Hi, I’m Megan Burns, the Naptime CEO.
To be honest, I’m the last person my family and friends thought would do this. You see, I’m a very driven, goal-oriented person. After earning my degree as a mechanical engineer, I joined GE full-time and was quickly identified as a “hi-pot” – a high potential employee. By the time I was 24, I was running a 65,000 sq. ft. manufacturing plant with 175 employees and had my picture in Fortune magazine. With my goal set to become president of one of the GE businesses (there were 12 at the time), I earned my MBA in the evenings.
I loved work and business, yet my husband, Ed, and I always pictured kids in our future. The problem was, again being honest, I didn’t really like kids and had absolutely no desire to get pregnant. So we did what most couples did – we got a dog. Mainly, we wanted to make sure we could actually keep another living creature alive. Ed also wasn’t sure I had any maternal instinct and thought a dog might help. Eventually, we did decide to try to start having a family and I got pregnant. Even then, I was not staring at other babies thinking how cute they were, instead I would say, “maybe we should get another dog.”
Now, here is where the grace of God is able to transform people. While I was pregnant, I changed jobs and was working for Bombardier in Pittsburgh. With the commute, I was gone 12 hours a day. Since I was the breadwinner, I figured my husband would stay home with our soon to be born son. Instead, he got transferred to GE Supply’s Pittsburgh branch. Okay, time to find a babysitter. When my son was born in March of 2006, I didn’t have this miraculous overnight transformation or desire to be a stay-at-home mom. What did happen though was a gradual change. During my 8-weeks off, I began to realize what it was like to be a mom and adore this tiny little person.
When I went back to work, I didn’t cry, or freak-out, or even call the babysitter a gazillion times. I still loved working. But over the next month or two, I became more and more convicted that with Ed and I both gone 12 hours a day, this was no way to raise a child. Let’s face it, when you wake a 10-week old infant up at 5:30 am to drop him off at the babysitters and you don’t pick him up until 6 pm, all you are doing is giving him a place to sleep. Surely, this is not what God had intended when He entrusted this boy to us.
This is where I began my entrepreneurial journey. I knew I couldn’t be gone 12 hours a day five days a week, but I also knew myself well enough to know I couldn’t be a full-time stay-at-home mom. With help from mentors and the encouragement of my husband, my consulting firm – Operations Strategy Consulting – was launched. Okay, honestly, I was scared to death, but Ed believed in me enough that he told me “You can do this, you have until the end of Sept. to put in your resignation, we are not having this conversation again.” And I did. On Sept. 22, 2006 I became a Naptime CEO. (Did I mention I didn’t have a single client or even the prospect of a client?)
What amazed me was how much I loved my life. I loved being able to just be Mama and be with my son when he hit all those milestones. Yet, during naptimes, I was building a business. A year later, in Sept. 2007, we welcomed our daughter into the world. And instead of having the pressure of returning to a cubical after only 6-weeks, I was able to take nearly four months off with her. Sure I had a few speaking engagements in there and lots of marketing and client relationship management work; but my children never saw that, they just knew their Mama was home to care for and play with them. The year after my daughter was born, I made more money working two days a week for myself, than I did working full-time, being gone 12 hours a day, in my last job. That did it – I was officially ruined for employment and could never imagine being anything other than a Naptime CEO.
Now that I’ve built a six-figure firm and been successfully doing this since 2006, I’ve had friends ask me how I did it and to help them. I always had The Naptime CEO in the back of my mind, but wasn’t sure I was ready to launch it. Finally, the vision was too great for me to put it off any longer and The Naptime CEO was officially launched in January 2013 because I truly believe that our children need more from us than just dinner and a place to sleep. The saying is true: life is just too short to live for weekends. If you want to become a Naptime CEO (regardless of how old your children are), contact me, I would love to help you make the transition.
(Want to know a little more about me? Check out 20 Facts You Didn’t Know About Me.)