In love with Mompreneurs

standard February 11, 2010 1 response

As one of my responsibilities at the paper I had to write a monthly column. Way back when I started the topic was left up to me. At a complete loss for inspiration I came up with the only idea that seemed feasible long term. I decided I’d do a column featuring local mompreneurs.

We’re in Silicon Valley. Mom entrepreneurs are not hard to find out here. I figured I’d easily be able to find someone to interview every month. Even better, interviews make for relatively simple articles to write. A win win situation in my opinion.

Little did I know that I had stumbled onto something that would quickly become my favorite part of the job.

Every month I find myself thrilled to be interviewing a new mompreneur. So far I’ve talked to moms who have created all sorts of businesses – a nanny service for kids with special needs, an indoor birthday party venue, a hand painted decoration tile company – and each conversation has been fun. It hasn’t felt like work. It’s just felt like I was meeting new friends.

I’m no longer managing the paper, but I have held on to my column, because the sheer thought of giving it up made me sad. What can I say? Interviewing moms who have created their own business is one of the highlights of my month.

Each of these women has one thing in common: passion for the business they’ve created from the ground up. It comes through loud and clear over the phone. They’re tired because they pour all their time into their business, but they’re excited and happy. It’s contagious.

I start each call with a simple prompt. “Tell me your story.” And as they do I get pulled in. Before the end of the story I’m hooked. I brainstorm ideas, offer commiseration and congratulations, and by the time I’ve hung up I feel invested in their success. Even better, I’m high on the knowledge that against all odds people can build their dreams out of nothing.

Sunday Scribblings – Interview

standard November 9, 2009 1 response

When I started working at Parenting on the Peninsula back in June, I knew that on top of my editorial responsibilities I would also be required to submit a monthly article. At first I had no clue what to write. I started with a piece about kite flying. Then I somehow managed to skip a month, followed by a short filler piece about something we were launching.

And I drew a blank. Between the editing and the brainstorming of articles for other writers, I couldn’t think of a single thing I wanted to write myself.

Which is when I had a brilliant idea.

Mompreneurs.

Everywhere I went I was surrounded with brilliant, motivated, awesome moms who had acted on their ideas and passions to start companies. I figured it would be fun to interview a few of them to see if their stories might make compelling articles.

I had no idea how much I would enjoy it.

It’s no secret that people love to talk about themselves, but when they’re talking about their baby, their creation, there’s a whole other level of excitement that comes through. And yet, they don’t always know where to start or what to share. I get a thrill out of helping them tease out the great elements of their stories.

I have a few questions that I start with, just to get them talking, and I try to keep my ears open for the gems that will make the article sing. It’s a hunt of sorts. And yet it just feels like a great conversation. Even better, after all that the article basically writes itself.

It’s fun, and I love the whole process, but nothing beats hearing from the Mompreneur after they see the published article. I have yet to hear from one who wasn’t utterly delighted with the finished piece. I get an extra thrill from knowing that I’m the one who made them that happy.


This post was inspired by the Sunday Scribblings prompt “Interview.” Be sure to head on over to discover other great posts.

Starting a New Chapter

standard October 26, 2009 10 responses

For a little over a year I’ve worked from home. I got up when the girls dictated, but we left the house when we were good and ready to start our days. Sometimes it was at 9, sometimes closer to 10. Trust me, it was rarely, if ever, before 8:30.

I have loved the low key, mellow side to working for myself. I have loved being able to go for a run on the mornings I feel antsy, calling a friend for a last minute lunch or coffee date, being able to dash out to run errands or do a little shopping. I’ve become a regular at the Starbucks near the girls’ daycare because it’s where I do some of my best work. And I have relished being in charge of my schedule and my days. I knew what needed to be done and when it needed to be done by. I managed my to do list in function of my family and my life.

But best of all, I have loved being able to answer “I’m a freelance writer” when people asked me what I did for a living. 14 months into it and I still get a thrill when I present myself as a writer.

Despite all that, tomorrow morning I’m going to roll out of bed before 7, dress the girls well before they are used to being dressed, and I’m going to drop them off at daycare over an hour earlier than usual. Then I’m going to point my car in the opposite direction from my favorite Starbucks, my running route, or my home, and I’m going to take myself to my new job.

In an office.

I’ll be there five days a week, part time. I’ll have to wear ‘real’ clothes – read ‘not yoga pants.’ I’ll be part of a team, a really, really great team. And I’ll be mostly working on things that have nothing to do with writing.

It would be lying to say that I don’t have very mixed feelings about starting this new chapter of my life. On the one hand I’m very excited to be doing something new and to once again have co-workers. My last team has left me scarred in ways that I’m still discovering and I’m thrilled to get a chance to work with a functional and supportive group of people. On the other hand, I’m loath to let go of my “I’m a freelance writer in charge of my own schedule” freedom.

All week I have been having severe anxiety about this new development, but I’ve been working hard to talk myself down. I’m still going to be the person I’ve been this past year. I’m still going to be a writer. I’m still going to be me.

I’ll just be better dressed and a little less caffeinated.

Hats off to all the work from home moms and dads.

standard March 7, 2009 4 responses

Between all the coughing, runny noses, lack of sleep, and cranky children it’s been a very, very long week. Friday 6pm just couldn’t roll around fast enough for me.

But frankly, I think I’ve whined more than enough this week. So instead, I’m just going to say this:

Hats off to all you work from home moms and dads.

Seriously. I was home with my kids three days this week. I got virtually nothing done. Zip, nada, zilch, bupkiss. I sent a couple emails, wrote a few blog posts, but aside from that my to do list just tormented me. Every time I tried to sit and write or even think about what needed to get done I was interrupted by an urgent request for water, glue, snacks, coloring pages, crayons, or by a indignant howl from one of the girls.

For the most part my kids play pretty nicely together, and yes, they are very young, but still, I don’t know how work from home parents do it. It must take some insane amount of organization and self discipline to be able to get anything done, and maybe the ability to function on very little sleep. Between housework and caring for kids it’s hard to string together a coherent thought let alone a coherent sentence.

So I bow low to you all who do it all on a daily basis. You are truly an inspiration. I promise that next time I feel like whining about how hard it is to concentrate in a busy coffee shop I’ll stop and remember this week, then I’ll have an extra shot of espresso in your honor.