Hello everyone! I've founded a community forum called Mommy Founders with Christie. It'll be a place totally dedicated to being a woman founder and mother. My first post was announcing our pregnancy with our first child - and well, with the timing of it all (being a CEO of a startup, being half way through a prestigious accelerator program, ...), I wrote about that. READ MORE HERE.
Timing is key for open dialogue.
The topic is luckily very timely. While in start-up land, our brains and hearts are completely in the trenches of warfare fighting for our startup company. It's not very often we get to peek up and see what else is going on in the world. I do scan Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook for my bit of news with the world - my husband is also a really great filter for what I should know about. What I do know from my light scanning of the news is that women, women in technology and startups, mothers in the workplace and mothers in tech companies is a topic that is on the top of many minds today. So, that is why I say this topic is serendipitously timely, too.
Why are we doing this?
We feel that by sharing our journey in starting a company from scratch, as 2 women, who work in startups and tech, who are mothers (or soon-to-be mothers), we have a very big opportunity to share our journey. By being transparent and having a conversation with others about the journey, we know that we con find some great solutions to creating a productive and supportive environment. Not just for certain women, but all women. Not just for the women, but all employees. Not just for employees, but for business too. Through conversation and through community, that is what we are here to do as @MommyFounders.
Criticisms of the name @MommyFounders:
Speaking of which, I've had a few women already approach me and say, "Why the word Mommy? Aren't you a woman first? Weren't you an entrepreneur and founder first? Why does the word Mommy in first position?" The first time someone asked, I walked away with question marks floating around my head. Hmm. Interesting. Perhaps it'd be better as @FounderMommy? To us, the word "Mommy" is the adjective that goes with "Founder", the noun. Maybe you can look at it to mean we're the "Mommy" to both a human child and a fledgling startup company. It certainly feels that way. Many mothers have more than one child, many fathers and parents do too. Maybe we believe that the word "Mommy" has appeal to all people - it has a non-threatening feel to it. "Mommy" is endearing, warm, comfortable, embracing, loving, supportive, strong, and the place where life starts in so many ways, for so many people. She's universal. "Mommy" is human in every way. As much of a pro-woman feminist I am, I think that maybe it's time women also feel comfortable to embrace the traditional. "Mommy" is a beautiful, strong, universal name. Why not? Why not embrace "Mommy"?
... I wrote this post... twice... and it for some reason has had trouble saving. [So to be honest, I'm writing again a third time, but now am just going to upload whatever comes to mind instead of trying to rewrite the post.] Sometimes, the world is telling you that is was not meant to be.
Along those lines, what is meant to be anyways? Sometimes, despite ourselves, things have a magical way of finding their path into existence. You mess up, you try and will it away, it doesn't seem like it would be, but it is.
Now about 6 weeks into the 500 Startups program, it's been an emotional roller coaster. What startup journey isn't? Now about a year after we incorporated, we're taking the time to reframe and rebuild pieces of the business in terms of culture, processes, all the fundamentals that'll help us move faster in the long run. We've had to make some really tough decisions. I mostly feel like my body isn't my own and I'm the "ass" on behalf of the company. The deliverer of tough news and feedback. The one to punch the wall down with my bare fists sometimes so we can go through. Having so many of those uncomfortable conversations a normal human would go shrinking into the corner at... here we are, taking them on, head on. Each week, we're getting better and stronger. This week, I think we actually broke through the darkness and I see the glimmer of light ahead.
Into the light we go. Appreciate that you are cheering us on.
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