In this blog post, we explore the inspiring story of Elizabeth Mercer, the founder of Sleekform, an online seller of ergonomic office furniture. Mercer shares her experiences as an entrepreneur and a new mom, shedding light on the challenges she faced while returning to work after childbirth. Her journey serves as an inspiration for both entrepreneurs and moms, offering valuable insights into time management, setting priorities, and maintaining a successful business while navigating the demands of motherhood.
The Beginning of Sleekform:
Elizabeth Mercer’s entrepreneurial journey began in 2018 when she launched Sleekform, a brand specializing in stylish ergonomic furniture for home offices. Initially, the venture started as a side hustle, but it quickly evolved into a full-time commitment when Mercer left her co-founded Amazon seller platform, Jungle Scout, with her husband, Greg. Her passion for organization and ergonomic furniture led her to venture into this niche market, offering oversized items that stood out from the competition.
The Balance Between Business and Parenthood:
Mercer’s life took a significant turn four years later when she became a mother to a beautiful one-year-old child. The return to work after childbirth proved to be more challenging than she anticipated, not just physically but also mentally. Juggling the demands of managing a small team, recovering from childbirth, and providing adequate time for her child became a complex task.
Strategies for Managing Parenthood and Business:
To navigate this new phase, Mercer sought guidance from a business coach during her pregnancy. She planned ahead, recognizing the importance of setting up her business to function with less of her direct involvement during her maternity leave. By delegating tasks and setting clear goals for her team, Mercer ensured the business would continue to operate smoothly during her absence.
Learning to Prioritize and Structure Time:
After giving birth, Mercer had to readjust her expectations regarding her work routine. She learned to identify the hours when she was most mentally productive, which turned out to be in the mid-afternoon. This allowed her to spend quality time with her son in the mornings and be fully focused on work during his nap time. Her day became structured, leaving no room for procrastination, and she efficiently managed her time to accomplish specific tasks in each hour.
Advice for Expecting Business Owners:
Based on her experiences, Mercer offers valuable advice for entrepreneurs planning to have a child. She emphasizes the importance of planning early in the pregnancy to ensure a smooth transition during maternity leave. By delegating tasks and setting clear boundaries, business owners can focus on their priorities and maintain mental well-being during this transformative period. Taking it slow, enjoying precious moments with the child, and listing the goals to tackle upon return are all crucial aspects of maintaining a healthy work-life balance.
A Business Reset:
Mercer also shares how pregnancy served as a reset for her business. It provided her with the opportunity to step back and evaluate the essential aspects of her business. She identified unnecessary projects and functions that were consuming valuable time and resources, leading to better efficiency and focus.
Elizabeth Mercer’s journey as an entrepreneur and a new mom exemplifies the challenges and rewards of maintaining a successful business while embracing motherhood. Through careful planning, time management, and a willingness to adapt, Mercer proves that with the right strategies and mindset, it is possible to strike a balance between personal and professional life. Her story stands as a testament to the resilience and determination of women entrepreneurs, inspiring others to pursue their dreams while cherishing the joys of motherhood.