Like many women, Georgette Pascale was on a quest to find a way to balance business and motherhood.

Balancing business
and family

Read on to find out how she started a very successful virtual public relations firm, and learn about the parallels she discovered between parenting and business.

Babies on the brain

Several years ago, I decided it was time to make some major changes in my life — both personal and professional. I’d been working at top-notch public relations agencies with a roster of clients that ranged from rock stars to up-and-coming corporate luminaries. It was exciting, challenging and exceptionally time-consuming. However, over the din of brainstorming meetings, major public events and jet engines, I was beginning to hear the distant tick-tick of my biological clock. I soon realized, though, that I didn’t have the first clue about how I was going to reconcile motherhood with the intense, non-stop professional life I’d honed for myself.

Merging the office with the offspring

Then, after much thought and a Stoli martini or two, it came to me — I would start my own business, and not just any business — a virtual business where I could control the work flow from home and manage a virtual staff of other like-minded colleagues. This arrangement would enable me to greet my future kids at the school bus at the end of the day, happily supervise play dates and be available for important mom-offspring conversations all day long.

The virtual dream becomes reality

Now, as the CEO of a successful, eight-year-old virtual public relations firm and mother of three very real children aged 3, 4, and 6, I’m living two intertwined lives simultaneously. The kids keep me grounded, sometimes confounded and always on my toes, working out compromises, strategic alliances and creative strategies that rival the public relations campaigns of any major corporation on the planet. It turned out that my children (prior to conception, in utero and thereafter) not only served as the inspiration for my going virtual, but continue to mentor me in unexpected ways.

"I’ve discovered how to be braver when anticipating difficult conversations with clients."

They’ve taught me the most important lessons, a great many of which are directly applicable to my business dealings, such as how to prioritize (should I clean up the spilled contents of a malfunctioning sippy cup or squelch an escalating sister-brother squabble first?); how to be patient (No, honey, 9 minus 6 equals 3, not cat, let’s try it again… ); and how to be a calmer parent (count to 10 in a variety of romance languages).

As a result of the lessons I’ve learned as a parent, I’ve discovered how to be braver when anticipating difficult conversations with clients, my strategic thinking kicks in faster than ever and my damage control proficiency is at an all-time high. My children have provided instruction that no MBA program can touch — but please, somebody say something if you ever see me trying to cut a client’s meat into small pieces or dab a bit of mustard from a stubbled chin. That would be very bad…

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Comments

Comments on "The improbable parallels between parenting and business"

Helen September 16, 2012 | 9:50 PM

I agree that a business and a family can be similar, and that working from home can be a huge help to having more time for family. However, as someone who works from home, it can be frustrating because I am still at work. I still have work responsibilities, I don't have abundant free time.

Erin September 14, 2012 | 3:00 PM

I agree that running a family can be very similar to running a business. Running a family requires constant attention and a lot of skill and self-motivation, just as running a business does. Thanks for this!

Hannah September 14, 2012 | 2:59 PM

I love having kids but have unfortunately put my career on hold for the time being. I would give anything to be able to work and "do it all," but I really like being home with my kids and seeing all their special moments. Someday soon I will go back to work though, and I hope I can be a supermom too!

Joel August 30, 2012 | 9:17 AM

The structure of a business is similar in many ways to the structure of a family. Likewise, a running a healthy, successful business takes many of the same skills as maintaining a healthy family!

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