When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Lemonade (original quote by someone’s grandma?) ……
……An absolute favorite saying of mine. I have always tried to apply these words to my life no matter whether it was something little or big. When the boys were infants, and I had a LONG day that did not allow me to shower or eat a whole meal or make a phone call, I took pleasure in a hot bubble-bath after I got the boys to sleep. When my grandmother died, I survived devastation when a few days later, I found out she would have a namesake when I discovered I was pregnant. Today, I was really going back and forth with what I should write on the blog, AND then my day changed because my husband forgot to send my son to school with a lunch (on the last day of school).
It has been a roller coaster of a winter that began with my mom having major back surgery and ended with my father-in-law passing. I do not want to make this post all about the ups and downs of my life over the last few months, but rather about where my life will take me now. Beyond still supporting my mom, being there for my kids, and lending a shoulder for my mother-in-law to cry on…..I also really need to get my ass in gear with my mompreneur travels. Throughout the winter, I felt proud that I was still continuing to check items off my to-do list while dealing with the swell of personal crises surrounding me. Now that spring has sprung (I think – it is snowing a bit today), I am ready to forge ahead with a new attitude. Just like the sun will be shining daily (maybe), I plan to sparkle again in my pursuits.
Last Friday, our country woke up to the devastating news of the tragic earthquake and tsunami in Japan. For me, it was hard to concentrate on anything but the media coverage of this terrible natural disaster, and hoping and praying for the safety of those affected. It is in times like these, that we are thankful for the little things in life, and take pleasure in what we have around us. I took comfort in my 2 boys and the opportunities that are in front of them. The boys’ creativity, vibrancy, and outlook on the world is so reassuring. I decided to reflect a bit on these 2 mini-entrepreneurs.
A few years back when my older son was in kindergarten, I had a good friend that worked at his school. This friend lived right near a place that sold my fave low-fat brownies (I know – they were probably 1000 calories a piece, but that is another blog). It was a great set-up: my friend would get a week’s supply of low-fat brownies, put them in my son’s backpack at school, and I would have my most indulgent nighttime snack all week-long. It was my own personal low-fat brownie underground operation. UNTIL, one day in the carpool lane, I received a phone call from another mom saying she owed me money for the chocolate treat?!?!? I had NO idea what she was talking about until I pulled up further in line and my son got in the car.
Guess What? My son, who was 6 years old at the time, decided to turn the carpool waiting area into an entrepreneurial venture. He opened up the packs of brownies (2 per pack) and sold 1 brownie for a dollar each! At the time, there were still vending machines at school. so some kids had money for snacks, and for a few close friends, he issued credit. When I suggested that he return the money, he said “No Way!” He argued that the kids had their brownie and ate it, and it was only fair he keep the money. What he did not account for was that I was his financial backer with the brownies, and he would have to take the initial investment out of the gross (his first lesson in biz). This was the day when I realized that I was dealing with a kidpreneur.
My older son is lucky to have a little brother that is never afraid to speak his mind, thinks out of the box, and acts as a “profit coach” of sorts. Together, the two boys make up a great pair – one is very serious and “crosses every T and dots every I”, and the other brings the ingenuity and creative thinking. They appear to be on equal footing in their biz ventures because each one holds a different skill set, and they realize that! This is another valuable lesson in business for them – know your strengths and weaknesses and align yourself with someone who can fill your gaps.
Last week I put myself on video asking for mompreneur questions….thanks to everyone for watching me on the big screen (ugh) and commenting. I had one hell of a roller coaster week, and I thought that I would incorporate some of that into the answers. So, you want to be a mompreneur? – Here you go!
When I posted the video last Monday, there was no school for President’s Day. This was an expected day off, and I was planning on being with the boys. In fact, they each had a friend join us and we went to a movie fundraiser sponsored by a local kid. We even managed to sneak in a game of Monopoly,
and then it started to SNOW! I would say that this was where the roller coaster ride started. We woke up on Tuesday morning to 8 inches of snow and of course, NO SCHOOL!
I have not recorded a Bckngruv-video in a while, so I thought that I would start this week off with one. This past week and the ones coming up, are what I call the “down and dirty” part of being a mompreneur. Nothing glamorous just a lot of meetings, research, phone calls, and general business planning. I share some of these details with you in the video, and propose an opportunity for us to share together — check it out!
editor’s note: still working out all the technical difficulties and not saying “so” every other sentence, but all in all – better than last vlog.
Last week I won a CrowdRise T-shirt on twitter. Thanks Felix for promptly shipping it out to me! This was so exciting because I never win anything! If you do not know what CrowdRise is, you should check them out at http://www.crowdrise.com/ Basically, CrowdRise “crowd funds” charities. Which is funny because this week, I participated on a podcast for crowd funding for start-ups with Susan Outlaw of PeerBackers AND my fave, Tory Johnson, did a segment on crowd funding on GMA earlier in the week. Obviously, crowd funding is all the rage, so why not blog about it? Of course, I should blog about it. I thought that I would give you a deeper look at CrowdRise and its importance for start-ups………..
Katy Perry may be a Firework, but I am a SPARKLER! That’s right – a SPARKLER!
If you have been following me over the last few months, you know that attending SPARK AND HUSTLE with Tory Johnson was on my agenda. Well, I came, I went, I heard, I absorbed, I networked, and I am ready to SPARKLE!
By now you probably know that I am a big fan of StartupNation. Why? I am not being compensated by them, endorsed by them, or really connected to them in any way. So, why do I continually promote them? Simply, because it works! When an entrepreneur – either new or seasoned – turns to StartupNation for tips, the advice is there! So much information is available and you do not feel like there is a “catch.” It is a great site to look for answers and hook up with other start-up business owners. This piece is especially invaluable for mompreneurs.
Often, if a mom has either been home for a few years or is moving from the traditional workplace to being a mompreneur….capital and advice could be limited. Hiring a professional coach or advisor at that point may not be a reality, and StartupNation can help her gain knowledge and connect with others. The website provides easy access for moms (and all start-up business owners) to move forward with their dreams.
I’ve developed a new philosophy… I only dread one day at a time. ~Charlie Brown by Charles Schulz
A few weeks ago, I had some time to sit down with a mom-to-be, Jenny, and chat about what is on her mind. Due in April, this mom-to-be expressed two emotions – anxiety and excitement. The two feelings were very intertwined – there was excitement over the anxiety and anxiety over the excitement. Most of Jenny’s emotions center around the “unknown.” She was both nervous and intrigued (a bit) about the unknown.
Obviously, the baby-to-be would change Jenny and her husband’s lives. It is impossible for them to imagine what will happen to their current routine, existence, and established patterns. I did not want to spoil the surprise for Jenny, and it sort of is unofficial “mom code” to not tell. If we told new moms what to expect, it would strip them of all the crazy emotions that we went through. That would be unfair!
All this fear, anxiety, and excitement got me thinking……are these themes that cycle through a woman’s lifetime? I am definitely experiencing high anxiety over my entrepreneurial vision; forging ahead with my career while still doing everything I did before (nuts); leaving the fam to go to Spark and Hustle in L.A. for a few days; my mom’s recent surgery and ever-present recuperation; and who can forget how my week will go off its chartered path because of the impending snowstorm. Don’t get me wrong – there is definitely some thrill at the core of this, but right now it is manifesting itself as anxiety.
**editor’s note – I have a background in clinical social work, so every now and again – I have to throw out a term like “manifesting.”
Bckngruv-Readers – I am a planner (I know – no surprise to any of you). I like to map everything out, make lists, deadlines, timelines, and I could go on and on. Sometimes, this does not work out. There are times when everything is just too chaotic, to make exact flight plans (I like traffic metaphors – read this for more). However, it occurs to me that during these particular times when life is crazy and chaotic and so much is unknown, I tend to accomplish a great deal. I run around like a hurricane and just start cramming everything in to the 23 & 1/2 hours of the day that I have.