The Industry Leaders hears from Arianna Taboada, author and Founder of The Expecting Entrepreneur, about her book and consultancy firm designed to help build parental leave plans for expecting parents by utilising her wealth of knowledge and experience in the medical field.
How did you end up sitting where you are today?
I’m a public health social worker by training, and I initially worked in health care more traditionally, providing care to uninsured and under-insured populations. When I realised I would burn out if I saw patients all day, every day, I transitioned into entrepreneurship, still in the health care sector, by going into private practice and consulting for health systems. I’ve been iterating my business model and core services ever since, focusing on helping entrepreneurs design a parental leave plan that meets their business model and personal needs.
What kind of work does your role involve?
I provide one-to-one coaching and consulting to business owners growing their families and preparing for parental leave. I act as a strategic advisor and offer consistent coaching throughout the immense transformation of becoming a parent. Much of the foundational work I do with clients is about looking at the core business functions, thinking about the arc of going on and returning from parental leave, and what systems and processes will make that possible.
What gets you excited about your industry?
My work at the intersection of perinatal health and entrepreneurship allows me to look behind the scenes at businesses across industries. It is fascinating to uncover patterns, similarities, and major differences. In the absence of a national paid leave policy, many entrepreneurs have had to be very innovative and creative in approaching parental leave, and lifting up those solutions so that others can use them is exciting.
What's the best advice anyone ever gave you?
I had a writing mentor who once encouraged me to “just barf on the page and clean it up later”, which always stuck with me, while being kind of a gross mental image!
I held this quote in my mind as I wrote my first book, The Expecting Entrepreneur. It helped me flesh out ideas without overthinking it, and made me confident in getting started and not worrying about perfection at the very beginning of a project.
How do you support aspiring leaders in your field?
I find that consistently building rapport and developing personal relationships with people is a great way to learn how you can be of service. I’m a constant “reacher outer” and have two recurring tasks every other week: first is to reach out to a colleague who I haven’t connected with in a while to see what they are working on and how I can support it, and second is to reach out to someone new and begin to build a relationship. I find that often leads to me connecting people to each other when I see potential synergies.
How do you keep up to speed with what's happening in your industry?
In three words: conferences, conversations, and papers.
I’m a health researcher by training, so staying up to date with the scientific literature is a big part of my routine. Conferences and conversations are two ways that I see what's being published coming alive in a more dynamic way, and that often helps move the field forward in exciting ways.