Last week, I was listening to a podcast on “branding” while de-cluttering my desk (by the way – my desk is a mess all over again). What I took away from the podcast is that the brand is reflected in all aspects of the business. Obviously. If you have successfully branded your business, you already know this. BUT, if you are just building a business, successful branding takes time.
As the desk cleaning began to take more and more time, I started to reflect on how I got to my current place, my brand.
I did not just wake up one morning and say “today is the day – I am starting not one but two business ventures” rather there was a gradual progression that led to this point. A path that was unprecedented for me and with little direction or help from others.
A few years ago, I began to consider what life would be like as my boys gained independence. For at home moms, it is a scary thought that your little “charges” may not need you as much one day! I began to explore my options. I scheduled information interviews with people in positions of interest, took a few continuing education credits, met with the alumni department of my graduate school, and basically floundered about how to put it all together.
I accepted a part-time job subbing for a preschool, increased my volunteer positions, and took a number of job interviews. The job interviews were INTERESTING! You may have read in an earlier post that I have a Master of Social Work. Well, I responded to one job posting about a need for a hospital social worker…turned out to be a job for an abortion clinic counselor.
There were other interviews. Positions that allowed for no time off until I worked there a year…no allowances to attend the Thanksgiving play at the boys school, no flexibility in hours, etc . Obviously, I did not find a right match. That was the beginning of my brand – Who can inspire at home moms? Who can help, aid or assist? I was onto something ….
This may be Too Much Information for you, but two Thanksgivings ago…I stayed in pj’s for several days unable to put down the Twilight Saga. Although I am an avid reader (my nightstand looks like an avalanche), I had never picked up a science fiction book in my life. My friend, Tori, was reading the Twilight books and would not stop talking about them, so I had to see what all the hype was about…….24 sleepless hours later, I had finished book 1 – Twilight. For the next week, I completely neglected my family and friends because I was infatuated with the vegetarian bloodsuckers. No one could understand the fascination except for those that had experienced it first hand.
I am sure sometime in the last 2 years, you have heard the phrase “Twi-moms”? Why does this phenomenon happen? Well – This thought is not original to me, but moms become hooked on Twilight because it places them back in a carefree time. Forks, Washington is a setting where endless love & passion exists. Whether you cheer for Team Edward or Team Jacob, Twilight transports moms to a different time in their lives. A place where work/life balance does not exist; there are no sick/snow days, budget problems, or bad hair days. This is not to say that we moms (at home and career) do not have a lot of satisfaction from our current lives…it is just fun sometimes to escape!
Stephenie Meyer is to be admired. She had a dream, and she made it happen. For those of you who do not know, Stephenie Meyer (mother of 3) woke up from a dream about vampires and created the Twilight Saga. She wrote at odd hours around her family life, faced a number of rejections from publishers, and had her fifth manuscript leaked on the Internet. All that being said, she achieved a dream while having a family. She is career mom that can really be looked at as a role model.
As Thanksgiving, 2010 approaches…. We all need to be thankful for our families, our health, and the wonderful life experiences that we have. As moms, occasionally, we have to escape and rejuvenate ourselves. A little respite for the brain goes a long way especially as holiday season and WINTER BREAK looms ahead. Moms – make time for you this time of year…whether it is getting lost in a book, curling up with a holiday movie, or just taking a nap.
Yesterday, I had a phone conference with a successful mompreneur, and the best thing about the whole conversation was that she admitted to having failed several times before being successful.
How was that encouraging? It is refreshing to hear someone speak to their mix-ups, who not only has survived to talk about them but has moved on to be victorious.
When searching the web and seeking advice, we mostly hear success stories. But, there had to have been some mix-ups, mistakes, and flat out failures before all these successes. Hearing about others’ misguided attempts gives us the confidence to drive forward and pursue our passions. Why? Because we know that eventually we will get it right.
Furthermore, accepting mistakes and moving forward is even more difficult for the at home mom. For however many years we have been the CEO of our households, master of our domain, controlling the ebb and flow of our environment. As we claim our stake in the start up world, there are so many factors that are out of our control and we are often times forced to work at others’ pace. We may be a little overzealous because we have been removed from that part of the world for some time….and when something does not work our way, the disappointment hits even harder.
I ask you fellow mompreneurs….what was your start like? Can you laugh about your mistakes now? Can you share any of your biggest blunders?
@backngroovemom just met a guy that I never met before at a coffee place in polish hill to discuss my bra project – good thing I am #uninhibited
For some reason…in the last 2 weeks, I have now broadened my adventure to 2 projects….
I have been distracted for a few days by a website based project that I have been investigating (details to remain vague). Today, I had to get back on track with my bra project (details still to remain vague). My 9 year old has been required to sign a non-disclosure after discussing the idea. He now affectionately calls my bra related product a “braduct”. Maybe I should hire him for marketing?
Anyway, as a woman entrepreneur, I think that it is important to be uninhibited? Why? There is no room for blushing when trying to start a company. So, today I met an artist to discuss bra related prototypes in a local artist area at a coffee shop that looked like a bar from the outside.
I skipped the blushing, got right down to business, and hope that I have found the guy to make my prototype! And, I did before having to go pick up my kids from school…even better!
just a short little thought for today.
Yesterday, I had the opportunity to guest blog for a childhood friend and role model for all women – Hollee Temple on her website www.thenewperfect.com
Hollee is trying to help women of today accept “good enough” as being the new perfect – what a fabulous concept! I have posted my guest blog here in the previous post in case you missed it.
I had an unreal amount of responses to my blog – I was shocked! Working moms wrote that they admired me for being “at home” for a DECADE. “At home” moms wrote about having similar feelings as me – “Where is the on-ramp?”
That is what my adventure is about – Where is the entrance back into the career world? Do I have to get back on the same exit that I got off 10 years ago? Can I go a new direction? Make a u-turn? Possibly even create a whole new exit for myself?
Of course, I raise all these questions about where I will go in my quest with the caveat of still being there for my boys. I cannot abandon my first career – my family. Recently, someone called me persistent, pertinacious, & dogged. I am going to take this description in a positive way. I believe that these qualities mean that I can do it all! I can construct a new exit for myself while not losing site of who I have been over the last 10 years.
Back to the women that responded to the blog yesterday: Most were motivated by me, Many wanted to help me and other moms, One mom commented that she was working for free to gain experience, Others did not know where to start. Hopefully, my driving course will be able to help others.
this post appeared on www.thenewperfect.com – thanks for letting me be a guest blogger for a day!
For most people, falling leaves symbolize that winter is approaching.
But this is not just any winter for me. This winter marks a DECADE that I have been “home” with my kids. While this time has been amazing and exhausting, it is a period of time that will always be special to me (clichéd, I know — forgive me).
As the end of this decade approaches, I have come to realize that soon my boys will be making their own plans, studying with friends, and enjoying their interests with their peers. I can’t help but wonder, “Where does this leave me?” As I consider what options might be available to me for re-entering the working world, I have never felt so isolated. I often wonder if there are other moms out there who are feeling the same way.
Recently, I sent a text to a close friend that went something like this: “I am in such a panic. I have to get a career.” My friend, who is a career mom, wrote back: “I am in a panic that I should quit every day.” These two very different viewpoints made me think that there must be some way for moms to come together to help one another.