WHO SHE IS: Diana Rothschild, Founder & Chief Mom, NextKids, a co-working space with childcare
SUCCESS STORY: Turned my own problem of integrating work and life into a business idea — a workspace with childcare!
WORK SCHEDULE: M-F 8:30-5:30 p.m., some nights/weekends; My daughter is in the childcare space at NextSpace so I pop in and see her several times a day
KIDS: 1 kiddo – 2.3 yrs & 1 kiddo on the way
SANITY VICE: An amazing and supportive husband, a grounding spiritual practice, and wonderful friends & family to spend time with
BEST TIME-MANAGEMENT TIP: Involve my daughter in things I need to do anyways (cleaning, cooking, laundry); Do walking conference calls (get exercise & work done!); Wash everything in cold and don’t separate colors…
GO-TO TECH: Instacart, my iPhone
WORK-LIFE BALANCE? 9 (but it wasn’t always this way – it was more like a 6+ as I was starting this concept while still consulting)
5 Questions for Diana…
1. Tell us about NextKids and how it works.
NextKids is a new division of NextSpace — a collaborative workspace community with nine locations throughout California and Chicago. With over 1,500 “Spacers,” NextSpace provides the professional office infrastructure and network that freelancers and entrepreneurs need to do their best work. In July 2013, we launched the first NextKids — in the Potrero Hill neighborhood of San Francisco — where in addition to a great co-working space, we offer on-site infant and toddler full-day care that includes snacks, diapers, and great play-based learning for parents using our shared workspace.
2. You recognized a need in the market for this kind of work space, toured over 100 daycares and 50+ workspaces, then pitched NextSpace to build it. Were they believers right away?
Yes, the team at NextSpace were definitely believers, but we had to discuss how this would work as a business model, from a regulatory standpoint, and what educational philosophy we would adopt for the childcare space (we went with play-based).
3. You’re a former McKinsey consultant, and worked in sustainability for Walmart and again as a consultant. How has the transition been to entrepreneurism and what did you do to prepare?
The transition has been fun and interesting. I saw this business model and idea as being the next step in sustainability — so that part was philosophically pretty smooth. But moving from a analytical and strategizing role to a more hands-on operational role has been a bit of a transition. And learning everything under the sun about two new industries (co-working & childcare) was also a transition. I was able to form a wonderful advisory board to guide me and I started networking and reading as much as I could. It’s been an amazing experience to steep myself into something new, but with eyes that are fresh to those in the industry.
4. What observations about parents, work, and kids have you made since NextKids opened? Have you seen a trend in what combination of work and childcare seems to work best?
I’ve observed that transition is not just for the kids — we as parents go through transition as well (sometimes even more so than the kiddos). Our model allows for that transition more naturally and it’s definitely appreciated and needed in the world. This model also enables moms, dads, and single parents to be equal partners in parenting. We have a great dad community, single mamas, and a few families where two parents work/play at NextSpace & NextKids!
5. What advice do you live by as a working mom?
I wake up early and try to get me-time & thinking stuff done then. My mind is fresh and the house is quiet. I’ve come to realize that there is no such thing as balance — rather it’s all about integration. So as much as I can integrate my work and my life, the better.
5+! You are pregnant with your second baby. Is there anything you’re planning to do differently from a work-life perspective now that your family is growing?
Good question. I haven’t been thinking about doing anything differently, but maybe I should! Maybe get an incredible pre-school open so my daughter can continue to be a part of NextKids, we can all share a commute, and I can learn alongside her!