For most parents with young kids, the pandemic-driven shift to remote working has mainly meant a balancing act and a contradiction of challenges and benefits. For Evolution Insurance Services founding director Lizzie Nelson (pictured), she prefers having her daughter around while she makes those important business calls.
“If she is happily playing in the background and isn’t interfering with my call, I absolutely want her to hear me on the phone,” Nelson told Insurance Business, referring to her nearly three-year-old child. “I’d like her to know from as far back as she can remember that this is how the world works.
“I want her to hear me and be around me when I’m having these conversations with clients, and I want her to see that people work so she’d grow up being used to that.”
On occasions when the toddler isn’t particularly calm, however, she won’t be inside Nelson’s soundproof home office, and the new insurance boss – whose own brokerage came to life just more than seven months ago – is grateful for her support system.
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Nelson said: “I have a lot of support. My husband’s extremely supportive, and we sort of work in a tight-knit community where we all support each other. But there’s no two ways about it – it is a juggling act and it takes a village.
“I don’t know how women that don’t have support get out there and have their own businesses. But I also like to integrate my daughter into what I’m doing because I want her to see that nothing is going to be handed to you and that you have to get in there and roll your sleeves up.”
When things are fully back to normal, though, Nelson doesn’t see herself leaving her home office entirely. She has a shared workspace, as well, that she can use alternately – the idea being, that she won’t be away from home full-time.
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“Me moving back into an office space, I don’t want my daughter to just think I go off to work and she goes to kindergarten and that’s where it ends,” explained the broker.
“For me, it’s extremely important to have her around in that corporate space, to watch and to learn and to understand that I don’t just head off into the abyss every day. [I want her to] have a look, listen, and understand that this is what the real world looks like.”
As for her own learnings, Nelson pointed to the importance of ‘finding your tribe’ or seeking people to look up to and surround yourself with, in your journey.
When she decided to set up Evolution Insurance Services, Nelson said she found peers who made her think, ‘Yes, I can [do it]’. Among them was Clear Insurance director Lisa Carter, who Nelson described as “the most phenomenal force” and whose support she is really thankful for.