A couple of blog posts back I wrote about how much my grandmothers mean to me and inspire me, not just in business but in life. And with Mother's Day coming up it seemed fitting to write up a little something about my mom (and business partner).
First of all, I work with my mom at least five days a week and usually see her at least six days a week. Let that sink in a moment..... Done? No? Okay, a little more...... And I should say I did this to myself on purpose! Need another moment?
Honestly, I kid. I know many, many people could not do what we do. It would be just too much, or feel too dependent, or the dynamic just wouldn't be right no matter how much you might love one another. Sometimes love is better from a distance. Ha! But I can't imagine anyone else I would rather partner with to run a business. We trust each other; when one of us gets discouraged the other can encourage; we have complimentary skills; she gets my humor (she won't be offended about the above joke, for instance); and my mom has been one of my best friends since I was a teenager.
A good example of our partnership was basically the whole start-up phase. I was the one who casually threw out the idea of "let's do this back home!" She was the one who on the plane ride home said "so, we're doing this right?" I said "what about the money, not to mention the time investment!" And she was the one with the money. :) I just gave my time. She was the one who was brave enough to call the first landlord to check out that first space. I was the one to figure out how to design and decorate our final space. She was organized enough to keep track of vendors and create huge databases of possible toys. I was the one to do the business research and write the business plan. I was the one to come up with the first name. She was the one who came up with the final (and much better) name without openly criticizing my first idea. I was the one who was tasked with branding. She was the one who made it happen. And she was the one who would keep me going when I said I don't think I can do this.
My mom continues to encourage me every day. She is still the organized one who makes the to-do lists, pays the bills, does the visual merchandising (a super fancy term for displaying product), and cleans up the mess I leave on the table and in the back room. Every. Single. Day. (You would think after 36 years of cleaning up after me my mom would have started a chore chart. ;) ) I am the one who makes the mess, is usually scattered, and has the creative side. I buy the product, work with the sales reps, do anything computer related, and balance quickbooks. I try to keep everything up in my brain, and she makes sure to write down what comes out of my mouth.
I think we are a good team. I think we get each other. And I know this won't last forever. So, even when my brain can't hold any more and I'm starting to get tired and think we should just shut it all down, I will let my mom encourage me. And I will remind myself to remember the time we've had together creating something bigger than ourselves.
I love you, mom.