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@NYTBIZSUMMIT: “Don’t drop the baby”

2 min read


Today I’m in New York tweeting, networking and blogging from The New York Times Small Business Summit. Before we even made through lunch, I’d already heard enough good advice to warrant several blog posts, so stay tuned as I write them over the next couple of weeks.

Thanks to the miracle of Twitter, even people offsite have been able to follow what’s resonating with the summit’s participants and observers — and for the morning session, it was a bit of wisdom from Carol’s Daughter founder Lisa Price that is good for everyone who works — in businesses large or small and even beyond:

“Don’t drop the baby.”

She wasn’t talking advice for new parents, but advice on the ever-troubling question of how to balance work life with family life.

When first asked, Price admitted that finding that balance remains illusive. Women — and I will add men as well — have to realize and accept that they may not be able to achieve that ideal balance that they envision in their minds. Some days you’ll be a superstar businessperson and a mediocre parent. Other days you’ll be an amazing parent and a not-so-hot businessperson. And if you’re lucky, on a few days you’ll manage to be great at both.

The secret to getting by and succeeding overall in both areas, Price said, is to learn to let things go and forgive yourself when you aren’t perfect or mess up — and then just let life happen with work and parenting.

Price has three children — two teens and a preschooler — and she explained that when things get hectic she just keeps thinking to herself that whatever happens, “don’t drop the baby.”

She knows that if she drops the ball with one of the older children they will pick themselves up and move on, but the little one needs more help than that. In other words, it’s about prioritizing. Not that one child is more important, but that you need to put the attention where it’s most needed — just like at work.

Image credit, RapidEye, via iStockPhoto