Sarah Peck (Ep.49): Ask yourself, does it have to look this way?

Corporate jobs and Sarah Peck do not mesh well – being slouched in front of a laptop under fluorescent lighting isn’t her idea of a career. Sarah’s mantra has always been: You don’t have to do things the way they’re always done. To give herself career options, she started a blog as a side hustle and within 3 years it was generating $30k. That, in combination with a minimalist lifestyle gave her the confidence to quit. Her career is now “a collection of projects” – a writer, a startup advisor, yoga teacher and podcast host. She shares a DIY playbook to create, market, and sell digital products. and her thoughts on credentialing and expertise in the digital age. We look at the work required to achieve diversity both in our networks and our ideas and what her podcast, Startup Pregnant, can teach us about productivity, prioritization, and professional growth from bad ass new moms who are also entrepreneurs.

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False “career” dichotomies

I think of a career as a collection of projects. There’s a lot of false dichotomies out there – you either have to be an entrepreneur or work for a corporation. For me, if I’m an entrepreneur, hopefully I’m building something that looks like a corporation.

→ See also: The vexing art of holding opposite views

Challenging the status quo (doesn’t always have to be bold)

You don’t have to do things the way they’ve always been done. [One misconception is that it has to be] a big bold gesture, it can be as simple as “People work 9 to 5” so I’m going to work “8 to 2.” Maybe there’s a chance to tweak things, to optimize your happiness, productivity and flourishing.

→ See also: How to challenge the status quo

When your side hustle turns main husle

[su_quote]It was five years into working corporate, and two years with a blog. I made 30k on the side. I said to myself: “this is interesting, do I trust myself so that if I quit my job, I could at minimum double that? Because I can survive off of that. It’s hard to love in SF off of that, but I could do it. I was a single person with no children. And I had a lot of strategies to reduce my second. I did a year of not buying any clothing whatsoever; I have a sewing machine so I can sow my own clothes; I was reading minimalism blogs; and I was buying Trader Joe’s salads and mixing them in with extra spinach so that my lunches were only $1.50.”

→ See also: How to avoid lifestyle creep

How we’ve failed our men and boys

This western, individualized world we live in – there are ways in which it’s really hard on women, but they have now a bit more of an ability to have conversations around it. There’s a lot of unspoken trauma and pain around our men. We teach our little boys (and I have a little boy – and it breaks my heart) not to feel, and to is a huge shame. Of course you have feelings, and learning how to deal with your emotions and understand them, work with them and communicate them. I think we’ve failed our boys and our men and we’re seeing the repercussions of it in our society. There are grown men that I know who don’t get touched, don’t have close friendships and don’t talk enough. The psychological burden on your humanness is cruel and untenable. It’s a horrible place to be.

→ See also: Insecure men on ‘cuddle puddles’

The importance of therapy

Studying what we do, why we do it and where we come from is such a privilege and something I will do as long as I have healthcare that helps cover it (or even pay out of pocket). It keeps me steady, let’s me understand myself and motivations. So many of us walk around with patterns imprinted upon us about what the world is doing to us, for us, or about us – and who we are. And they’re imprinted on us early, ages 4-7. A lot of our operating paradigms, we have from pre-age 7.

→ See also: Trauma with a little t or big T

The productivity hit of motherhood

You do take a productivity hit when you become a new mom. It’s about 15%. You may feel internally that you’re a shipwreck, flying by the seat of your pants. But externally you’re at 85%. After two years, your productivity gains are [roughly] 30% for the rest of your life, compounded over 30-40 years.

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