Carden Calder on juggling priorities: Outsource whatever you can afford to
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Carden Calder is the co-founder and managing director of financial services public relations firm, Bluechip Communications.
Women's Agenda sister publication Smart Company recently interviewed Calder on why she started the firm, how it survived the GFC, picking top talent and her plans for the future.
During the interview, Carden was also asked how she's built a $2.6 million company while raising small children.
We've published her response to juggling competing priorities below. You can read the full interview at Smart Company.
"It's usually as a couple [with partner Bruce Madden]. We're partners in business and we're partners at home, and we made the decision at home and at work that we were partners.
"And that's really a key part of it, and another is that I have an amazing mentor who said to me that she's got no kids of her own, but she said, "Outsource everything that you can possibly afford to." And I have always done that, and I have a wonderful woman who looks after our kids and I call her the CEO of the house. I trust her judgement incessantly and I look after her really well. I value her role because when I'm not there, she is; she's doing that really important stuff with my kids.
"Starting a business with twin three-year-olds is so hard. I know someone else who's doing it as well, and I'm just thinking, "Wow, I don't know how I got through those first three years with a start-up and twins."
"I did the hard hours. I worked till 2am. I was home at 6pm to let the nanny go, and I would do that shift between maybe 5.30 pm and 7pm to get the kids to bed, and then I'd go to work at 8. I've only just stopped doing that. I still do that sometimes. It's just about working incredibly long workdays that start at 6 am and finish at midnight. That's not glamorous.
"I've got a real focus now on working from home one day a week so I can at least do school pick-up and drop-off one day a week. I've just come back from a 12 day overseas trip, and I said to my girls, "I run a business; it's what puts food on the table".
"I've actually become very frank with them about it. And I hope that they will gain as much from having a mum who does that as kids do having a mum who spends time and provides a different kind of role model for them.