A few weeks ago I wrote about paying it forward, and I proposed that all of you should make your own pay it forward list. Well, my list keeps growing, and I keep challenging myself to think of something really creative to do with it (probably a vlog is best — which is why I more than likely keep putting it off). As the list keeps accumulating, it occurs to me that I really have not one but two pay it forward lists. A personal and professional one….yes, there is some overlap, but really there is room for two lists. While the professional pay it forward list continues to grow, today is a toast to the personal side.
In October, 2010, I basically woke up deciding to chase a dream, become a mompreneur, take a spark of an idea to market, and blog about the entire journey. This came as a BIG SHOCK to my family and friends. My family never saw me being an entrepreneur (I was a social worker turned stay-at-home-mom for 10 years) let alone many of them never heard of a blog! I am sure that my friends were equally surprised at my decision to follow an idea to market, or that I even had an idea that I wanted to bring to fruition. Needless to say, there is a group of peeps that jumped on board and amazingly supported me. That is how I came up with the idea for pay it forward part 1&1/2. This seemed logical to me since pay it forward part 2 is a list of those that have mentored and helped me, and in between the mentors and me is my first line of defense — friends and fam.
When you make a HUGE decision like I did, many life changes come with it. In my decade as CEO of my household, professional volunteer, and unpaid life consultant, my days were enormously packed and full (yet a bit more flexible). When I made the mompreneur choice, I needed to set deadlines, requirements, and hold myself accountable. This was not a joke. My being a mompreneur is new for many of my friends, and I completely appreciate their UNDERSTANDING. You have no idea how much it means to me that my close friends respect my decision. I love that they understand that this is not a whim, but rather I am setting a new standard for myself.
It is tremendous when these friends take an interest in my passion, ask questions, and even lend constructive suggestions (after all – what are friends for?). Investigating bra-related products is great fun for me, and my friends are awaiting the reveal of my braducts. I am also loving the group of friends, who do not wear bras (aka – men), who have complimented me on the blog and follow the progress of the braduct.
A big fear of mine was that my friends and family would not accept my new venture and schedule. I was and still am treading in water, trying to find the best way to schedule my days, organize my work, and accomplish what I need to do without losing my former self. I am not always able to do something that I used to do with regularity like a mid-day walk or coffee run. Guess what? My friends are making it work! They are taking the transition in stride and adapting, and for that I say THANK YOU!
My family has also brought their own enthusiasm to the table. My mom and aunt are regular blog-readers, my cousin loans a male perspective & tons of legal translation, and even the out-of-towners are following the progress. Now, I know why it was important that I have all those family brunches serving smoked salmon (which is my least fave food) because you all have my back now. Although – every day is not easy with my boys. This week’s snow day brought tears to my 7 year old’s eyes when I had to leave for a quick meeting. We made evereything right over a hot chocolate with mini-marshmallows date, but I can see that it is always going to be a constant balancing act.
If you are jumping in and changing gears, starting a mompreneur venture, or expanding a current one…my advice to you is HONESTY is the best bet when it comes to friends and family. Schedule a little time with your key advisors/friends and explain your anxiety. If you are HONEST about your fears and trepidations, your friends and fam are your best allies. That is what I did, and it is working out well.
P.S. I can now also be found writing a behind the scenes look at becoming a mompreneur at http://www.startupnation.com/– this is very exciting & nail-biting for me! I shared this news with a good friend last week and she insisted on a glass of champagne to celebrate! I am going to pay it forward for a LONG time.