I first heard Samantha Ettus speak at Biggest Baby Shower Ever a few years back. Samantha's personality and laughter filled the auditorium. We met on that stage as I helped her give away strollers to a handful of winners out of the thousands of attendees at the event. We felt like Oprah "You get a stroller! And you get a stroller! And you get a stroller!" We instantly clicked.
Since then I have heard Samantha speak numerous times about work life balance, planning and why careers for women matter. She has shared her message on the stage at MomFair several times, telling us not to let an opportunity pass you by. To take every meeting as an opportunity to build your network or share a tidbit about yourself as a professional that can grow your reach and build the next opportunity for yourself. After all, men do it all the time. As women we need to step up and take more opportunities for ourselves.
At our very first MomFair, Samantha shared with us her advice about Work Life balance, making little changes and planning better to make your life easier and more efficient. One of her key suggestions, that I immediately implemented, is to keep all of your errands close to work, home or your child's school. She calls this the "golden triangle." You don't need to go to a dentist or hair salon that is 10 miles out of your way. Find someone just as great within your driving range and save yourself hours a week or month that you can use for something else. Hours are precious.
You too can benefit from Samantha's advice in her newly released book The Pie Life, a Guilt Free Recipe to Success and Satisfaction where Samantha helps you "transform your life into one that is more satisfying, rich, and delicious than you ever thought possible and join the thousands of women already living The Pie Life." Samantha pulls her advice from her personal experience, her career and the many interviews she has done over the years with successful women and men. Many of these interviews appear in her book including Shonda Rhimes, news anchor Gayle King, Wall Street maven Sallie Krawcheck, entrepreneur Liz Lange and Marie Claire Editor-in-Chief Anne Fulenwider.
Opinionated and fearless (two of my favorite things about her) Samantha loves to give advice. Sam has become a bestselling author of four books, a writer for Forbes, a renowned speaker and host of a nationally syndicated call-in radio show. She's been on Fox Business, ET, the Today Show and Good Morning America sharing her years of expertise with millions of viewers. She's never shy to jump in at a focus group and can't help but offer a few words of wisdom at a cocktail party. I love the story she tells about a father discussing his wife's choice to leave her career to be a stay at home mom and how Samantha turned the question back to him and asked "Do you want to be the one to give up your career to be solely responsible for the needs of your child every day? To spend every day concerned only with feeding and pooping schedules? To make that your entire focus?" The mom stayed in her job and they found a way to both be there for their child and keep their careers.
Now Samantha wasn't diminishing the importance of motherhood. As a mother of three, making time for her children is her top priority. She was simply turning the tables and asking a man to think about choices women are expected to make every day. As a society we are so quick to assume that mothers should give up their careers and stay home to raise children. When you turn the question around on a man, the answer is compelling.
There are times when Samantha's advice can seem polarizing, as she talks often about staying in the game during the "maintenance years" (those years where your kids are little and need more of your time) so that you can return to work when you are ready. Samantha is clearly not arguing against being a stay at home mom, she is simply saying that for those moms who want (or need) to work, there are strategies you can implement so that opting back in to your career when you're ready isn't as difficult. The reality is that for anyone who has been out of work for an extended period of time, getting back to your career, to the level at which you were performing or earning before is exceptionally hard. Rather than give it up altogether, she advises that you stay in the game - part time work, consulting, continue to attend industry networking events and conferences, find ways to stay relevant.
Mainly Samantha wants you to know that it is possible to have a career and raise great kids. Parenting is a topic Samantha tackles regularly. She talks often about the possibilities we create for ourselves, and our children. In her recent TedX talk "The Secret to Unlocking a Child's Potential she said..
"The world's most extraordinary people have one thing in common....they each had an adult in their life who made them believe they could be absolutely anything."
Think about that for a minute. Having someone believe in you and teach you to believe in yourself - that you could be absolutely anything - that is the key to success. Not just for your children, but for yourself. Remember that with the women you encounter in your life. And find that belief in yourself. You can be anything. Sam says so.Read More