Claim Ownership


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#186 — The Wise Women's Council is back and accepting enrollments for our Class of 2022. We only open once per year for enrollment, so whether you've been a longtime listener or a brand-new listener, check out our leadership incubator and community for executive, entrepreneurial moms navigating both life and business at the same time.  Applications close March 1, 2022 this year. Apply at Last year's Wise Women's Council was amazing. Full stop. Here's what some of our alumni have said: "It made me feel seen and less alone."⁠ "What I didn't expect was just how expansive WWC was for me. The people I met, what I learned both about myself and the world – it truly expanded what I thought was possible about working parenthood."⁠ "WWC brings these incredible women together, and you form relationships over 9 months that approximate the closeness of many-years-long friendships. You learn things about yourself that you didn't know before. You unlock ways of understanding the world outside of where you were before"⁠ "There is no way to describe what it feels like to be validated. So much of being a women and more so a mom makes one feel invisible. In this space I felt seen and heard by really smart, funny, and fearless parents."⁠ ⁠ 👆 THIS is what the alumni from WWC have said about what The Wise Women's Council is like. I didn't edit their words or tell them what to say. ⁠ If you're looking to join a supportive, expansive, brilliant group of women founders, leaders & business creatives, then check out The Wise Women's Council. We only open once a year for applications to join.⁠ APPLY HERE →⁠ 📌 Our application deadline is March 1, 2022.  The program runs March 28 - Nov 3, 2022. --- Send in a voice message:
#185 — Vanessa Van Edwards learned right away that being an expert in behavioral science did not translate into innate parenting know-how. An author, speaker, and lead investigator with Science of People, Vanessa first appeared on Episode #96 of Startup Parent. She returned for Episode #104, in which she busted some myths about the first weeks of parenthood. Now, she’s opening up about the first year, explaining that while some phases do indeed “go by so fast,” others can feel like a slog, but telling parents that it goes by so fast is not, well, helpful. We dig into the nitty-gritty of the first year of parenting, what surprised us, what we wish we’d known, and the milestones most parenting books miss. We also talk about miscarriage, and Vanessa also speaks honestly about the experience of having a miscarriage at eight weeks, and the physicality of it—many people talk about the emotional experience, but she wasn’t prepared for how long it would take, and what her body would go through in the experience. Tune in to this episode to hear Vanessa’s take on what the first year of parenting was like for her, how it affected her perspective on work and friendships, and also how the pandemic (and parenting) might also be an opportunity for a fresh start. Episodes mentioned:  Episode #96, our first interview with Vanessa on Startup Parent.  Episode #104, in which she busted some myths about the first weeks of parenthood. --- Send in a voice message:
#184 — Growing up, James Breakwell never had to think about what jobs he wasn’t allowed to pursue. That changed when he had kids. As the father of four girls — one of whom recently said she wants to be a construction worker, and another who asked if she could be the Pope — he’s had to put himself in the shoes of the females surrounding him at home. As an author and internet personality behind the popular Twitter account @XplodingUnicorn, James is best known for his viral tweets depicting hilarious snippets of conversations with his daughters. In this interview with our first startup dad, he gets real about how he navigates building a public persona based on his family life — including how much to share and what to withhold. Full show notes at --- Send in a voice message:
#183 — Creative dynamo Amber Anderson is the founder of Tote & Pears, a branding and marketing agency with a female focus. For her, becoming an entrepreneur was about more than the business. It was about creating possibilities for her family, establishing a set of core values for her family, and aligning her business values and family needs holistically. We first interviewed Amber on Episode #029 all about the birth of her son and her business. We invite her back to talk about what marketing to women looks like, how brands and agencies can better understand their target audience, and how to build a business that works for you and your family. Tune in to this episode to hear returning guest Amber describe how she aligns family values with work values, the rebranding of her marketing to become female-focused, and why she is committed to keeping work and home life intertwined (while keeping her work weeks around 40-50 hours). Full show notes at --- Send in a voice message:
#182 — How badly is this year, this pandemic, messing up our kids and us, as parents? Dr Courtney Bolton has a PhD in counseling clinical and school psychology, and she is a parenting coach focused on evidence-based strategies for the development of kids. She's a mom of four and she helps parents make contextual, intentional parenting decisions that work for them and their families. I asked her to join me to talk about parenting, stress, and the pandemic. In this episode, we talk about:  How to help little ones manage their emotional and mental understanding of all that's changed — and specific tools for how to talk to our kids across age groups. How to help parents deal with all of the stress and life changes that are happening. Stress strategies for dealing with the coming months and not calling it "new normal" but really naming what it is and what's happening. The grief and loss that's happening in so many different ways in our homes, including the loss of income, work, career, meaning, purpose, and time. How to talk to kids about loss and grief. The 6 P's framework she has for recentering and adjusting as a parent. Also, because we're in a pandemic, you'll hear our kids in the background, and we have to move offices to make this interview work. This was recorded at the end of last summer, but like the music, better late than never. Browse all episodes at or check out the complete show notes at --- Send in a voice message:
#181 - Welcome back to co-host Cary Fortin! We're back for another friendship episode, where Sarah and Cary talk about business design, parenting stress, and dealing with the pandemic. In this episode, we take you behind the scenes of The Wise Women's Council and the Class of 2021, and the ways that we think about community design and creating strong containers for personal growth. If you haven't heard the story of how the Wise Women's Council started, listen in as Sarah describes what it took to create a program while pregnant with her second kiddo (and with a toddler at home). Business as usual wouldn't work, so she thought differently about what a mastermind community might look like, and how to bring a network of teachers in so that she could run a program while also taking leave in the middle of her own program. In this episode: How too much ego can get you into trouble if you design a business where you (and your personality) has to be at the center of the business. How we are scaling the Wise Women's Council and what it looks like to grow a program and a community while maintaining intimacy. The container and the structure set-up, and the work it takes, to create truly intimate and honest conversational space. What many business owners miss when trying to create strong communities. Some of the lessons learned from running masterminds, retreats, and events for over a decade, and how to create a great program and experience. This episode is a casual conversation with lots of sideways chatter and banter between long-term friends Cary and Sarah. We also have episodes with guest experts and speakers, but this one includes everything that friends talk about (including adult language), so listen with headphones if you have kids around. Browse all episodes at or check out the complete show notes at --- Send in a voice message:
#180 — We are not the same as before. What we went through last year, and what we are still going through, is beyond comprehension and imagination. Many are still trying to survive, out of work, and picking up the pieces from last year. Many are grieving deeply and some of us don't have a clear roadmap for grief or recovery. It's been so long since I've been able to sit down and put together a real podcast that I almost feel like I've forgotten how to do it. I invited Cary Fortin to join me as we talk about what the last year has been like and how we're finding our footing again. Cary was my guest co-host from the original Friendship Series (Episodes 81 through 86 for longtime listeners), is a dear friend, and has been my go-to pandemic buddy as we talk (and rage, and vent) about the events of the last year. She joined today to help me talk through some of what we've been through in the last year. Browse all episodes at or check out the complete show notes at --- Send in a voice message:
#179 — When 2020 kicked off, we had big plans. One of those plans was growing Startup Pregnant and shifting our focus—and name—to cover what we were already focused on: parents. Today, I'm excited to tell you about the new name, and introduce you to Startup Parent. Here's the backstory of why we changed our name, what it took, and a sneak peek into what we're building next. Also, there are a lot of background noises in this episode, because children and vacuums aren't quiet. At all. But, like the name change, we managed to figure out how to make it work despite all the hurdles. This episode was recorded in October 2020, again in December 2020, and edited and published in March 2021. --- Send in a voice message:
#178 — We are two weeks away from kicking off our fourth class of The Wise Women's Council, and we have an extraordinary group of people joining us for the year ahead. WWC is our year-long leadership incubator for women business leaders, entrepreneurs, and innovators who are also navigating pregnancy, parenthood, and motherhood. We go deep together for the better part of a year and support women at their growth edge who want to continue to level up in their life and career. In this episode, I'm diving into the nuances of the program: how I've designed it, what parts of past mastermind programs I've used, why I changed the structure to better fit the lives of working parents, and the research behind why I've made the program the way it is. Over the last few weeks I have been interviewing, talking, laughing, and even crying with so many of you during our interviews and gathering calls, and I'm looking forward to spending the year ahead with so many of you. If you've been thinking about applying to join us, if you've never heard of the program before, or you're watching along, listening and learning (I see you! I do this, too), this episode is about what the program is for, how I've designed it, and the program goals we have for the women & womxn who join us. Apply to join us in the year ahead: --- Send in a voice message:
#177 — Dr Shani Cooper is a Naval Veteran, Licensed Acupuncturist and Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, who began studying the human body in 2010. She is also the parent to Sage, an eight-month old who arrived in the world bright and early, two months before his estimated arrival window! Shani joined us last year in The Wise Women's Council when she was pregnant with her little one, who you will hear and enjoy in the background of this recording. I asked her if she'd join us to talk about what WWC was like for her navigating pregnancy, childbirth, and growing in-person business practice, and a pandemic. For all of you curious or thinking about the Wise Women's Council i'm doing a short series here on the podcast with folks who went through the program last year (look for Episodes #176 through #181). If you're interested in joining us in 2021, head to to find out more about the program and submit an application to join us. Leadership doesn't have to look like what we see around us. Leadership can be messy and it's our job, as women, as people carving out a new future, to chart a new path of leadership that might not look like the masculine models we've been steeped in so far. Show notes: The Wise Women's Council: --- Send in a voice message:
#176 — What's it like to run a team of 40 people, in a pandemic, with a 1-year-old, and get pregnant with your second kid? Jess Kamada, VP of Client Services at Bamboo, a top growth marketing firm based in Seattle, joined me for a special episode to talk about how she managed the pandemic and the last year. Jess joined us in the 2020 Wise Women's Council, and I asked her if she would be open to sharing her story and experience on the podcast, and share some insights into what it's like to be in the Wise Women's Council, why she chose the Group Coaching level, and what she got out of the experience. If you're thinking about applying to join us in the Class of 2021, submit your application at Applications are open until February 15, 2021, and we start together in March. --- Send in a voice message:
#175 — Welcome to 2021, a year that clearly isn't going to erase all of last year's frustrations, angers, or woes. This episode is an overview of some of the highlights from Startup Parent over 2020. Seven months without childcare is not easy, that's for sure, and while we didn't hit many of our goals, we had surprising revenue outcomes and we managed to hire more people than I'd planned on!  In this episode, I talk about the Wise Women's Council, about our growth as a team, key metrics and revenue goals from the last year, and the painful work of doing half as much as you hope to do.  --- Send in a voice message:
#174 — The other day, I was reading an article on Time Magazine that I couldn't stop reading. Dr. Kyl Myers, an author, had written a long-form piece about gender, sex and parenting. Dr. Kyl Myers holds a PhD in sociology and studies and speaks about gender. They are an award-winning educator and a globally recognized advocate for gender creative parenting. Since 2016, Kyl has been speaking and writing about gender creative parenting and using their own parenting story to help the world learn about and embrace a new type of childhood. Kyl Myers goes by "she" and "her" pronouns, as well as "they" and "them." Dr. Myers is the author of Raising Them: Our Adventure In Gender Creative Parenting. If you'd like to hear a fascinating conversation about parenting, gender, and what we can do as parents to help reduce gender violence, oppression against women and men, and create a more playful world, come join us on this episode of the podcast. Full show notes, references, quotes, and sponsor details are available at --- Send in a voice message:
Motherhood So White

Motherhood So White


#173 — Why is default motherhood so white in our cultural storytelling? In America, the word "mother" is nearly always describing white motherhood. That's what Nefertiti, a single African American woman, discovered when she decided she wanted to adopt a Black baby boy out of the foster care system. Eager to finally join the motherhood ranks, Nefertiti was shocked when people started asking her why she wanted to adopt a "crack baby" or told her that she would never be able to raise a Black son on her own. She realized that American society saw motherhood through a white lens, and that there would be no easy understanding or acceptance of the kind of family she hoped to build. She is the author of Motherhood So White: A Memoir of Race, Gender, and Parenting in America, which went on to become an Amazon bestseller. Nefertiti Austin joins us on the show to talk about motherhood, race, adoption, and the white lens that is applied to motherhood stories in America, and more broadly, in Western cultures today. We talk about being a single mom and her journey from being a law student to becoming a fiction writer to today, her career in nonfiction writing and publishing. We dig into the mistruths around what's told about being a single mom, adoption, and blackness. For full show notes, episode sponsors, and quotes, go to --- Send in a voice message:
#172 — There's a coaching tool that I really love, that is an important concept to know and practice throughout your work and life. It's called "areas of control," and I'll share how to think about it in your life, relationships, and with regards to real-world events. From there, I want to give you one of my favorite practices—something to look forward to. Full show notes will be available at  --- Send in a voice message:
#171 —  Lions + Tigers Panel Replay. School is back in session, and parents everywhere are fatigued, overwhelmed, and still in the lurch. Workplaces are less and less forgiving, and yet the problems created by the pandemic are still here. What's a working parent to do? Last week, Lions + Tigers, spearheaded by Brea Starmer, gathered a panel to talk about specific steps parents can take to strategically plan ahead for the last quarter of the year, what to do to advocate for yourself as a working parent, the option parents have with schools and how you can think about creating a 'micro school' to get childcare set up in areas where remote schools aren't feasible, and how to navigate and set up your workplaces to be more compatible with the working parents in your organization. I was lucky enough to be able to host this panel, so I got to interview some talented experts all about all of these questions. Joining me on the panel were Shauna Causey of Weekdays, Blessing Adesiyan of Mother Honestly, and Brea Starmer of Lions + Tigers. Full show notes at  --- Send in a voice message:
Why Is This So Hard?

Why Is This So Hard?


#170 — We're back from "sabbatical" and heading into September after a big move. All of the things happening right now—a pandemic, job stress, health worries, lack of childcare, natural disasters, uncertainty about the future, an election year—can conspire to take a toll on our mental health. Here's what's happening in my brain and mind, and how I'm seeing the effects of all of these stressors play out in my own life. (Hint: it took me an extra six takes to record this episode.) If you're feeling this way, you're not alone. This is a struggle, and I've got a few tips for you to stay compassionate to yourself and help make all this stress just a little bit lighter. --- Send in a voice message:
#169 — In some mythical fantasy, we tell women that they can have it all and be it all if only they just work hard enough. Yes, you too can be a perfect mother, a lovely wife, and have a full-time career if only you just have the right productivity strategies, tools, and mindsets. Don't forget about self-care! Tiffany Dufu is here to burst the bubble of stressed-out mothers everywhere to talk about the reality of being a working parent. The author of "Drop The Ball," Tiffany's life and work is focused on leadership for women and girls. She's been named to Fast Company's League of Extraordinary Women, serves on the board for Girls Who Code, and is now the founder of TheCru, a networking and peer-to-peer group creator for people who need a cru. This interview was first recorded in 2017, but her message to ladies everywhere is more relevant than ever. It's time to drop the ball and really, really lower our expectations. Don't do the things that don't matter. I'll share a personal story: We didn't dress our kiddos in real clothes this whole summer. We just went with pajamas straight from day to night. For full show notes, sponsor information, and listener perks, go to --- Send in a voice message:
#168 — 40% of American households believe that it is bad for society if mothers work. That mothers should not work. This is wild. Sexism is a global phenomenon, but in America, we have a unique maternal bias against women in the workforce, and as we watch the pandemic unfold, women are losing jobs at extraordinary rates. In 2017, we had Sarah Lacy, founder of Chairman Mom, previously the founder of Pando Daily and a journalist in tech, talk about her journey from thinking sexism was not really a thing to fierce feminist. Today, we're revisiting that conversation and taking a listen to how the world of work is extremely biased against women, especially mothers, and how many ways we've made the world of work (and parenting) harder on women. We're going to dig into why the patriarchy—aka men, especially white men at the mantle of an unequal power structure—is so bad, and why it's not okay to set up a system where some people live at the expense of other people's lives and rights. That's not okay. Join me as I go back and take a listen to this powerful episode. This episode is brought to you by Nanit, the only baby monitor you need. For full show notes, sponsor information, and listener perks, go to --- Send in a voice message:
#167 — The advice around pregnancy and food is intense. Suddenly there are so many things to do and so much you need to pay attention to. Luckily we have Lily Nichols, prenatal nutritionist, registered dietician, and bestselling author of Real Food For Pregnancy to talk to us about what matters, and how to eat as healthy as possible for you and your kiddo. In this episode, she goes over how backward most prenatal nutrition advice really is (did you know that most dietary recommendations for females are just guesses based on male bodies?). She dug through 934 research studies to find what really matters to your metabolism and your health. Dig in, eat real food, and enjoy this episode with Lily Nichols. This episode was originally published in 2018, but we're re-broadcasting it because it's been one of our best-ever episodes, downloaded more than almost any other. Enjoy! This episode is brought to you by Splendid Spoon, a meal delivery service that creates whole, healthy, plant-based soups and smoothies. For full show notes, go to --- Send in a voice message:
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