Sometimes there are those moments when the notion of work-life balance can seem like a cosmic joke.
For Alexa von Tobel, it occurred in March 2015, when the birth of her first child coincided with selling LearnVest, the online financial advisory firm she founded, to Northwestern Mutual in a deal reported to be more than $250 million.
“Nothing in life prepares you to have everything in your life happening at the exact same minute,” she said. There were mountains of documents to sign, press roll-out plans, legal knots to untie and a new daughter who had to spend her first days in the intensive care unit (she’s fine now).
“It taught me something about myself,” added von Tobel, who’s now the chief innovation officer at Northwestern Mutual and remains CEO of LearnVest. “When really wild things happen to me, I get very calm and focused. When the train is off the tracks, I think I actually become a version of my best self. When something's running perfectly is probably the time when I fall off the tracks.”