How Sheryl Sandberg Helped Make An Entrepreneur's Big Decision

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By Caroline O'Connor (Founder, Plum) A few months ago, I got two pieces of fantastic news at the same time: I had a unique opportunity to start a company, and I was expecting my first child.

As a fellow at Stanford's Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (informally called the d.school) I'd managed to finagle a way into a class that I knew would help me follow the entrepreneurial path I'd always wanted to explore. Launchpad is a phenomenally successful class that challenges students to launch a company in ten weeks.

I was thrilled about each piece of news, but it was hard to hold back my disappointment at the obvious choice I'd have to make. You're supposed to ramp down while you're pregnant, spend time getting ready for the baby and figure out how to carve out a diminished role at work in order to make enough time to be a good mom.

The class was extremely competitive, and I was keenly aware that there were more than a hundred students in line behind me who wouldn't be dropping off into motherhood rather than launching out into entrepreneurship.

» Read the full post at Harvard Business Review.