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Showing posts from 2021

Startup Day 177

"Take a break." That's what a few trusted advisers have said.  "Enjoy this time with your kids and family."  "Use this time to dream big and think about the future." As an entrepreneur, it's really hard to turn off the hustle mentality. There's always one more person to email and one more follow-up call to make. Something I've learned, however, is that the work WILL wait. When I return January 3rd, there'll be work to do and I'll be better at that work for having stepped away for a vacation. So I'm signing off (at least from the startup updates) for 2021 to take a break. :)

becoming my mother

This morning began with a bus chase. Literally, we chased the kids' bus. As often happens, the one morning we're running a minute late, the bus comes a minute early and, just like that, the kids miss the bus.  Or do they?  My daughter said she saw the bus driving down the road. Taking her at her word, I continued in the direction the bus would be going and, lo and behold, there it was! We caught up with it at the next stop and my two kids sprang into action, jumping out of the car and running up to the bus. Now, truth be told, this wasn't the first time this has happened to my kids. They sprang into action because they've done this before. 😅 Furthermore, I knew just what to do because this happened to me when I was a child. I have fond(?) memories of my mother chasing down our bus and shooing us out of the minivan at the next bus stop. Given that I have such a wonderful mom, becoming my mother is usually a good thing. Earlier this week, my son was supposed to wear holi

Startup Day 149: Thanksgiving Edition

Keeping it real here, folks. With family in town, this is my office setup. Note the ironing board "desk" wedged between the closet and bed. I even finagled some "ambience" with my lamp. All the same, it suits the purpose and allows me to get some work done before unplugging for family time.

Startup Day 148

Until a couple weeks ago, I was like a dog chasing its tail. I was thinking of pivoting from a private pay model to a Third Party Payer model, replete with Channel Partners plus Users. That yielded three significant stakeholders that left my head spinning and progress impeded. Thankfully, an adviser who's been on this journey with me asked, "do you have evidence that the private pay model doesn't work?" Hmm, no, not really. He was right to ask the question and urge me to consider how to prove or disprove that model. So now I'm hunkering down for a more strategic approach to the private pay model, measuring impact and adjusting when necessary. I'm grateful for those who walk alongside me and have perspective to see things I overlook.

Startup Day 134

I've finally created a website  and am now deep into creating a contact form, integrating with my Airtable database, and negotiating a downgrade with my hosting provider because I thought  I was getting domain privacy protection. (Note: the US government has disabled privacy for .us domains.) In short, it's unglamorous and unexciting but also stuff that's got to get done. I'm looking forward to when I can do more of the fun stuff like working directly with parents. We've also just launched a free membership to make it easier for parents to join us. Check out the options here .

Startup Day 128

I began today thinking, "I've been at this for a THIRD of a year and I'm still struggling with product/market fit!" Then I read this gem from Rahul Vohra, founder and CEO of Superhuman. "Investors advising early-stage teams should avoid pushing for growth ahead of product/market fit. As an industry, we all know that this ends in disaster, yet the pressure for premature growth is still all too common. Startups need time and space to find their fit and launch the right way." It's better to engage in this struggle now rather than when I've grown something that doesn't really fit the market. To read Vohra's full post, click here .

Startup Day 119

Something I'm wrestling with is what working as a founder looks like. I spoke with an investor last week who recalls 80 hour workweeks when she launched her startup. Then she referenced the transient stage of young children like mine. Was she implying I ought not go all-out in this phase of parenting?  Then faith kicks in and God nudges me to seek Him for the next step to take. Sure, I need to envision what 3- and 5-year plans for the business look like but the reality is in His hands. It's easy to get caught up in what others think and what the future holds. It's a lot harder, for me at least, to remain grounded in the here and now. It's harder for me to be faithful to using this  day for God's glory and for good and to avoid living in the future. There's a lot wrapped up in this struggle but it's a good one for me to engage in. It would be easy to tread the path of the workaholic founder aiming for all the investment and all the business glory and entirely

Startup Day 109

It's been 109 Days since empowered together's pilot launched. Community members have remained and activity has dropped off. Since we're all parents of school-age kids, that drop-off could be due to the start of the school year. It could also be due to lack of interest. I'm trying to get the pulse on that. I'm at an inflection point around purpose/vision and growth. Do I a) continue bootstrapping a peer-led, curated social community OR b) prepare to raise investment for a community + care support + referrals + clinical care? Parents benefit from community; we'd also benefit from having our to-do lists shortened which means someone else doing the legwork of coordinating our child's care so we get more quality time with our kids and to actually enjoy  life. I'm stuck in an either/or framework; I'm viewing outside investment as the path to b. Perhaps, however, I could bootstrap to b. From here on out, I'll be documenting this startup journey periodic

another new journey

What do you do when your job future looks uncertain? Worry? Escape to a good book? Start knocking on doors to see what opens up? In April 2020 I took the latter path. I learned that my job at a nonprofit was going to change in July but didn't know much more than that. Here's the month-by-month journey I've been on since then. APRIL 2020 Faced with job uncertainty, I applied to INVANTI's Founder Studio .  MAY/JUNE/JULY 2020 I joined the Founder Studio and spent three months researching passion areas that also presented compelling opportunities. These included the disparity of teachers of color, therapeutic benefits of getting kids with autism into the outdoors, and peer-led groups for mental health. The passion that kept coming back to me was providing support to parents of children with special needs. AUGUST 2020 I started a new role at the nonprofit with significantly more responsibility and less time to pursue my startup dreams. SEPTEMBER/NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2020 In S