All week I have been feeling sorry for our 6 year old son, Hunter. Sorry in a funny way. This poor child has been sneaking around, counting his money from his piggy bank, whispering in his daddy’s ear, and suddenly running out of the room whenever I enter. He was on a MISSION: MOMMY’S MOTHER’S DAY GIFT!!! LOL!!!
More frequently, Hunter and my husband would start leaving the house together for “DUDE TIME” leaving behind my spy..Lake, our 4 year old daughter. They didn’t trust that she wouldn’t tell me what was going on…that was probably the right thing to do…LEAVE HER, LOL!! She loves me way too much, not to tell me what I wanted to know :-) I only hope she will continue this behavior when she is a teen.(not holding my breathe on that wish!) Sunday Morning was finally here! I awoke first for my “me” time , shortly after the rest of the gang was up and greeting me with HUGS and Mother’s Day Praises. It was a great morning! Hunter looked much more relaxed at this point, but then mommy changed the plan…YEP! I asked, if I could get my gifts later. Everyone was great with that, they gave me my cards and would save the rest for later. We headed off to Church, Brunch, Piedmont Park, The Sweet Auburn Festival and finally home :-) It was a wonderful Mother’s Day and a Fabulous Family Fun Day! Once home, I showered and came downstairs. I was greeting by beaming faces and my gifts :-) Yep, all I had “hinted” for was there. But the gift I wanted the most, the one that made me the happiest was staring me in the face… the gift of a loving husband and two adorable, caring children. What more could I possibly ask or hint for… then just that :-) Mission Complete & Successful: Mother’s Day 2011: AWESOME!
More frequently, Hunter and my husband would start leaving the house together for “DUDE TIME”
leaving behind my spy..Lake, our 4 year old daughter. They didn’t trust that she wouldn’t tell me what was going on…that was probably the right thing to do…LEAVE HER, LOL!! She loves me way too much, not to tell me what I wanted to know :-) I only hope she will continue this behavior when she is a teen.(not holding my breathe on that wish!)
Sunday Morning was finally here! I awoke first for my “me” time , shortly after the rest of the gang was up and greeting me with HUGS and Mother’s Day Praises. It was a great morning! Hunter looked much more relaxed at this point, but then mommy changed the plan…YEP! I asked, if I could get my gifts later. Everyone was great with that, they gave me my cards and would save the rest for later.
We headed off to Church, Brunch, Piedmont Park, The Sweet Auburn Festival and finally home :-) It was a wonderful Mother’s Day and a Fabulous Family Fun Day!
Once home, I showered and came downstairs. I was greeting by beaming faces and my gifts :-) Yep, all I had “hinted” for was there.
But the gift I wanted the most, the one that made me the happiest was staring me in the face… the gift of a loving husband and two adorable, caring children. What more could I possibly ask or hint for… then just that :-)
Mission Complete & Successful: Mother’s Day 2011: AWESOME!
I have a new love at the gym…Spinning. I was totally hooked after the first class. It’s so intense, yet so good!
The Art of Spinning
Yesterday, long after class had ended, I was thinking about spin class and thought…spinning is a lot like life. You start slow, speed up, changes are thrown your way and, before you know it, you are cruising toward the end. Let’s examine this a bit further.
At the outset, you start peddling nice and easy. Then once you are moving along at a good, comfortable pace, you’re told to add some resistance, but not too much, so you feel as if you are headed up a small hill. Now you are breathing a little heavier, feeling things start to speed up. But you can handle it. Before you know it, you’re being told to stand up. And now you’re peddling faster and adding even more resistance.
As you approach the finish line, you hear “push yourself”, “center yourself” (meaning position your bottom just above the seat without touching it). You’re really feeling the burn. Your body is soaked in sweat. And you are working overtime to keep the beat. Music thumping, heart pumping…there is no doubt you’re alive!
All that I have described is much like life—if not yours, definitely mine.
I start my day slow and in control. “Today I will be focused, organized, complete my tasks and “git ‘er done!” But then unexpected tasks, events, and just stuff pops up (i.e. added resistance) making the day more challenging, like going up an unexpected hill.
I want to stay at that comfortable, relaxed pace I set, but things change. It is in these challenging moments that I have to “center myself”. Like in spinning, being centered in life requires concentration, focus. But it certainly helps make things manageable.
This centeredness is critical, particularly when the sudden onslaught of challenges appears: someone needs this, someone needed that yesterday, this other thing had to be done hours ago, and there are still many things left to do. Business tasks, domestic tasks, “me” tasks…it all has to be done.
But as the challenges are overcome one by one, and I start to see the light at the end of the tunnel, I feel the breeze of downhill speed. Ahh, the resistance is off and I’m moving at a rate of speed that is pure enjoyment.
I feel blessed that there are so many more enjoyable downhill moments in my life. Morning workouts, brainstorming sessions with the hubby over tea, hanging out with the kids after school, evening dinners with the family, hot showers before bed and cuddling with the hubby after the kids are asleep.
Nevertheless, like spinning, its those tough hill-like challenges in between that make us feel great and allows us to appreciate the life overall. This is why we love the challenges, any why, despite my sore bottom, I’m Spinning My Life Away!
And, speaking of spinning, in case “HE” is reading…LOL, my Mother’s Day Gift Request…
Happy Mother’s Day, Moms!!
P.S. - If you are a Spinner…I found this AWESOME seat cover @ REI for that Booty Burn :-)
“How are you and the other co-founder related?” “Is ‘HE’ your husband?” “How is it to work with your husband?” These are the new questions I am always asked when I attend business-related functions with my husband and business partner.
At the Launch Conference, I was approached by a well known serial entrepreneur (whose name I will keep secret) and he said to me: So, did I hear right that you and the other co-founder are married? I replied “Yes, Sterling is my husband”. He says “Wow, that is AWESOME, and you guys seem to have really good chemistry together.” I was feeling a sense of pride to have received that compliment from such an accomplished guy.
But then, before I knew it, he blindsided me with “my ex-wife and I were business partners in my first business.” Wait..did he just say ex-wife!! Me—a look of “whoa”. Him—a look of “awwwwkwaaard”. Guess we were both caught off guard by that. LOL! Mr. Serial Entrepreneur assured me that their business dealings together had absolutely nothing to do with why “she’s is my ex-wife now”. With lots of laughter, I learned a lot from him that day.
This conversation, as amusing as it turned out to be, was filed away till later. Today must be my “later”, as I ponder on my feelings about being a business partner—an equal, if you will—with my dear hubby. Will the good times last? Can the person you sleep, and with whom you’ve shared your most intimate moments, take you seriously in a business setting? Will I someday share my “why he is my ex” story with another husband & wife startup team?
This is why I like meeting new people, especially entrepreneurs who have “been there and done that.” There is a wealth of knowledge and life experiences out there and we all have a story to share. And my ears are wide open.
Finding the Perfect Partner Isn’t Something That Just Happens
Like finding the right person to spend the rest of your life with, finding the right business partner requires identifying some of the same ingredients—CHEMISTRY being the biggest, in my opinion. There needs to be a strong mutual desire toward accomplishing the same goals. For Sterling and I, this a perfect fit. Not only because we have the same business goals, we have very similar life goals. For me that is where the “being married” part comes in handy. Being co-founders is not weird for us. We co-parent, we co-chore, we co-sleep, we co-habitate. Ok, I know those aren’t your most widely used “co” words but they do exist in our world, as they do in many of yours :-)
Running a household and raising a family is a full-time job—a business within itself. But it is something we’ve always handled together. So, when it came to running StorkBrokers, working together was not a difficult transition. It’s not always a walk in the park. We have our clashes from time to time. I want my way, he often sees things better his way. Yet as stressful as these moment can be, it is in these moments that I grow as a business partner, a woman, a wife. Why? Because new challenges that force us out of our comfort zones expand our abilities and understanding . And as a husband and wife team, these lessons learned don’t really get left at the office. Instead they permeate through all aspects of our lives. This is why adjustment is important in my world.
A spirited debate amongst a non-husband & wife team can go like this: disagreement, debate, leaving, talk to you tomorrow.
However, for a husband & wife team, disagreement leads to debate. But since we’re in the same house, we have to resolve or table the issue in order to jointly care for the kids, discuss family budgeting, split household chores, etc. And, at the end of the day, no one wants to cuddle with a grudge-holder. LOL.
So, there is no escape. Thus, you quickly learn to “suck it up” and just let things go. Too much to do, too little time to do it all. That’s just life.
Creating success begins with improving oneself
So I’m no superwoman or special person who just says “yeah, I have it all under control and I know what I’m doing”. Nope. I have a life coach, I read books, and I work at being better. Like marriage, “you” have to be worked on in order to work well and stay strong. You make mistakes, you learn from them and you re-adjust for the next time.
One of these lessons is:
Once your subconscious mind is programmed, you attract experiences and people into your life in accordance with the beliefs you hold. You actually subconsciously draw into your experience that which you hold to be true. And this can be positive or negative and can be directly in opposition to what you believe consciously. So, by changing unwanted and limiting beliefs subconsciously you can create a much fuller life.
The exercise: Create the ending you would like to have happen. If you want a peaceful ending, tell yourself that and follow through on it.
Daily chants are also very helpful. My daily chant before going into a work day with the hubby is:
I am safe to feel joy today and I will be happy in all I do. I am confident. My words will be soft and loving today. My thoughts will be creative, joyful and positive. We rock as a team!
This is me programing my subconscious. Ok, yeah, sometimes I fall down on this and a bad day or two slides in. But all in all I really enjoy being not only life partners with my husband, but business partners as well. There have been days, I want to strangle him, but there are days that I wouldn’t trade him for the world. Our relationship has grown so much just from working side by side daily, and it just keep getting better.
I know my strong and weak points, and he knows his. And, fortunately, we are opposites in this many of these areas. Thus, like Yin & Yang, we complete one another, like partners should. Reminds me what a very wise woman told me in San Francisco just a few months ago…”It takes a very smart woman to know what she’s good at, and what she’s not.” She said, she admired that in me. Thank you, Holly!
Of course, there are some happenings that only slide when your business partner is your spouse. For instance, having your business partner come to a late night status meeting (or two) in boxer shorts, no shirt, biceps glistening, and filling the room with the aroma of aftershave! I know this sounds like something to out of a bad adult flick and has sexual harassment written all over it….LOL!
I did a short stint in corporate America. But not EVER do I remember any male co-workers attending a meeting like this! But I have been out of that scene for a while. Maybe things have changed a bit. :) However, late night meetings with the hubby end on a pretty nice note ;-) Working with your spouse does have its benefits. Business partners with benefits. No blackmail, no fear of being found out, no rumors, no lawsuits and pretty darn convenient to meet. Yep, I’m really liking this partnership
So, with the launch conference behind me, I headed out the following weekend to beautiful Southern California, alone, to house hunt. That is another blog for another time. Let’s just say looking for a place to live in the L.A. area is up there with pretending to relax while the dentist is drilling—DIFFICULT! What is here today is gone tomorrow; no time to sit and ponder if the place is right for you and the family. You have to move quick or you are left out!
So, after a full day of that on Friday, I was ready to head back to Georgia. I left on Saturday morning, deciding to let the real estate agent handle this one. I know when to pass off a task and besides, I wanted to spent some time at home with the family, before heading off the very next weekend with the hubby to South By Southwest, aka SXSW, aka Spring Break for ADULTS!!!
Yay…Austin, TX here comes startup mama!! This was my first real trip to TX (I don’t count airport layovers).
Although this trip would be work-related, I knew it would be fun because everything StorkBrokers-related is FUN! No, really, it never seems like work, just GOOD TIMES with AWESOME people. I almost most feel GUILTY for enjoying my work/career/life or whatever (I said ALMOST LOL)!
So, I spent time with the kiddos, did the usual mom stuff, packed for SXSW, worked on StorkBrokers, did a little on-line house hunting, did more mom stuff and before I knew it, it was Friday! YAY!!! With the my mommy-helper set to care for the kids in our absence, I kissed the sleeping babies bye, double-checked the to-do list for my helper, gave the hubby my luggage to load and we headed off to the ATL Airport; it was still dark out as we headed down the road at 5:00 am for our flight to Texas.
Our Goal for SXSW
Spread the word about our recent launch of StorkBrokers, network with some really cool people, stay up-to-date with the latest in tech, and of course check out every and anything happening at interactive week!! We like to be in the know :-)
Ok, this usually kicks in for me on the drive to the airport before one of these trips. This is where I start to think about the kids…if I left their insurance cards, if I left enough spending money…if I told the sitter who to call in case of an emergency… if they have enough groceries, snacks, etc…if they’ll miss me.
It is at this point my dear hubby steps in and reminds me…“ya know, the instructions haven’t changed since the last trip and if she has questions we have 3 cell phones, 4 email accounts, 3 twitter accounts and facebook…NOW LET’S ROLL!!” “Um…we are rolling”, I think to myself. Hey, this is what moms do; we worry when everything is fine. We have to have at least one flaw, right? :)
On Our Way
The flight was short, sweet and pleasant. Everyone on the plane seemed to be headed to SXSW. The vibe was nice. So, with in-flight wi-fi, I did a litle web surfing, while someone else (Sterling aka the hubby) was sound asleep!
Welcome to TEXAS!
The entire Austin Airport had the smell of bar-b-que! Must be a Texas thing.
We grabbed our luggage and headed for Hertz rentals. While hubby got the keys to the car, I checked in with my mommy-helper. All was well there and here. :-)
Hubby comes back and announces: Hertz upgraded us up to a Mustang! Um…ok, I drive a mini-van and he drives an SUV daily, so this was an interesting change. I went with the flow, got out my shades and rode out with my man…it was starting to feel like our pre-kid days…young, fancy and free…LOL!
Headed to SXSW (Interactive Week)
We got checked into the Westin (which by the way, had best bed ever!), freshened up and headed out to the SXSW activities!
So many people! So much swag! So many MAC Books! TECH was everywhere…and I was in LOVE!
We got our badges and t-shirts and headed off to check out the happenings. WOW! AWESOME people, tech products, and demos at every turn.
It was the type of overwhelmed feeling you like to have. Night approached fast and after 5 hours of hanging out and checking it all out ..we grabbed some dinner and headed back to our room for some rest, so that we could get an early start on Saturday.
Into the Night
Early start…check. We headed back downtown toward the Conference Center for day 2 of SXSW! But first…we must eat. :-) Breakfast at the nearby I-HOP sounded like a plan, and it was only a block from the SXSW happenings. We were good to go! After a GREAT breakfast and short brainstroming session at I-HOP we left and headed out to the events. We also (well, Sterling) decided to just stay parked @ I-HOP. Oh, did I mention that 12,000 people were recorded as attending the SXSW Interactive, so parking was scarce. More on that later.
It was a beautiful Saturday morning, 70 degrees. Day 2 of SXSW was even better than Day We explored the gaming session. Mike Tyson’s new video game was on display, along with a lot of new hot games.
A documentary about Elmo, the puppeteer was huge. I met the HootSuite owl, who is totally hot! We also attended a few seminars that were very insightful from a business perspective.
As night was approaching it was time to check out some of the indie films that were playing. Dinner first then the movie started @ 7pm.
We decided on a film called “The City Dark” by Ian Cheney. A real eye-opener and an excellent choice: http://www.thecitydark.com/#/Trailer.
It’s not around 10pm.. A Thought hits my mind? “Hey, Babe? We should probably go check on the car we left at IHOP!” We walked the block back to IHOP only to find…NO MUSTANG!!! Yep, our good friends at IHOP had turned us in! We were now looking for a taxi and headed to the POUND! Let the GOOD TIMES ROLL!!
We retrieved the car, stopped for the best milkshakes ever, and called it a night. It was at this point that I realized I’m getting to old for all of these late night escapades…Hey, I’m 40!!
Saying Good Bye!
Sunday was now here and, having seen and learned so much at SXSW, we decided to have a brainstorming session after breakfast to discuss way to make StorkBrokers even better. It is so AWESOME to have my husband as my business partner; it makes spontaneous meetings and brainstorming sessions so convenient…at dinner, in the car, in the shower, in the bed ;-) you get the idea…LOL!
We meet some great folks, saw new advances in technology, and learned a lot from the seminars.
Oh yeah, and if you ever get your car towed in Austin, we can now direct you to the impound lot..YEAH!! It was now time to head back the GA and to my biggest fans ever! I missed my babies…and now it was time for this StartUp Mama to be mommy! But, right after I picked up some gifts for the babies at the airport gift shop! What kinda mama do you think I am…gotta grab a few trinkets! Until next time or trip. :-)
What is a Startup Mama?
A Startup: a company with a limited operating history. These companies, generally newly created
”StartUp Mama” is a mother running a newly created company :-)
-The days are long
-I am paid in hugs and kisses
-Business meetings are in bed @ 2 am with the hubby at times
And I am living in Chaotic Bliss and Loving every moment!