So, I guess I took a week off from my blog in order to launch my company. It wasn’t planned that way, believe me. Every day I told myself that I’d blog the next day. Surely many of you know this feeling. The feeling of having been lied to. By yourself.

When I am sucking at my job, the usual problem is a slowdown in my ability to process information. In general, I’m fast. I am pretty sure that most people who read blogs are faster than the general population at processing information. I have no research to prove this, but I do notice that when I recommend to people that they read blogs, people often say that it’s too much information to process.

So, anyway, the times that my information-processing ability slows down is when there’s a wrench in my system. Like launching a new company. When I noticed that I’m drowning in my job, here are things I do to try to get on top of the information flow:

1. Model myself after my information-processing idols.
Example: Gina Trapani, of Lifehacker fame, once told me that on days she’s behind she deletes all the day’s feeds from the 100+ blogs she keeps track of. Her ability to delete inspires me. I started deleting stuff.

2. Look for shortcuts.
I am usually really good at reading a wide range of blogs. But I deleted everything new that came in this week. And then I got nervous that it is lame to spew new information if I am not taking in new information.

And then I found out about Guy Kawasaki’s new site, Alltop, which is great for spinning through a lot of good blogs quickly. I found the site because Guy asked me which career blogs I like. And then, nearly overnight, he launched—a list of links from the biggest career blogs—and you know how I know Guy knows which blogs are good? Because my blog is in the number-one spot :)

3. Have a fit.
Then I went to Philadelphia, to convince a software developer that his current job is a dead end and he should work at my company. And while I was there my computer broke. And I couldn’t check email. Or blogs. Or deal with

So I called Ryan and told him to change our financial projections to include $150,000 this year to make sure that my computer doesn’t break. And I told him to spend another $200,000 to buy me a Blackberry and a Blackberry specialist to travel with me everywhere I ever go so it never breaks.

Then I ordered room service—you know, pizza and ice cream for $50 plus tip? And I have to say the room service order definitely made me calm while I was on the computer in the hotel lobby checking my email. So maybe the key to being a good information synthesizer is an all-out fit with an ice cream chaser. Because look, I blogged. And I think I’m back on track.

It’s the big moment where I tell you to go check out It’s the first stage of our company, and it’s a network of fifty young bloggers who I love, all blogging about their professional interests.

This would be a great time to tell you the grand story of the birth of my grand company.

When people tell you about their company they always tell you the mythology. You know Pierre Omidyar deciding to sell his girlfriend’s Pez containers and then making eBay, James Hong talking about sorting through photos of girls with his dad in the early days of hotornot. But those stories are really the ones you create after the fact.

During the very early days of a startup, there is no mythology. There is only doubt, Ramen, and fighting. For the lucky few founders, there is probably some smooth-things-over sex, but mostly early startup life is suffering. Suffering with a twist.

The twist is that entrepreneurs are generally very optimistic, so we can spin suffering into fun. I never thought of myself as optimistic until I took a test in Oprah’s magazine and found that I was so optimistic that I’m maybe borderline delusional.

But without the optimism, here’s what a startup really looks like: nothing.

For a while, my startup was my column. I always knew it was the basis for something bigger, but I couldn’t tell people that. People think you’re crazy if you tell them you’re doing a business when it doesn’t look like a business. So I kept building my column and the audience and then my blog and its audience until I could think of a company to launch with it.

What I’ve learned by now is that when you start doing your company, there is nothing really to do, and everything to think about. In fact, researchers know that there is no single entrepreneurial trait that predicts success except the propensity to mitigate risk. That’s right. Entrepreneurs are not crazy risk takers but rather people who are trying to decrease the risk as much as they can.

So successful entrepreneurs decide to start a company and then think about it. They play with it in their mind. Maybe they talk about it, just a little. And then they make a commitment to the company, and you know what? Nothing changes. It still looks like a lot of nothing, because it’s mostly just thinking.

And there’s no one to talk to because you’ve been fighting with your partner for weeks because you’re so angry that there’s nothing to do. And you can’t talk to your friends or business associates because they’ll say “When are you going to start your company?” and you’ll snap, “I told you ten times that I already have started the company.”

If people knew what they were doing at the beginning of the startup then early investments would be much less risky. But the truth is that business plans are so apt to change that no angel investor has even asked us for one.

Here’s our business plan: Leverage our established brand to build a big community of young professionals. Here’s what we have: a network of fifty bloggers who have agreed to participate in a community of people helping each other with careers.

And this is also happening: we have a slew of companies asking us to consult with them to tell them how to deal with Generation Y. But that is not in our business plan. We are so excited to take in money that we’re doing it anyway.

Our mythology will not be about how we spent months not knowing for sure what to do, and sort of launching and then pulling back to rejigger things and then going at it again. That is not typical startup mythology; that is typical startup constipation.

Our mythology is going to be something like: we knew we were experts in Generation Y, and we did a lot of consulting to fund a community of young professionals. Or, maybe our mythology will be that crazy startup that Penelope couldn’t stop blogging about.

Two days ago, I called my friend to cut a deal. I needed to make a partnership fast, and we have been doing business together for years. I knew she could push something through her company that would make me look good.

We ended up spending an hour on the phone, and she mentioned she was taking a four-week leave. I knew it was for fertility treatments. She couldn’t believe I knew. She had kept it a secret from everyone. She panicked that if I knew her whole office would know.

Here’s how I knew: Because women with high-powered jobs don’t take four weeks leave. You don’t get a high-powered career by going on leave. But at some point, even in a high-powered career, fertility issues start trumping career issues: When it’s four weeks off a big job, it’s fertility.

I have a lot of friends who went through fertility treatment. So I gave my friend the name of another friend who currently sports bruises all over her body from injections, and then I said, “Hey, I know you’re crying, but push my deal through before you go on leave.”

Let me tell you about my friend who did not wait to have kids—the friend who is genius girl, and great at planning, and a rock star at work, and is doing a startup while she has a young child. She is one step away from being hospitalized for exhaustion. Really. Her thyroid is breaking down from her relying too heavily on adrenaline.

Among my friends who are women, the majority have had fertility problems.

Every friend has a different story, but there is one theme that has dominated every friend’s trials and tribulations: A lack of control. We can control so much of our lives today. And women who are in high-powered careers are usually the best at controlling their lives.

It’s a shock to find out that fertility is so hard to control because it’s so important. So it’s no surprise that there’s an industry developing that helps women control their fertility.

Please, please do not read the rest of this post thinking that holding off getting pregnant til your mid thirties is a good idea. Statistically it is a very bad idea if it’s important to you to carry your own child. There is no science magic that makes a mid-life pregnancy a low-risk endeavor, but here are three things you can do in your twenties and early thirties to decrease the risk of a high-risk pregnancy.

1. Get a husband. I know, this is not popular advice, but it’s practical advice. A husband is like a career. If you are not looking for one, you’re not likely to find one. If it’s not a high priority goal, it’s probably not a goal you will meet. So if you want to make sure you’re making babies with your own healthy eggs, think of your twenties as the time to find a mate.

2. Freeze your eggs. If you don’t want to exert control over your life by finding a husband, how about using control over your life to save some good eggs? The Wall Street Journal reports that even though it’s not actually proven technology, women are signing up in droves. The treatment is expensive—up to $14,000—but often that’s peanuts to women who will spend their most fertile years climbing corporate ladders.

3. Test your eggs for premature aging. Yep. That’s right. Eggs age differently in different women. And the aging process could get faster or slower relative to the general population. This means that while most women need to start having babies before age 35 to manage risk well, some women need to start earlier.

If you want to know if your eggs are aging fast, go to Repromedix to find out if you can be part of the company’s limited rollout of a new test for eggs. The results combine the magic formula of your age, your eggs, and the amount you have of two specific hormones in order to come up with your age in fertility years.

When I was 30 I did not have a boyfriend. I hired a dating service for 10K, (which at the time was the best way to deal with my ticking clock) and the guys who were coming up were great investors for my company and lousy husband prospects. (Except for the Calvin Klein model. He was not a good husband or a good investor. He was totally ridiculous.) At that point, I was making a ton of money, and I could have afforded a lot of this stuff. If I had known about it, I would have done it.

If you have the money, and you don’t have ethical problems with it, maybe you should do it. You never know where you will fall in the fertility lottery: Hedge your bets the best you can.