The Nitty-Gritty:

  • What happened when Facebook ad strategist Claire Pelletreau returned to her business after an unexpectedly long maternity leave
  • Why she took a gig subcontracting from another ad strategist
  • How she found her confidence as a consultant, educator, and strategist again
  • What went wrong when she launched a product she thought would be a no-brainer
  • How her offers have evolved to support her business as it matures

Last fall, I was hiking in Great Smoky Mountains National Park and I felt the weirdest pain in my right ankle.

It felt like I had rolled it, or sprained it, or done something very weird to it. But I hadn’t.

I was just hiking along and then felt a shooting pain.

I kept hiking—maybe not the smartest thing to do, but that’s what I did—and the pain would come and go.

When I got home from the trip, still experiencing some odd pain in my ankle, I decided to take a break from running.

First, I took a week off. I tried to run a few miles—no dice. It hurt.

Then, I took a couple more weeks off. Ran again and made it a little further but still felt the pain.

At that point, I gave myself permission to just work out in other ways for the foreseeable future.

I’d attempting running every so often but I wasn’t putting in the miles like I did before that hike.

That’s how I spent this winter: lifting weights, focusing on climbing, and becoming quite familiar with the elliptical machine.

By February, I needed to start adding miles back in so that I was ready to start a half marathon training plan in mid-March.

I was nervous.

I was afraid that I’d not only lost the physical fitness I’d earned through running but mental fitness, too. It took me a long time to build up to being able to push through both the physical and mental barriers you run into with running.

I honestly expected to have lost it all.

Little bit by little bit, I realized just how little I lost.

And sure, I needed time on my feet and miles under my belt to establish my base running fitness again. I actually came back faster than I was before I took the extended break!

When I started running, I was planting a seed—a small investment in my future fitness. The more I ran, the more I nurtured what was growing inside me.

But even when I took an extended break, what I had planted didn’t stop growing.

Now, my guest this week had a similar experience in her business.

Claire Pelletreau is a Facebook ad strategist and the host of the Get Paid podcast.

A few years ago, Claire took some maternity leave—and that maternity leave ended up being twice as long as she originally planned.

Coming back to work was, as she put it, terrifying.

She worried that she’s lost her edge and had gotten left behind by changes in the market.

But what she ultimately found was that the seed she’d planted years ago was still growing… it just took her a little time to reclaim her confidence for tending it.

Claire and I not only talk about her return from maternity leave, but why she took a gig subcontracting for another ad strategist, how she found a new level of confidence, and how her own offers have evolved—flops and all. We also discuss the return of her brilliant podcast, Get Paid.

Before we get to that conversation, though, can I ask you a favor?

If you appreciate the kind of candid conversations we have on What Works with small business owners who share the inner workings of their businesses, we’d love for you to leave us a review on Apple Podcasts. Tell us about an episode that’s stuck with you or a topic of conversation that really gets you thinking. Click here and it’ll take you to Apple Podcasts to leave your review!

Now, let’s find out What Works for Claire Pelletreau!

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