Fiascos and small Triumphs of Mom CEO
Launching and running a successful new company consumes a founder’s resources of time and energy (both mental and physical). Doing so as a mother of three school-age children will test the limits of even the most organized and efficient of us. Doing so during the holidays. . . something is going to drop.
Where’s my son?
My youngest son has a standing playdate every Tuesday. My friend Jen picks up our boys from school at 1:30 pm and takes them to her home where she usually has them pouring soy candles or baking mochi brownies. This past Tuesday, my son’s extended day was canceled and his day ended at 12:30, while her son still had a 1:30 dismissal. (School: why do you torment us?) I *knew* this, yet slipped my mind to communicate it to her. . . fast forward to 12:45 pm when I am driving 30 minutes in the opposite direction to pick my daughter up from her school early for a dentist appointment. My phone rings and another classmate’s mom is waiting with Nolan because no one has come to pick him up. I frantically make calls to other mom friends to see if anyone is available to pick him up and hang out with him for 45 mins until Jen gets there. Jen calls me back and tells me she’ll head straight there and get him until her son is done. Mom ego bruised, but the child is in safe hands and cared for so I continue with my day feeling nothing but gratitude to those friends who graciously paused their hectic holiday preparations to help me out.
Nolan at preschool
Where’s my Phone?
Wednesday, I had phone calls and meetings all morning and had about 20 minutes before school pick up. I create a voice memo list as I drove to Costco determined to grab the items and be on time for pick-up. I miraculously slid into a parking spot and ran inside, grabbed my items and ran back out. Time check? Erm. . . where’s my phone? After several frantic pat-downs I realized I had no phone on my body. Dumping my mom bag on my car seat did not reveal a phone either. With a sinking feeling, I knew it must be somewhere in the Costco if someone had not already walked out with it. I bolt back inside quickly explaining the situation to the greeter at the door. “What kind of phone is it?” he asked me. “An i-phone X” I replied. He just shook his head with a “yeah, good luck getting THAT back. “ expression. Desperately I skidded into customer service inquiring about my phone and there it was. Some wonderful soul had found it and turned it into customer service. I walked out of the building full of gratitude to the kind person who had found the phone and then walked it to customer service.
Where’s my Wallet?
Thursday: meeting with a vendor, call with the marketing team, conversation with photographer, left me with 30 minutes to find a hostess gift for that evening’s holiday party. I brave holiday mall traffic and parking nightmares and glide into the store. I quickly find the perfect platter for my friend and pat myself on the back as I make my way to the cashier. I strike up a conversation with the friendly woman behind me on the queue. I hand the platter to the employee and reach into my bag for my non-existent wallet. I had grabbed the wrong bag on my way out the door. Returning to the mall with my wallet was not an option. I was about to abandon the platter when the friendly woman behind me said, “If you want, I can pay for it with my card and you can just PayPal me. “ My gratitude meter skyrocketed at this stranger’s offer for this non-essential item. Her kindness was even more amplified as I had zero phone signal inside the store and had to leave to reimburse her.
Finding Joy from Random Acts of Kindness
The thing is, before launching Verma, not a single one of these things had ever happened to me let alone all three on consecutive days on top of that. There’s no doubt the universe was telling me something. As women and especially as moms, we somehow receive the messaging that we need to do it all. . . on our own. . . perfectly. Once I added entrepreneur into the mix, I simply had to let go of any facade of having it all “together” and in return, it opened me up to receiving help and experiencing the generosity of friends and strangers. To say it has been heartwarming to receive this sort of caring from my community would be an understatement. It’s amazing how starting a company has in its twisty turning way made me more aware of the goodness and kindness of people. Happy Holidays!