Prepare To Launch U Blog

  • 30 December 2020Inspiration • Susan Rietano Davey

    Black Lives Matter; Black People Belong.

    One summer evening in 1973, my parents drove my siblings and me, piled in the way-back of our Bonneville wagon, past a crumbling public housing project downtown. “The only difference between you and the children who live here is the circumstance of your birth,” my dad said. “Remember that.” I never forgot it.  I was raised to be color-blind, but I’m not. My eyes opened to color in Mrs. Moore’s second-grade class. Regina T. was in time-out, gleefully pirouetting outside the classroom door. A school administrator soon appeared to pull down Regina’s dress properly and haul her to the principal’s office. Later, I joined her there; I was too upset to go to lunch. Regina was only dancing. She was trying to be funny, to belong. Regina was one of the Black students bused across town to the neighborhood school my white classmates and I walked to. This simple fact…

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  • 8 April 2020Inspiration, Work + Life Balance • Susan Rietano Davey

    Creating A Rhythm for our COVID-19 Days

    After a year of hearing a continuous loop of “you’ll never look back” and “you’ll love it”, I still have a hard time recognizing the “benefits’” of my newly empty nest. I’m still looking back, and I don’t love it yet. Rather than joy for long-awaited freedom, what I’ve felt most is loss – the loss of four children, born close in age, and gone – it seemed – all at once. I loved being a mom; I didn’t want to be a free bird.

    But “free” I am, and I’m now well into my second year of it. That is, until 2 weeks ago when COVID-19 brought three of my children home to (relative) safety.

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  • 16 October 2019Career, Work + Life Balance • Susan Rietano Davey

    Maternity Leave: Then and Now

    You know those women who plan out their lives and everything goes pretty much according to schedule? Well, I’m not one of them. If you read my blog, you know that I call myself an “accidental businessperson” and that I’m a mom who had four kids in six years, the youngest of whom I birthed the day after getting the cast removed from my broken left leg. (I won’t say how I broke it, but it had something to do with being up in a tree). I thrive in chaos and prefer my ‘schedules’ (if I have them at all) to be loose.

    It made perfect (but painful) sense, therefore, that my first pregnancy didn’t follow any conventional plan.

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  • 5 June 2019Confidence, Inspiration • Susan Rietano Davey

    You Are A Special Person

    At Roaring Brook Elementary School, in my little suburban Connecticut town, a major rite of passage for second graders is Special Persons Day. Each student chooses one special person in their life, draws a portrait of them, writes a tribute to them, presents this tribute to them on a stage, with a microphone. There are songs and laughs and lots of tears.

    As the mother of four RBS graduates and godmother of two, odds are that I would have been chosen for the honor by now. In fact, it is a bit of a joke among my neighbor-friends and my own kids that I – as special as I am 😉 – never have been.

    Until this year.

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  • 1 May 2019Career, Inspiration • Susan Rietano Davey

    Stop Talking Small!

    About 18 years ago, two of the major insurers in our part of Connecticut instituted massive layoffs. Many highly skilled, accomplished mid-level professionals were soon out on the street looking for work. At the time, I was partner at Flexible Resources, Inc., a flexible work consulting and staffing firm (and the original champions of the flexible workplace). 

    Our typical client was the “MBA Mom” looking return to (or pivot into) a part-time or flexible work arrangement. But during this period, I was seeing a steady stream of recently laid off men and women who may not have wanted a part-time gig, but were open to pretty much any type of work.

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  • 24 April 2019Career, Confidence • Susan Rietano Davey

    Recovering from Mom Guilt

    I met my friend Anne Marie through her daughter, Nicole, a classmate of my son Jackson’s at Roaring Brook Elementary School. One day I ran into Anne Marie in the school parking lot minutes before the second grade Literary Tea Party. I was pulling in on two wheels, predictably late. Anne Marie was on time, in her car, changing clothes.

    “What are you doing?” I asked, shocked that anyone might think volunteering for an elementary school book reading required any wardrobe consideration.

    “I had a work meeting,” she replied, pulling off a beautiful blazer. “Nicole doesn’t like me to come to school in ‘work’ clothes.”

    Little seven-year-old Nicole preferred her mother, a brilliant tech professional, to come to school in yoga pants or jeans so as not to call attention to the fact that she worked.

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  • 16 April 2019Career, Inspiration • Susan Rietano Davey

    What It Takes To Succeed As An Entrepreneur

    Kelley and I are serial entrepreneurs. Prepare to Launch U is not the first business start-up rodeo for either of us. Creating something and being our own bosses is just what we’re wired to do.

    Through Prepare to Launch U, and in our private practices, we meet many women who feel the same. Or at least they want the same. Or they think they want the same. After exploring options for a career-return or pivot, they decide they want to go the entrepreneurial route.

    The truth is, however, only a small percentage of them are well suited to entrepreneurship – and only a small percentage of that percentage will actually succeed.

    Starting and running your own business is hard.

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  • 10 April 2019Career • Susan Rietano-Davey

    The Financial Case for Going Back to Work

    When I left Xerox Corporation to stay home with my firstborn Tucker, back in 1994, I was surprised about what I missed most about my work life. It wasn’t the familiar connection with clients and colleagues, or the excitement of landing a big deal or launching a new product. It was the money.

    This was astonishing to me. I wasn’t, and never have been, money motivated. Bob and I could live comfortably on his income, so my opting out wasn’t financially burdensome. I was part of the fortunate minority who could make the choice to pause a career and stay home without sacrificing lifestyle or basic needs.

    Except that I did sacrifice.

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  • 3 April 2019Confidence, Inspiration • Kelley Biskupiak

    5 Steps to Communicate a Difficult Decision

    “Sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing for you…are the same”

    There is such truth in this quote. Especially when it comes to making decisions that could change an aspect of your life and impact the lives of others. I see it so often in the clients we coach and the students we work with. Truth be told, I see it as a truth for myself.

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  • 27 March 2019Inspiration • Susan Rietano Davey

    The Importance of “Fluff”

    Kelley and I met in the summer of 2016 at a women’s conference where we were both keynote speakers. Up first, I shared colorful stories of career-returners meant to entertain and, most importantly, to inspire. Kelley followed, and led us in a powerful partner exercise on strengths. She knew her topic well and was an ebullient, engaging presenter.

    But I thought her content was “fluff”.

    A couple of weeks after the conference, Kelley called and suggested we meet for lunch. At the time, I was at a crossroads.

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