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Ep. 24: Samantha Ettus Embraces the Messiness of Life with Her Book "The Pie Life"

"That seems so antithetical to any busy mom- how is that even possible? A hobby? When am I going to knit a sweater or take a singing lesson or play volleyball like I did in college? It's not going to happen. But at the end of the day, they did all these studies on employee productivity and the more productive employees were the ones that had hobbies. They were 30% more productive! So I always suggest carving out time for a hobby, even if it's once a month that you're spending a couple hours doing something you love.

Samantha Ettus, a work/life expert and best selling author, talks about her new book "The Pie Life." She shares her view that women are happiest when they play in several different slices of life -- their career, their personal life, and even hobbies. She talks strategies for achieving the ever illusive work-life balance and discusses the unrealistic expectations that society places on mothers.

We also discuss Samantha's new book "The Pie Life", negativity in the media, what we can do in the workplace to achieve balance, why there are no bad industries, embracing the messiness of life, why you should develop hobbies, the "maintenance years" in a mother's career, taking time off from the paid workforce, career highlights, the role of failure in her career, how her networking has changed over the years, and more! For a hopeful view that it is indeed possible to "have it all," check out this episode!

"We have this expectation that to be a good mother you literally have to be at every single thing. And if you have any life outside of your children, that is not possible. We're under so much pressure with this vision of what it takes to be a mom and the bottom line is if you are really caring, empathetic, and attentive to your kids and you put tons of love into them then you're going to raise a happy, confident of the best protections from being a helicopter parent is to be a working parent."

In this episode, you'll learn:

  • Samantha has an MBA from Harvard, started a media company, had an online tv show and has written 5 books.
  • She grew up as a professional tennis player which has helped develop a looking forward mentality.
  • Her 5th book is called “The Pie Life” about how to thrive personally and professionally at the same time.
  • It contains stories and advice gathered from over 100 women.
  • The happiest women are those who manage a career and a personal life.
  • It’s very common to feel unhappy when one slice of your life is given up for a baby sleeping and eating schedule.
  • The best life is a messy one, just like a messy gooey pie.
  • Carve out some time for a hobby, even if it’s only once a month.
  • The most productive employees are the ones who have a hobby.
  • Treat the early life of your child as the maintenance years of your career, you don’t need to advance 5 levels yet.
  • Taking 1 year out from the workforce will decrease all future earnings by 18%, if it’s 3 years then you lose 38%.
  • Samantha’s proudest moment has been receiving compliments on the writing of her new book, as it’s the first completely written by her.
  • Networking is just a fancy name for helping, and we’re all good at helping.
  • Actually use your network and ask them for help, don’t just offer help.
  • There are no bad industries, just bad bosses.


  • Surround yourself with people you can learn from, who motivate you.
  • Embrace the idea that your life is not going to be perfect.
  • Involve your child in your work, tell them about it rather than apologizing.
  • Wake up an hour early and use this magic hour to get things straight before your family wakes up.
  • Organize all your chores (dentist, hairdresser, doctor etc) within the golden triangle which is between home, kids school and the office.
  • Go to bed at the same time as your partner.
  • Just ask for help, if you don’t ask then the answer is already no.
  • Being an attentive parent for two hours is more important than being there all the time.

  • The best thing you can do for your child is to allow them to be who they’re going to be.

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