Would you consider founding a company while out on maternity leave? That’s exactly what our Fairygodboss of the Week did! Sarah Lacy’s successful career led her to found her own startup while also entering single motherhood, which she says has totally reinvigorated her career. Keep reading to find out her career success secrets.
Fairygodboss of the Week: Sarah Lacy
CEO, PandoDaily and Chairman Mom
San Francisco, CA
FGB: Tell us about your career. How did you get to where you are now?
SL: A lot of hard work, like most women! I worked incredibly hard in my 20s to get to BusinessWeek and a single cover story accelerated my career. It led to a book deal, which lead to a lot of other stuff. I helped build TechCrunch, then founded my own startup, Pando, while on maternity leave.
My biggest surprise in my career was how becoming a mother accelerated my career. It made me more focused, more ambitious and generally better at everything. I also never took a job because of money and always took risks. Every career has a traditional path to dominance, but if you follow that you are in a sea with a jillion other people. I took different routes.
FGB: What is an accomplishment that you are proud of?
SL: Buying a house in San Francisco as a single mother off of my words. I'm stunned and proud of that reality every day.
FGB: What is the #1 career tip you'd like to share with other women who want to have successful careers like you?
SL: Don't fear becoming a mother!! It will make you so much better at everything and the hectic, crazy bits go by quickly. Don't let the patriarchy convince you something so almost-super-human is a weakness. You are a badass.
FGB: Why do you love where you work?
SL: Because I'm the boss ;) Also because I can work really hard (some 11 hours a day on average) but also have the flexibility to drop off and pick up my kids at school almost every day. Flexibility is EVERYTHING.
FGB: Who is YOUR Fairygodboss? Why?
SL: Claire Lee of Silicon Valley Bank is the most senior banker at the must-bank-bank of Silicon Valley. She constantly lifts up other women and is just amazing. I would walk over hot patriarchal coals for her.
FGB: What do you do when you’re not working?
SL: Playing with my kids and writing books. (Wait… That's still work...)
FGB: If you could have dinner with one famous person — dead or alive — who would it be?
FGB: What is your karaoke song?
SL: “Paradise by the Dashboard Lights,” Meatloaf.
FGB: What is your favorite movie?
SL: “Wonder Woman.”
FGB: What book would you take with you on a desert island?
SL: “The Upgrade” by Paul Carr.
FGB: What would you do if you won the lottery?
SL: I'd swim in Creme de la Mer.
Fairygodboss is all about women helping other women - so each week, we celebrate a woman who made a difference in another woman’s career. Is there a woman who has made a difference in your career? Celebrate her and thank her by nominating her here.