"When I got pregnant with my first daughter, I didn't think that I changed, but I felt like the world's perception of me changed." - Amy Nelson on the impact of motherhood


My colleagues bosses I'm Carly's Aken I'm Danielle Weisberg welcome to skim from the couch this podcast is where we go deep on career advice when I became a mom really actually when I got pregnant with my first daughter the world around me kind of changed I didn't think that I changed but I felt like the world's perception of me changed specifically for everyone and is now positioning itself as a modern membership network of community content resources and Co working spaces built by women from a couch so what better place to talk it all out than where it began on a couch arm of the campaign fundraising what is your typical day look like so that's a hard question between four kids in the startup I don't for everyone with firm belief that Motherhood should not be an impediment to your career opportunities amy launch the riveter while pregnant with her third daughter today our guest is Amy Nelson Co founder of the Riveter a company which started as a series of co working spaces built by women daughter Amy we've been a fan and watching and cheering about what the riveter has been doing we're really excited to have you here welcome to the couch thanks so much for and in the two years since the rotor has expanded to ten locations nationally all while growing her family in June amy welcomed her fourth it'd Peleton with community because that is so fucking hard to do yourself why are you the most driven person ever was funny because I actually mental breakdown well in my apartment which I don't the thought of getting on it that early in the morning I think I could do it maybe once a year that's why they create not I mean linked to the profile is my involvement with politics so I was on Obama's National Finance Committee and I was one of the National Co founders of Jenn forty four which was the under forty you and Practiced First Amendment and financial litigation for a decade before starting their bitter what's not near Lincoln profile that we should know the thing that is actually got the Peleton treadmill used to love going to classes because it is incredibly hard to motivate did not sponsor this but they probably should today we talk a lot about life hacks and productivity hacks talk to us about how this came to be so when I was a lawyer there is agony so let's get into it I just skim your resume for us yes oh I grew up in Ohio my first job as a lifeguard and then a nanny but I realized I wasn't my kids as much as I wanted to and look my career is really demanding but I have deep joy and spending time with my kids and I love it have a typical day right now when I'm in Seattle where I live we start the day really early I try to get up and get in thirty minutes on the treadmill before my kids wake up so that's a five am wake yeah we're GONNA WE'RE GONNA stop you're a little bit because neither of us has kids yet and the idea of waking up and even if I had a treadmill the shadow you want but I love to go to classes that after I had my third child it was like that's not happening anymore because somebody's always getting up really server I went to college at emory in Atlanta and then I worked for Jimmy Carter at the Carter Center on Elections and democracy around the world I then went to law school at got wait like every morning when I'm in Seattle yeah so it's like an also on the weekends because unfortunately toddlers don't sleep in your youngest early and my husband and I flipped travel schedules a lot because we both travel a lot but the other thing is I am a self admitted very early bird so I was a swimmer growing up so I wasn't else who is in my calendar so I wasn't client services it was really demanding I owned my calendar I didn't have an executive assistant I didn't manage people as a lawyer you kind of go into your job and get out and so when I started the riveter team started growing other people would put things on my calendar and start scheduling things for me which is great and necessary and has to happen pool by five am for my entire high school career okay so the other thing we've heard that we just WanNa get into right away is that you schedule blocked off time in your calendar with your kids our nurse I'm nursing my daughter and pump like breastfeeding pumping takes up an inordinate amount of time it's funny I was thinking about it last year and I did the math and it is actually almost wanted to be a mom and I WANNA do it blocked out my calendar chunk of time every day and sometimes it's in the morning and sometimes it's in the evening where it get to see my kids and we can just hang out and so most morning not just constantly checking email but I do have a problem like staying off my phone for long periods of time because I don't know it's hard hard though he didn't let you finish your in girls which is incredible Are you off your phone during that time mostly I will sometimes check it but I asked my team to call if something is super super important so that when I started I spent a Lotta time alone in an office writing and reading and looking at documents and I am about as extroverted as you can get and so I found that to be just isolated she was just born in June sleeping through the night yet so my four month old is leaping tonight I know I shouldn't totally sorry I did not have that experience uh-huh and hang out and play so I love your family I've never met them but I feel like this is just so cute they're fun I have four little my fair share of investors and that I'm out meeting with riveter members and talking to them about what they're doing and then meeting with partners so it's lots of meetings sometimes it's hard to find acidity and more did you think about starting your own practice I did I really thought I just keep practicing law for a very long time the other options didn't put in the hours and I find the heads down time in the evening at work when things are quieter do you still identify as a lawyer interesting question so I think I will always things we have family breakfast where we all sit on the table because family dinner isn't really a reality for us right now but it's great we sit around the table we we talk the children that can't talk I am a hard worker it's a huge part of my identity but I y needed some flexibility I needed to look a little bit different so I thought that I would go out on my own as a lawyer so and those classes were at co working spaces around Seattle and I won't name any names but like they were really male-dominated and it was surprising to me because of co working is felt like the world's perception of me changed specifically my colleagues bosses and I don't think that my experience was singular as a mother and becoming a mother in corporate America and ultimately the full time job to breastfeed for your number of hours you put in so that's like a part of the morning right now once or twice a week I take kids to school and so that's like between eight thirty nine and I started taking classes on like how to write a business plan and how to do financial projections because I had a jd in an MBA and I'm Super Taipei and needed to know those things before I went out and did it supposed to be kind of this harbinger of the future of work and women are half of the workforce why weren't they present again one co working space there beanbags video games cakes did you I started thinking about how I would go out on my own when I was on parental leave with my second daughter reese in this is in the summer of two thousand sixteen and we're going to get into the riveter and what it is Shane how you built it but one question I just have did those classes actually help you you know what I didn't find the paradigm to be working for me where I worked it was kind of very old school in that you had to be at your desk nine to six and with the commute meant I literally didn't see my kids and I wanted to work heads down time my day is really just kind of all around and about in meetings and talking to people and then if I spent the morning with the kids I tend to go home after seven so I just an and on those days I get into office nine fifteen and then a lot of my day is meetings meetings with my team it's brainstorms meeting with investors there has raised over twenty million dollars so I have they seem to be politics because I had that in my background but when I became a mom really actually when I got pregnant with my first daughter the world around me kind of change I didn't think that I changed but I identify as a lawyer in some ways but what I realized is lawyering was a great training ground for me but wasn't the right career for me why was it a career for and lonely and somebody's and I wanted to be around people and I wanted to be my the things I had sought out lawyering to do so entrepreneurship as you know gives you all of that just didn't take those classes and one thing we talk about is like we should have maybe even just for the confidence of going into it but since we didn't I always wonder lead to feed yourself in house yourself without taking a paycheck for a while and I think it's really important that we don't talk about that a lot but you know my husband and I said so it's really interesting I went into litigation because I like problem solving I like people I like thinking on my feet I wanted to be in the courtroom but the thing is as a litigator which was surprising to me there's something super important that we have to address starting a business before you talk about the hustle and the grit and your skill set you have to talk about money get so you have to have the on his salary so it wasn't just me I had him to rely on and it's important to recognize that as well and I'm super grateful for it I feel welcome this wasn't built for them so I thought that instead of building my own legal practice maybe the thing to do would be to build I wanted which would be a community in space for women being really honest I did end up hiring someone to help me build my financial model because you wanted it to work and be real and I wasn't the one that we did as well I'm curious because I think for so many there is the hurdle around will I don't know if my skill set would set me up to start my own business so you just said of like it's really a and ability to learn to do it and so that was the path let's drill down on that I think so many people especially an interesting thing is the classes themselves also all men and that was really surprising to me because I know women are starting so many businesses but when I thought about it for like five seconds I was like well of course aren't women here because the millennial women generation a believe it's like some north of sixty percent say they want to start their own business while the amazing statistic down before I quit my job as an attorney and we made a spreadsheet of our personal financial runway and how long we had where we pay for childcare and live the way we wanted to live sometimes you think entrepreneurship is unattainable. You're like I don't have an NBA. I'm not prepared to do this I don't have the skills while you don't really have to have any skills to start a company you just have to have the grit the hustle eighty learn more at Uber Dot com slash safety that's Uber Dot Com Slash Safety Ping Pong pool like all in one room it's like the exact opposite of what I would choose exactly there's a woman in my mid thirties it wasn't what I was up for yeah I mean I took like four I think one was a series of three classes and other ones like single buses but the thing that gave me confidence in some ways it's like okay I can do this because I think so a very very excited to see this happen you've got a lot of things to think about and not worrying about your safety while you are in a rideshare is one thing all of them did yeah so the one that really helped me a lot was around financial projections because they had no background in finance like that was really helpful and ultimately you have to be in that room on holidays and weekends late at night and so you have to have an enormous amount of grit just to say okay I will push through no matter what I will find a way and it's mm time it was a long time but I had been there for ten years money right so that's like an it's it's also not a long time when you think about it it's more than we had five thousand dollars yeah I mean so in terms of the skill set I think it's really important to identify what you know how to do what you think you can learn and then who you can surround yourself with that knows all the Uber rescreen drivers every year and uses tack to look for issues in between All important things so ride check is just one of the ways uber is committed to save the Hustle and Grit I want you to impact that a little bit for those who are listening how do you approach the skill set gap that maybe you have so I want to back up a minute because that was said someone flippantly and hard I mean you know like there are times it feels like there's no way out so everything you just said is true and has been part of our story enduring you say it it was like being other parts that you need to know and it's hard because I think when you're starting you don't really know what you need to know you figure it out over time but like I've learned over the past two years at my best in the world is hiring people that have more experienced than me when you're walking through a one way door in your walk into a room that you can't get out of and you have to be in that room when it feels almost impossible you have to be in that room when you're so tired you can't do anything take off of your plate so all drivers are background checked before their first ride which includes driving and criminal history checks plus retraction like we'll raise the money but at the same time when I think about it like my stomach tightens around like Oh it was just my reaction how -iety just grams up again what's interesting because we've raised three rounds of funding and I eventually will raise money again and we've got a great business model we've got has a brand new safety feature uses GPS and smartphone sensors it can tact is going unusually off course and check in to provide support and make sure you're okay sir before what your typical day as I do want to finish that so okay we get you're on the treadmill it's five am where sleeping you're saying that what happened you know shower you that are smarter than me that had these really great skill sets but in terms of the grit in the hustle like when you start a company particularly if you take investment funds and you take the venture doc we always relied on Newburgh to get from one place to another but we are very very excited that Uber has launched ride check which is in who lifted from the good stuff like hiring and growing a team to the rough stuff like negotiating your salary and giving or getting hard feedback we started the skin doc distant friends maybe I mean they're not actually people but you know unless there's anything and that's interesting thing to talk about I which at the time we were GonNa make that last but I think it is important to talk about up front it really is because I think there's always a lake jump into your dream do what ever you want and you have to be able to feed yourself and I had to feed kids to write that I had that going look my husband is the ultimate feminist and he supported me in doing this but also so going back to how to become an entrepreneur talk show us a little bit about what grit and Hustle means especially for those that are less because we're in our mid thirty s and there are certain things we didn't want up to how long we could do all of that without me drawing a paycheck his salary and it was twenty three months and exactly how long I had that's all is it to raise those initial rounds yes somebody first round was six hundred thousand dollar angel round and it's really interesting severance like go raise a friends and family round and I'm like the Hallier whatever you know when you look back and you call it like Oh that's your friends and family around I'm like but it's other children so I feel very grateful that's happening right now but I get up really early and try to get in thirty minutes on the treadmill I I just this is a point I'm GonNa say the idea and that's what we need to create an as well our side in the women's side so I raised a six hundred thousand around and I really treated it at the time like a sales process and like the paypal mafia like the founders of pay pal and early employees pay pal made a lot of money they were all men and after they got out they all funded each other I am dot com ends for a little something extra yeah I veer much more toward the New York culture and attitude like I've had to

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