A Typical Week in the Life of Candice Peters, CEO of Hello Parent
It’s Monday and we’re back at work! What does a typical 9 to 5 look like for Candice Peters? She opens up about life inside (and outside!) the office…
Life as a CEO/Wife/Mom is exactly what I always dreamed it would be. Crazy stressful and hella rewarding. The last week is a brief example of what’s it’s like to juggle it all — sometimes dropping the ball, but also managing to get it together and make it work!
4am It is so painfully early, but I am up, getting dressed and waiting for Amanda, our COO, to pick me up and head to the airport.
4:50 am At the Check-in gate: “Did I lock my car?” — Amanda. We’re flying to D.C. in 20 minutes.
8am Touched down: Successfully make in D.C., drive to the hotel and enjoy a solid breakfast (cream of wheat with brown sugar, mixed berries, and green tea always). We have no hotel — so we give out bags to the front desk and we’re off!
11am Sightseeing: because even if the trip is all work and no play, we have time for a power walk on the National Mall. We scope out the Lincoln Memorial, and I take a picture of Stuffy (Brigham’s fluff ball) in front of the Washington Monument #ParentingWin.
12:00pm I eat a quickie salad with a chickpea fritter, and reflect on the excitement of being invited to work with the ASK Organization — a group on a mission to protect children by encouraging parents to ask hard questions.
2:30pm Play Time: We come ready to rock it at America’s Largest Playdate in President’s Park, hosted by the ASK Campaign. Connect with lots of moms and kids, and own it at playing a record breaking game of Telephone.
5:00pm Straight to the airport. And eating 5 Guys Burgers and Fries. Dinner of champions.
11:00pm Landed: Kiss my kids and pass out.
Slept it off.
9am Time for coffee with kids at my sister-in-law’s cafe: Pleasant Ridge Coffee Exchange. This morning we have mean cravings for Nutella croissants, mint tea and strawberry smoothies.
10am Kids go to Camp Invention — sending the kids to camp so I can get some work done #WhenDoesSchoolStart?
11:00 am Going over legal docs…. which is stressful. Deciding board structure, equity, vesting schedules, with a rough amount of back and forth. We want to feel sure that we’re in control of our board at this stage of our company.
A few hours later: We’ve got mad negotiating skills and things worked out just fine.
3:30pm In The Know Session: We joined fellow startups in residence (Strap, Casamatic, and Braxton Brewery) to pitch our story to the employees of 84.51. Going deeper than my typical pitch, I touch on what it’s like to be a female founder in Cincinnati.
I decide to share the 4 points that my mentor, Mike Bott, gave me when I was first starting out:
- Tell people my idea
- Network and make good connections
- Find a cofounder
- When you listen to advice from mentors, always remember my true North
The 84.51 team seems excited about our idea, and we book a brainstorming session with their Working Parents group for the following week.
6:00pm Kids have already eaten dinner… which was my husband’s special (delivery pizza, frozen broccoli, sliced apples) #ParentingUnfiltered
7:00pm — 11:00pm Back at work. Late night in the office, wondering if I can sleep here?
Wes’ 8th Birthday
9:00am-3:00pm Work/Life Balance: Got him a new video game (Skate 3), which he played all morning, while I worked…. at least it’s not Call of Duty (lol…that’s a side story. Enjoy!)
4:00pm Boss Lady: I joined the Beech Acres Parenting Center Board of Directors. This organization started as an orphanage and transitioned into a parenting center. Their CEO, Jim Mason, found my name in an Enquirer article and reached out. I’ll be helping to institute lean methodology, data science techniques, and bettering the tech they currently have.
6:00pm Family dinner at Cheesecake Factory: Wes requests special lemonade and Reese’s cheesecake for his birthday and I am happy to oblige because this little angel deserves it. We also make a trip to Lego store, and I feel like a good mom :)
Wednesday : Tech Week Chicago
8:00 am Hustle: into the office. Snag a green tea and Luna bar. My Director of Communications/ yoga instructor does some breathing exercises with me to cultivate more mindfulness.
10:00 am I catch up on e-mail and do as much prep as possible for the Tech Week adventure I’m about to embark on. There will be 120 startups from the Midwest heading to Chicago to pitch their big ideas.
11:35 am Preparing to close our round: which requires reading and rereading docs. I talk to the lawyers. Discuss our employment agreements, restructure our operating agreement, and finalize our board of directors. Boom! Please let the next email include those sweet little words Docusign and wire instructions.
1:50 pm Pack Attack: I rearrange my suitcase for Chicago as stuff it with as many stickers, postcards, business cards, coloring books and crayons as I can carry.
3:05 pm Bus Adventures: Katie (DoC) and I get lost on our way to finding the bus stop… once we get there I am whisked away on a 6 hour bus ride. Lots of travel equals controlling the burn rate with occasional Mega Bus adventures.For $21, there are lots of pros: leather seats, we stop at McDonald’s, there’s a guy who talked on his phone the whole way ….all highs.
5:50 pm FaceTime the fam, and tell the boys I love them lots.
9:30 pm My lovely cousin, Marguerite, picks me up. She doesn’t drive, so we hitch a ride from my other cousin, Terry. They’re from a family of 8 where four of them drive and four don’t.
10:15 pm We go to the South side of Chicago and I settle into my Aunt Norma’s apartment building that sits directly on the metro line. It’s got five units that are stuffed full of family. We look at family photo albums, and it feels nice to take a minute and breathe.
6:00 am Wake up call: Cream of wheat and strawberries… no eggs and bacon because I’ve been a vegetarian for the last 12 years. Sitting with my 82-year-old aunt, eating breakfast with my cousins, is a nice start to the day.
8:21 am Took the metro, and as I was departing, my other cousin, Tootsie, was coming in from her night shift…. $4.50 to ride the metro from the Southside to downtown is great
8:45 am Uber to the Merchandise Mart with my driver Oswald … we go in lots of circles #thanksUber
9am Arrive at Tech Week: Set up a tiny little table, with a little table cloth, Hello Parent banner, and presentation deck.
10:00 am — 3:00 pm Pitch Time: I pitch all day, which makes me feel totally in my element. It’s fun to talk to people about my idea, and the “mystery shopper” judges listening to the pitches keeps me on my A game.
6:30 pm Hello Parent is announced as a semi-finalist!!! Top 16 out of 120. Feels pretty amazing, considering all the great companies we were up against. Validation of our great company achieved. Woohoo!!
7:30 pm Dinner/ Tech Week after party: nothing PC to share. Tech startups know how to party.
1:00 am Too late to head back to the South Side. Check myself into a hotel to get some Zzzs.
9:00 am Arrive at Tech Week. So tired, think I might die. Drinking absurd amounts of green tea and rallying like a champ.
10:00 am-3:00 pm Pitched ALL DAY!
1:45 pm Semi-Finalist Pitch: Totally rock it, because I love to pitch! The judges are tough, but no question I wasn’t prepared for.
2:00 pm Text from Husband: “Call me immediately”.
2:05 pm Call the hubs: Was supposed to be there for the home closing #Whoops. Think on my feet, and sign over power of attorney so hubs can close on our new house. God bless Kinkos. Finding a notary was another story. Felt equivalent to the Amazing Race…. watched two cabs get into an accident. Chaos abounds.
3:30 pm Closed our fundraising round: Docusigned the closing of our round… funds wired. Cha Ching. Can rest easier knowing we have 12–18 months of runway for the company. Boom! We’re funded! Time for a nap!
To summarize my crazy and beautiful life, it’s always an adventure! Sometimes the kids get left behind. I feel bad for them every day, and have to be super diligent about scheduling time with them. The weekend ended with a family trip to the park, we showed the boys around our new house, and Brigham climbed a tree. For a moment all was right in the world.