I started my business without a plan. OK, that’s not completely true. My only plans were to make enough money to support myself and my family and to be as available as I could be for my daughter.
For the most part that has meant setting a work schedule around my little girl’s school, homework and extra-curricular activities. It has meant having the freedom to chaperone her class field trips, help at school parties, volunteer every week during her library class, co-lead her Girl Scout meetings, watch her at dance class and more.
As a mompreneur, I want my daughter to know that I am a strong, independent business woman, but I am her mom first and foremost. Growing up I never knew the feeling of being first. My mom worked all the time. Birthday celebrations were postponed or forgotten because overtime was offered. My dad, if he remembered at all, sent a check. I came in last place after all my parents’ other responsibilities.
I vowed early on to be a different parent. Because more than any amount of money, these precious moments with my daughter are the things that matter most to me.
As I sat with a new client recently, he asked me if I planned to hire employees. “I don’t know. I’m in a great place in that I don’t need any additional clients. Plus, I survived two layoffs and would not want to hire people only to let them go,” I said.
If it were a movie, that moment would have foreshadowed the rest of my week as it served as a precursor to back-to-back meetings and a seemingly unending supply of projects. I have gotten used to the natural ebb and flow of public relations tasks since launching my business three years ago. Some days, weeks and months are busier than others.
Yet, somehow my workload felt different. Not unmanageable, just a bit different.
My week ended with a heads up about an RFP for a project larger than anything I have ever worked on. Would I want to work on it? Sure. Could I do it and maintain a schedule of sorts around my daughter and her activities? Not likely.
Three years in, my plans are morphing, whether I like it or not. I’m having growing pains. Do I maintain the current momentum – or bite the bullet and hire a team?
The prospect of growth is equal parts exciting and frightening, all at once. A wise person once told me I’m as afraid of failure as I am success. I know that’s true and my fear is causing me to be perhaps more contemplative than necessary. The old “you never know unless you try” keeps running through my head. Following close behind are visions of my daughter’s disappointed face because I missed my volunteer slot at the library.
More than anything, I want to be a good mom. I want my daughter to know I’m here for her. Not just saying it, but by being here.
I thought that writing this blog would in some way guide my decision, a written list of pros and cons, if you will. Instead I’m left with more questions, worry and uncertainty.
Maybe it’s like they say, nothing worth having comes easy.