Jennifer Gefsky & Stacey Delo, YOUR TURN

Jennifer Gefsky & Stacey Delo, YOUR TURN

Zibby Owens: Today I interviewed two authors, Jennifer Gefsky, who is the coauthor with Stacey Delo of a book called Your Turn: Careers, Kids, and Comebacks–A Working Mother’s Guide. Jen Gefsky is the cofounder of Après, a website and community dedicated to helping women reenter the workforce with curated job opportunities. She is also a partner at Epstein Becker & Green, a national law firm that specializes in labor and employment law. She currently lives in New York with her husband and children. Stacey Delo lives in San Francisco. She’s a former senior multimedia producer for The Wall Street Journal and the founder of Maybrooks which was acquired by Après. She is currently the CEO of Après and also a speaker and workplace advocate with HarperCollins. Stacey graduated from American University and Northwestern University. I chatted with Jen in person and Stacey via Skype at the same time. Our conversation ended up being more of conversation than an interview where I ended up talking about my own career journey. Anyway, sorry for going on about myself in this interview. The three of us just had a really fun time chatting. I hope you’ll enjoy listening.

Welcome, Jen Gefsky and Stacey Delo.

Jen Gefsky: Thank you.

Stacey Delo: Thank you. Thanks for having us.

Zibby: Of course. Stacey is on Skype, just for anyone listening. Jen is sitting here with me. For any sound differences, that’s who they are.

Jen: It’ll be easy to tell the difference then, I guess.

Zibby: Exactly. What is your book, Your Turn: Careers, Kids, and Comebacks–A Working Mother’s Guide, about that doesn’t get communicated in the title?

Jen: I think that the best way to describe the book is it’s really a roadmap for women to make career decisions when work and motherhood collide. We find that women from prematernity — we’re seeing in all of the events that we’re doing, so many women are asking these questions even now before they have babies because they know that it’s tough. They obviously don’t really know.

Zibby: They imagine.

Jen: Right. I think that they view their lives as difficult already. Put a child into the mix, and they know how difficult it’s going to be. We’re seeing all these women prematernity through the whole journey of “I’ve been out of the workplace for fifteen years. Now my kids are going to college. I want to come back to work,” so this entire journey that women go on. The book really provides a roadmap for making decisions along the way, whatever those decisions may be, and then setting women up for success once they make the decision. If I want to work part time, how do I do that successfully? If I want to continue to work full time, what does that look like for me and my family? That’s how I would describe the book that’s not quite on the cover.

Stacey: One of the things we’ve found is that in our business, Après, we focus primarily on women who have taken career breaks and helping them get back into the workforce regardless of how long those breaks have been. What’s interesting is when you look at the data, there are fifteen million working women with children under the age of eighteen. The press focuses a lot on maternity leave and the need for paid leave, which we strongly agree with, and then that return back. Then we focus a lot on women returning to work. Yet there is this large swath of women in the middle, in that messy middle as we call it in the book, who are trying to make these decisions about whether to take a career break, whether to go part time, whether to go freelance. Often, they’re left feeling very stressed about those decisions and what the opportunity costs are going to be when they make those decisions. Like Jen said, if you see the cover of our book, it’s a career dial with many stops along the way. We wanted people to understand that they can turn it. You can go part time and still get a full-time job later when you’re ready. You can take a career break and still get back into the workforce. Giving women these options and understanding that they have them and then how to make those decisions is really what the book is about.

Zibby: How do you know if you’re in the messy middle? Is it by the piles of laundry? What are the telltale signs?

Jen: The stress level.

Stacey: I always say mine was when I had to check if I had on matching shoes as I was leaving the door.

Jen: For me, my messy middle really came to a head when I felt like I was failing at every part of my life. I wasn’t great at being a mom. I wasn’t great in my job. I just felt like I was stretched so thin. That, to me, is the essence of messy middle, where you’re just surviving almost. Obviously, not everybody is that stretched. I think pretty much every mom can — whether you’re a stay-at-home mom or you’re working full time, it’s hard being a parent. In the book, we talk about when I got to that point, I quit. I quit my job which I never, ever thought I would do. I loved working. I loved my career. I worked really hard to get to where I was. I just felt I couldn’t do it anymore, and I quit.

Zibby: Wait, back up for two seconds. Tell us what you were doing before and how leading up to it you realized — how did you get to that hitting-bottom moment where you knew you just had to walk out of there?

Jen: I was Vice President and Deputy General Council at Major League Baseball, which was such a coveted job and a job that I loved. It was exciting and all these things, but it did require travel. We found when we talked to women, travel is a huge factor in terms of career success. If a woman has to travel, it means her significant other doesn’t travel or somebody is watching the kids all the time. I was traveling. It was high pressure. At the time, I had moved out of New York City, so I had an hour-and-twenty-minute commute each way. I was leaving my house at seven in the morning, getting home at seven in the night, feeling like I never saw my kids. I was the bare minimum in the office, basically 8:45 to 5:45, which got the eyerolls from my male colleagues. I was too stressed out. I just wanted it to stop. I wanted to get off the rollercoaster. I thought, that’s it. I’m going to quit. I was lucky that financially we could do that. In retrospect, the mistake that I made — this is one of the reasons that I’m so passionate about this topic because I don’t want women to make the same mistakes that I made. I didn’t consider the repercussions of the consequences of taking that break, financially, emotionally, what my self-identity was going to — how that was going to evolve to a place that I never expected, the difference in our relationship with my husband. When you both are income providers and all of a sudden one person’s not getting a paycheck, it does change the dynamic of the relationship in a way. I no longer had a paycheck.

All of those things, I didn’t think about, really, before I quit. I don’t regret my career break. There was a lot of great things about it, but I wish I would have known before, all the factors involved with — including getting back to work, how difficult that process can be. The number-one thing that Stacey and I hear is, “I can’t afford to pay the babysitter.” Childcare cost is one of the most draining financial things for American families today. Twenty percent of income for the average American family goes to childcare. It’s more expensive than putting a kid through college. We hear that. “I can’t afford the childcare. My paycheck barely covers it.” The hit on you financially is so much more than just the paycheck that you’re losing. In the long term, it’s because you’re losing your current money. You’re going to come back at a lower income than when you left, even after just one year of being out. Then the rest of your career is based on that lower income. You’re losing your retirement benefits. You’re losing health benefits. There’s so much to go into that financial decision of leaving. Very long answer.

Zibby: Wow. How did your career path affect your writing this book and everything?

Stacey: I was a reporter for many years and was really at the height of my career in terms of what I wanted to do. I was an online video reporter with The Wall Street Journal. At the time — this always makes me feel a little bit dated. Although, technology moves really quickly. The journal was launching their first online live shows. I had always wanted to be the host of a live show. Really excited about this moment. They asked me to come out. I live in San Francisco. They asked me to come out to New York to interview for the first show that they were going to launch, as the host. I interviewed and tried out and auditioned. It was so awesome. I came back really excited. I didn’t get the job. I ended up what we call doubling down in San Francisco. I had just gotten married. We bought a house. I got pregnant. Then several months later, Alan Murray, who was the head of WSJ digital at the time, called and said, “Stacey, we’re going to launch another show. It’s going to be focused on technology,” which was a little bit more up my alley anyway. “We’d love for you to be the host.” I was like, “Awesome, I’ll totally do it. Let me move to New York.”

Then I remembered that I was pregnant. I ended up coming to launch the show in New York and having just the best time with my career, honestly. Then I had to come back and have the baby. I had told everybody that I would be back after six weeks. They all shook their heads. They were like, “Sure thing.” Then of course, I had the baby and it didn’t work out that I was back after six weeks. Fortunately, the company had a nice paid leave offering at the time. I was able to stay out close to six months, which was not my plan. I learned a lot in that. Then I discovered that in the paperwork, there was an opportunity to go back part time. It was buried in a section of the paid leave paperwork that said, “If you choose not to return,” and so it was a surprise to me that it was even offered. I asked my manager if I could come back part time. I did. I ended up staying that way through the rest of my tenure at WSJ. I think that’s an important story because the company had a policy that allowed me to go part time, which ultimately retained me. I was able to have health care benefits and all that good stuff, but they didn’t tell me that it was available. I had to ask for it. Within that, I started hearing from a lot of my peers, “How were you able to do this? What are some of the strategies that you used to go part time?” I said, “I just asked.”

It clued me into the fact that there was a need for resources for women. At the time, there weren’t very many online resources available, career sites that were really focused on helping women think through these transitions. I left to found one of those. Then Jen and I combined our companies in 2017. We’ve taken all those learnings, both our personal experiences which are different, and then the fact that we talked to thousands and thousands of women and companies over the last years to really understand what those needs are and then how to help both of those entities get ahead of them. There’s a benefit for women who are highly educated, highly experienced, more so than really ever before — they now make up the majority of the college-educated workforce — to understand the individual power that they have to talk to their companies and to ask for what they want, but then to also help the companies really understand — and they do. They understand the benefit to the bottom line, but sometimes they need help in understanding how to make things work so that women will continue to work for them. They end up getting up very loyal, experienced employees as result.

Zibby: For your business, Après, what’s the balance of women that you’re helping versus companies that you’re helping?

Jen: That’s a really good question. Stacey, how many companies do we have on the platform now?

Stacey: It really ebbs and flows just because of the nature of the way that jobs are filled. We’ve worked with over two hundred companies in the last three years. I would say that from a volume perspective, we have more job seekers than we do companies, but then companies bring a large number of jobs. We spend our time in both places. We’ve developed a lot of — if you go to our website, you’ll see a lot of resources geared toward women. We really serve the women via the website. We have a lot of educational resources to help with refreshing a skill set or polishing a LinkedIn profile or your resume or really digging down and thinking about a lot of the things that we raise in the book, but maybe working with a coach to help you think it through better and figure out what’s best for you.

Jen: Right now, we have about forty thousand women on the site. There’s a lot of women. We find that so many women are paralyzed, especially women who have taken career breaks, even if it’s just for one year. They’ve paralyzed of, how do you start? How do you begin? How do I explain this gap on my resume? There’s a lot of resources on the site geared toward that. What we also find more and more are women who want to pivot. “I’ve been a lawyer my whole life. I don’t want to do it anymore. I’m not fulfilled. It doesn’t work with my home life. I want to do something else.” We’re seeing that more and more. Millennials more than Gen Xers are doing this. There’s resources on the site geared toward that, that concept of pivoting.

Zibby: You both are so busy. When did you find time to write this book? I’m just thinking, you’re running businesses. You live across the — how did you collaborate on this book project? How did you get it done?

Jen: It’s funny. Obviously, you know a lot of authors. I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but getting a book out into the world is incredibly hard. It’s much harder than I think people think before they go through the process. This process from literally beginning to end was three years. From idea, inception —

Zibby: — That’s not bad, by the way.

Jen: Really? Is that right? Three years is not bad?

Zibby: The person I just interviewed before you had worked on her book for fourteen years. I’m just saying. Maybe she had a bunch of kids in between. Angela Himsel, she’s great. It’s a memoir. I’m just saying, three years is actually pretty speedy.

Jen: You know what I think? Almost, it’s better to have a team. Stacey and I are the coauthors, but we also had someone help with the writing. That’s Kathleen Harris who’s credited in the book as well. We would have weekly team meetings to literally line edit and go over and talk about ideas and organization and etc. The book proposal process for a nonfiction book, you’ve basically got the book in a skeleton form once you’re submitting it to publishers. The process of getting a nonfiction book out is grueling in a way, and getting a literary agent and finding a publisher. We have a great publisher, Harper Business. It really truly is a process and a journey and a learning journey the whole time through. Every stage was interesting, including when we launched, when our book hit the shelves. It was still an interesting process to see how that operates.

Stacey: I recently heard — you may know this, Zibby. I don’t know what the statistic is, but I’ve been hearing that it’s still just a fraction of women who actually get published. Even getting women through, what Jen is saying, all of the various steps to get a book out and to actually have a publisher, it’s a lot of work.

Zibby: It’s a lot of work for men and women, honestly. I don’t have the breakdown by gender, but it’s a slog. The crazy part is that there are so many books always coming out. How is that possible? It’s so much time. It’s so much effort. Everybody is like, “I had fifty-seven rejections.” Yet here’s this new slew every day.

Jen: I think what a lot of people don’t realize is much of the burden is on the author, not on the publisher, not on your agents. It is on the authors, which I think surprises a lot of first-time authors. It surprised me a little bit. Like I said, Harper Business is great, but it is a lot of groundwork by the authors. It’s not just like, “I wrote this book,” and somehow it magically sells. Getting the word out is really up to the authors for the most part.

Zibby: I saw a book talk recently. Somebody compared it to, that the publishers are really just printers. They’ve become printers. They make it better. They edit. They make it better. Then they’re like, “Here you go. Go ahead. Marketing distribution, have fun.”

Jen: Yes, there is something to that.

Zibby: I’m oversimplifying. I’m sorry if this offends any publishers. Keep sending me books, please. Anyway, I’m kidding. It’s a process.

Jen: I do think it surprises a lot of people, a lot of first-time authors. The best way to sell books, other than fictional books that are just amazing stories, but the best way to sell nonfiction books is by the authors to get out there and really talk about it.

Zibby: You have to.

Jen: We really had the mentality of we just want to help one woman. Then that one woman helps another woman. I will say, when times were dark and it was tough — we both have regular jobs outside of being authors. When we’re so busy, I just kept saying and we kept saying as a team, this is going to help a lot of women. We keep hearing, “I wish this book was out there when I took my career break. I wish this book was out there when I was making these decisions.” It really is a helpful guide to women who feel alone. A lot of women feel alone. That’s certainly an emotion that I had when I was feeling like a failure in all aspects of my life. I felt like I was the only one who wasn’t able to figure it out. Why can’t I figure it out? The fact of the matter is of the thousands of women that we’ve spoken to, everyone feels that way.

Zibby: I know. It’s crazy.

Jen: One of the aha moments for me for women who have taken career breaks is we were doing — what do you call it when you get a group together like a think tank?

Zibby: — Focus group?

Jen: Yeah, like a focus group. It was all these Ivy League-educated women who had taken career breaks. Across the board, everyone felt like they had nothing to add to a company. They had no value. Their skills were completely eroded. I’m like, oh, my gosh. This is the message that corporate America is sending these women. They’re incredibly smart and talented. What we know is that regardless, almost, of the length of career break you’ve taken, when you go back, those skills come back really quickly. Being a mom and having that career break actually makes you a better employee, so all these things, this information to tell these women, to basically shake them and say, “No, you do have value. You would be an incredible employee.” That’s one of the messages in the book too.

Stacey: Back to the publishing. I am grateful to Harper Business for this. They pushed their timeline. It meant we had to work smarter, faster to get the book out. We were able to get the book out in this calendar year, 2019, versus 2020 which is initially what they had proposed. We felt like that was so important because the conversation around women in the workplace and the need on both the women side and the corporate side is really strong right now. We’re seeing that evidenced in the number of companies that we’re going in and talking to. It’s been really wonderful to go in and speak with parents’ groups and women’s initiative groups and see them thinking about and being progressive about the policies and things that they’re offering at companies and how they want to do better. That’s been a really nice piece of this.

Zibby: It’s so great. I’ve interviewed a number of people all coming at this issue of women and working in all different angles. You’ve written the guidebook. I feel like this should be a gift when people have a baby. Congratulations. Here’s your blanket. Take the book. Or maybe even just when they get pregnant, if people were to give gifts for them and it wasn’t bad luck or something. Like the suffragettes in the olden day, you know how all these heroes came out of that movement and you couldn’t necessarily see it at the time? I feel like you two and some of these other authors who are writing about it over time will become some of these heroes who led the working mom to a better place. We’re in transition now, so it’s not as clear.

Jen: Thank you for that.

Stacey: , thank you.

Zibby: It’s true because everybody needs leaders. That’s really what you’re doing by writing the book and all the resources you offer people and everything. It’s leading people out of a situation that will probably shake out to look different than it is now as a result.

Jen: I really think this is such a unique point in history because women, I believe, are finally beginning to understand we have a lot of power. Like Stacey said earlier, we make up a vast majority of college graduates in this country. I think it’s close to sixty percent. We’re most educated across the board than men. We have tremendous power in the workplace. Women are just starting to understand that power. Instead of looking at it like, “Oh please, hire me. Oh please, let me have a flexible work schedule,” that ability to control your destiny and to go to companies that respect women, respect all employees, and provide a workplace that allows people to have lives outside of work, which is, by the way, millennial driven and gen Z driven — this is not just a female thing. This is a generational thing. It’s so exciting to be at this point in time because we’re seeing this women — I hate to use the word empowerment because I feel like it’s a little bit overused. There’s this new organization called

Zibby: Celebration.

Jen: Yeah, but have you heard of

Zibby: I haven’t.

Jen: It’s a new, New York City based — it’s for C-suite level women and up. Basically, you have to apply to get accepted. It’s a way for these really high-level women to connect and to network and to build each other up. I’m thinking, this is amazing. You should check out the website. It’s really well done. There’s The Female Quotient and all these amazing women platforms out there that are allowing women to feel their strength and their power. It’s very exciting.

Zibby: I feel it’s like taking back control. They felt very powerless. There wasn’t a lot of hope. I feel like a lot of women have been very depressed about that. Now people like you are coming around and writing books like this saying there’s hope. Here’s control. Here’s how you can take back the piece that you can take back. That always makes people feel better.

Jen: For sure, absolutely.

Stacey: And understand that there are companies — if you’re not working at one that is working with you, there are other companies out there that will, and to keep that in your back pocket as you’re thinking through all of these things. I feel like we should get your career path, Zibby. What did you do? What’s your path?

Zibby: Oh, my gosh, I know. Sorry, this is now a total conversation. I’m not even literally interviewing you anymore. Sorry, I hope people read the book. Buy the book. It’s called Your Turn. No, I don’t want to go. I’ve had a very windy road. I’ve always loved to write. I’d always loved to read. I wanted to be a psychologist, but my path led me to California. I followed this boy I was dating after college. He wanted to go to California for a couple years and then go back to business school. I said okay. I tossed my GREs aside and my intensive psychology major. I was like, I really like understanding consumer behavior. It’s the same as sort of understanding people’s behavior. I wanted to do strategic planning for ad agencies or branding firms. I went out there and did that. Then the internet — not to date me, but the internet was just exploding. I jumped ship and did internet marketing for a little while where there was a keg party every day at the office. Everybody thought they were a millionaire. It was amazing. Then I moved to Unilever and did consumer products branding. I broke up with the guy. I went back to New York. Then I decided to get to the next phase of marketing, if this is what I’m going to do, I need to go to business school. I had all these entrepreneurial ideas. My parents are like, “Don’t start a business unless you’ve gone to business school.” I ended up going to business school, and my ex-boyfriend was in my class.

Jen: No.

Zibby: Yes.

Stacey: That’s a great story.

Jen: Oh, my god. Did you not know that until you showed up on the first day?

Zibby: He had been debating where he was going to go and whatever. It was pretty funny because I should’ve been there as the spouse.

Jen: Did you start dating again?

Zibby: No, I was dating somebody else, but I should’ve been there as the spouse, like the partner. Instead, I was there as this student.

Stacey: .

Zibby: I know. It’s this whole thing. Actually, my parents — I don’t know why I’m talking like this, but my parents met at Harvard Business School also. My mom was a course assistant. Then I ended up meeting my first husband there and having my kids with him. I did a bunch of little entrepreneurial things, kept writing, had a little stint at Weight Watchers for a while where I was a leader while I was doing a lot of writing. I wrote a book that ended up not being published. Then I had my four kids. I got divorced. I got remarried, helped him start up a crumb cake business because his family loves to make crumb cakes. I helped run that for a year. I was like, I can’t do this anymore. Then I started writing this other book. A friend of mine said, “You know, you should really have a podcast.” I was like, what’s a podcast? Here we are.

Stacey: Slightly popular podcast. That’s so exciting.

Zibby: It’s been really fun.

Stacey: It tells you that — I’ve had a windy path too — that there are lots of different turns that one can make in their career. It all works out in the end.

Zibby: It’s true. I remember sitting in a class in business school. You had to lay out all your different personal development things, like what you were looking for in a job. You’ve probably done this at some point. I was like, I have all these things that I think I’m pretty good at, but there’s no job for that. This doesn’t fit anywhere.

Stacey: You need to take our Purpose and Passion coaching circle. We help pinpoint exactly how to put those into one thing.

Zibby: Now this is a dream come true. I sit at my desk and talk to people like you. It’s great. So what is coming next for you guys? You have this book out. I’m sure you’re all over the place still promoting. Are you going to write another book? Are you going to do something more with Après?

Jen: It’s so funny that you say that about another book. I was just out in San Francisco. Stacey, she was like, “I’m thinking about the next book.” I’m like, “Oh, my gosh, you want to write another book?” I don’t know if I have it in me. I don’t know. To be honest, I think companies need a lot of help. Stacey, I don’t know how you necessarily feel about this, but what I’m seeing out in my work as an employment lawyer but also in the work that we do, the companies don’t have this nefarious intent, necessarily. They want to figure it out, they just don’t know how. It’s not easy. It’s not like there’s a single answer that, “Let me snap our fingers and have a great corporate culture that women want to come and work at.” It’s difficult. I think it’s difficult because it takes everybody in the company to be on board. It’s not just leaders saying, “This is what I want.” It’s not just human resources saying, “This is what we should have.” Everybody in the company has to get on board. I think that there’s tremendous need for education within companies for outsiders to come in and really work with companies on culture, and especially in the arena of understanding women and the pain points.

I remember, for example, when I came back from my first maternity leave. I think it was an eight-week maternity leave. It wasn’t particularly long. My coworkers thought I was on vacation. I came back, I was exhausted. I was emotional. I couldn’t believe that my baby was at home with a stranger. Here I am, I didn’t even know what hour of the day it was. That real disconnect between companies thinking, “You’ve been off for eight weeks. Now it’s great to have you back. Let’s hit the ground running,” and you just want to crawl into bed, that’s just one example where we see companies starting to wake up and say women need support at this time in their career, especially if we want to retain them. For example, we’re seeing some really forward-thinking companies when a woman comes back from maternity leave having a maternity leave coach. Did you know there’s such a thing?

Zibby: I did not know.

Jen: Isn’t it an amazing idea? I wish I had this, a coach that you work with privately to just help you go through this period of time, whether it’s a month or six weeks or two months or when you come back from maternity leave and your company has a basket for you on your desk, “Welcome back,” and things like that where you feel there’s an understanding that you weren’t on vacation and it was a maternity leave. Those are just a few examples. There’s so many to help retain women. Companies seem to do a pretty good job recruiting women at the entry level. I hear that a lot from companies, “We’re great. We have fifty percent diversity.” At what level? It’s always entry level. Then we you look up to C-suite, it’s basically no women. There’s a lot of work that needs to be done on the retention of women and what’s going on. What are the pain points? Flexibility is obviously the number-one thing that companies need to wrap their heads around because so many companies are stuck in those traditionalist and baby boomer ways. You’ve got to be at your desk. You’ve got to work ten hours a day. If you’re not here, it means you’re not working. It’s just old school. It’s not the way the world works anymore, so that slow transition to, we can work remotely. We can still be productive if we have flexible hours. The companies that are figuring that out are really winning the war for talent. Gen Zs are very smart about where they’re going to work. They don’t want to work for a company that doesn’t have a great culture.

Stacey: We’re just excited to get the word out. I agree with you, Zibby, that it’s an exciting time for women right now. We just launched the book in October. We have a lot of interest in continuing to really get it into the hands of women so that they can make the best choices for themselves and their families and then, like Jen was just describing, really help educate companies on how they can do better on behalf of women.

Zibby: Do you have any parting advice for aspiring authors?

Jen: You know what? Honestly, it’s going to sound cliché, but don’t give up. Don’t give up. Just keep at it. Keep going. It’s a slog. If you know that — it’s similar advice we give to women coming back into the workplace after a break. It’s not easy. There’s a lot of rejection. You shouldn’t be in it for the money because it’s not going to make you wealthy, most likely. It’s a labor of love. You’ve got to keep at it and keep at it. If you love what you’re doing, then somebody else will probably love it too. That’s my main theme, is don’t give up.

Stacey: If you have ideas that you can test in posts on Medium or LinkedIn or someplace where it kind of elevates the idea, then the good news is that potentially people will reach out to you. Like you’re doing Zibby, you can start building a following through podcasts. We have so many tools at our disposal today where you can be a writer and to start working some of that muscle that you have so that you can get exposure. One of the things that we say in the book is that if you don’t do it, it will never happen. If you don’t ask, you’ll never know. It’s kind of that same thing. It’s advice that we gave women when they’re looking to return to the workforce. Just start doing something. Maybe it’s as simple as meeting people for coffee to talk about what you might like to do. If you’re interested in writing a book, then the same concept can be applied there. Just start writing and getting some of your material out. If it’s in this direction, contact us because we’d be happy to post it on our website.

Zibby: Thank you.

Jen: Stacey has a really good point. When we were starting Après, there was this feeling like we’ve got to keep our idea secret before we launch. The fact of the matter, I can’t tell you how many people said, “We had that idea. I had that same idea.” It’s the same with a book. At the end of the day, it’s so much work to go from A to Z that most people don’t get there. Yes, everyone has an idea, but to actually bring that idea to fruition is a totally different thing. I really like that idea of sharing, sprinkling the topic and seeing what kind of traction you get, if people are interested in it, is a really good way to go about it and start testing the skills of writing. It’s hard, though. You have to be disciplined. Like I said before, one of the things that helped about having the team versus just being an author by yourself is having these weekly scheduled — we scheduled this out. If we didn’t, I don’t think it would have ever finished. I think it’s more difficult to do if you’re by yourself. You have to be very disciplined about — I’ve heard this before from authors. I write from six AM to nine AM in the morning. That’s the time I spend. Not everyone is so disciplined. That’s the hard part. Getting it out is the hard part.

Zibby: Or has from six AM to nine AM free to write.

Jen: That’s exactly right. Who has that time?

Zibby: Who has that time? Thank you both so much for coming on “Moms Don’t Have Time to Read Books.”

Jen: Thanks, Zibby.

Stacey: Thanks so much, Zibby. Thank you.

Jennifer Gefsky & Stacey Delo, YOUR TURN

Amazon Block
Search for an Amazon product to display.

Learn more