Your life is baby-ready—but did you babyproof your business?
This tagline at the top of The Expecting Entrepreneur website would give anyone pause, especially an entrepreneur in the stage of life where parenthood is a very real consideration. Or an employee in the same stage of life, working at a startup where anyone has yet to take parental leave.
While traditional, corporate workplaces typically have a set of guiding principles and policies in place when it comes to parental leave, eliminating guesswork for those on the precipice of parenthood, being self-employed or working at a startup could mean entering into unknown territory when it comes to leave planning. Realizing this problem motivated Arianna Taboada to launch The Expecting Entrepreneur, a consulting firm providing coaching, speaking engagements, and a published book of the same name which serves as a guide for companies and entrepreneurs navigating paternal leave and return-to-work scenarios.
“What I often hear over and over is ‘I don’t know where to start,’” says Taboada. “Small business owners often don’t have any kind of road map or blueprint, much less a policy.”
With The Expecting Entrepreneur, Taboada guides clients in organizing processes to create a road map which can be adapted and tweaked in alignment with their particular business model and industry.
Taboada started The Expecting Entrepreneur in 2013 after spending years in the public
health space as a social worker and earning her masters in maternal child health. Initially, she focused on helping individual business owners plan for leave and what their return to work would look like, and how to take care of their business while also taking care of themselves.
But she realized she could expand her impact by expanding her business model. One way in which Taboada has boosted her reach is in booking speaking engagements, sharing her expertise on topics like “Preparing your team and systems for parental leave” and “Strategies for babyproofing business operations and client communication” with a larger audience. Because of her speaking success, she is also a sought-after podcast guest.
Compiling all the useful knowledge she’s gained over the years into a book was a natural next step. The Expecting Entrepreneur was published in October 2021.
“Now I’m reaching exponentially more people than I would be if I was still doing one on one [consulting],” says Taboada.
Her book serves as “a step-by-step blueprint for expecting business owners to plan parental leave while ensuring that their small business runs smoothly and successfully in their absence.”
With The Expecting Entrepreneur, Taboada is empowering individuals and organizations to design parental leave structures that work for everyone involved while maintaining entrepreneurial success. Her goal is to help small business owners transition into this new chapter of life with as little stress as possible so they can focus where they want to.
A few key points The Expecting Entrepreneur addresses:
A foundation of five principles for planning your ideal leave.
Scientific evidence on the importance of parental leave for you, your baby, your business.
How to update operations and client communications to keep day-to-day tasks moving forward.
Financial options to fund your time off when paid family leave isn’t possible.
Strategies to ease the transition of returning to your business postpartum.
In addition to supporting entrepreneurs navigate planning for their leave and return to work, Taboada is exploring the possibility of narrative change when it comes to parental leave from a statewide and federal perspective.
“I stay involved in the advocacy work that’s being done to make sure that small businesses are being considered,” says Taboada, adding that, in regard to leave policies, “We do not need any more research. We have all the research we need. I’m excited to jump into shifting hearts and minds and get folks to shift policies with their own buy-in.”
She utilizes her speaking engagements and podcast interviews as a way to advocate for better leave programs and policies throughout the United States. Her early career experiences in public health and research have further fueled her fire to make change happen on a greater level.
At the end of the day, Taboada aims to make the postpartum period less stressful and more intentional for busy business people, whether that’s on a personal level or a policy level. “I felt the very real challenges around taking leave and going back to work [for folks who are self employed], but those felt very surmountable with some up front planning in the second trimester and resource navigation pre-leave.”