and anxiety are indulgent emotions.  We can’t afford them.  We get externally focused on how to solve our problems.  We don’t stop and wonder, How is this affecting us?

Q:  What’s it like working with your husband?

A:  A lot of people are scared to work with their spouse.  They hear the horror stories.  But for us, sharing in the whole experience together is what makes it work.   Continue reading

Book Announcement!

My new book, For Better or For Work:  A Survival Guide for Entrepreneurs and Their Families, is now for sale.     

For Better or For Work substantially expands on my “Balancing Acts” column topics in Inc. magazine. The chapter-length format allowed me to go into greater depth about the major areas where entrepreneurial business and family life intersect.  (To learn more, please click on “Meg’s Book”.)

Early reviews have been gratifying:  CNBC.com selected my book as one of their “12 Most Anticipated Business Books of 2012”; Publishers Weekly labeled it “an indispensable guide”; and Kirkus Reviews declared the book “immensely beneficial.”  The Financial Times recommended the book to “help to navigate the dangerous pitfalls of allowing a business to come and squat in the midst of a family.”

Please spread the word to friends and family, and on social media.  Once you’ve read the book, I’d love to hear any insights and feedback.  And I’d be grateful if you’d consider submitting a review on Amazon.com or Barnesandnoble.com—online reviews are hugely helpful.

Thank you!