Panelist Preview with Carly Schacknies
If you've been here before you've already heard from Carly but didn't even know it - as she's my big-sister-editor-in-chief for almost everything I write.
Like all little sisters, I'm inspired by most things that Carly does, but it's objectively true that she puts her money where her mouth is, when it comes to Designing The Work-Life That Works For Your Life. When she decided to leave her full-time job to begin freelancing as a marketer and storyteller she knew she needed to reallocate how her day's were spent.
Buy your tickets today, to our upcoming event on May 7th, and hear more from Carly about how this mom of 2 boys, wife of an entrepreneur builds the work-life that works for her!
Who’s Carly? How would you describe yourself and what you do professionally?
I call myself a “Hyphenette.” I am an entrepreneur - storyteller - marketer - foodie - fit fan - Florida girl in DC - wife - mama.
How did you design your work-life to work for your life? What’s one way it totally works and one challenge?
Ours is a dual entrepreneur household, and my husband an I have different kinds of demands. When I went off on my own, it was a strategic decision based on the kind of home-life I wanted to have, the kind of mother I wanted to be, and the type of work I knew I could still do. Is everything turned to a 100 all the time? NO. But, also, maybe it shouldn’t be, for me, right now.
Another side of working for myself that I have noticed, in the process of building a business and working in a “different” way, is that it can sometimes seem like invisible (or non-existing) work. It is very common that I will put in more working hours than a FT schedule. A big part of working for yourself, setting your schedule, negotiating your rate, and stating your value is advocating for yourself. That can be with clients, with kids, with your social circle.
Tactically: One of the complaints (struggles) I had before going out on my own was that in making time for everyone, my work got covered, my kids got covered, my house got mostly covered, and it was easy for me to make excuses to not take care of me. Now that I mostly make my own schedule, it is really important to me that a few things always happen and for me that’s working out. On a non-on site working day, post drop-off means getting my favorite coffee, taking some time to review emails, set up my day, and then working out at @Solidcore. It’s a dedicated way for me to get set-up mentally, physically, and emotionally. I wouldn’t trade that in for anything.
Working for myself means the work commitment can be variable. I am a night owl. I like to work on my time and that means putting in hours when my kids are at school, and if my commitments require it, revisiting it at night after my kids go to bed.
Given your experience what is one thing you wish you could’ve known before embarking on your journey to motherhood?
Shortly after my second son was born there was a series of articles, about motherhood being the death of creativity. I am proud to say that hasn’t been the case for me. My work is creative, and so is motherhood. I find that I am more creative now than before. Motherhood is an exercise in improvisation, comedic timing, and knowing when to roll with it, flow with it, and when to not.
My career is to tell stories and my kids give me practice with that every day. Explaining why the sky is blue, what the cow says, how bones are made, what love means, and so much more. As it relates to this panel and motherhood in general, I wish I knew that things would change all the time. The systems and schedules that work for sleepless newborn days and night, won’t last forever, and the challenges and solutions that you come up with evolve. (See above, on creativity, but I would say Motherhood is the reason for all invention.
That everything will be okay. Things will be different, but they’ll be good and surprising, and fun, and special, and uniquely our own.
My work is creative, and so is motherhood. I find that I am more creative now than before. Motherhood is an exercise in improvisation, comedic timing, and knowing when to roll with it, flow with it, and when to not.
How do you retain your sense of self in motherhood?
I feel like I have remained true to myself through motherhood. I am proud to introduce my kids to the things I love and care about and to share with them what’s important to me.
Craziest place you’ve made a mom-friend?
I don’t think I met my mom friends in a crazy place or way, but having mom friends - a tribe of my own - has been invaluable to me. I am very grateful to have women who I can share with, champion, complain to, and commiserate with.
What’s your working mom hack?
A working mom hack that I am MOST proud is my working pedicure. It might not be quite as relaxing, but I can do most any of my work and get a pedicure which feels like an awesome multi-task situation.
Who is your style inspiration? I’m a jeans and a tank top girl. Off-duty Amal Clooney, Ralph Lauren cool.
What do you do (guilt-free) for yourself? Each day, each week, each month?
Work out / my tv shows / manicure and pedicure
What are you into these days?
What are you reading? Finished Becoming by Michelle Obama and have never loved her more.
What products or services are you into? Pinna for kids (audio books for our drive to and from school; Prime for everything
Favorite baby gear? (No more baby gear!)
You can keep up with Carly on: