To the Moms
(Opening caveat: It’s a little ironic that writing is my passion….and yet this is my first LB post).
Welcome to the official Lakebrat Blog!
I was asked recently how long LB had been around. I used to cringe at the question because I judged myself against time since inception, which was basically when I was pregnant with my first kiddo, who is now ten.
As six, seven and eight years rolled passed, I didn’t feel like ‘start up’ applied – doesn’t that become term-limited at some point? But this had been a passion project more than a full time, all-in, Warby Parker type endeavor so I was gauging success through a somewhat skewed lens. A full-time career and three kids isn’t exactly conducive to growing a side hustle.
What made it fun was that I could dig in and develop new apparel, build a new website, attend a trade show, get small wins, etc. when it worked for me. I haven’t applied to Shark Tank or hired anyone to help with the growing parts and pieces of a small business. But the small, incremental steps along the way have yielded progress none the less.
As a small business owner, there was also a moment of validation when I interviewed with a certain governor of North Dakota. When I mentioned Lakebrat to this entrepreneurial, bet-the-family-farm businessman, I knew it was a far cry from his own experience growing – and ultimately selling – a company (to Microsoft at that). But the characterization of my net sales that year yielded a response I’ll never forget: “Oh! So you’re a micro business!”
For whatever reason, this solidified that LB was, in fact, a legitimate business. Not just a ‘start up’ that never quite went anywhere. But a business that was simply small in size and scope – which still gave it loads of potential.
And that’s where my first Mother’s Day blog comes in. I recently left a full-time job, and for the first time in my adult life, have the luxury to work at what I want to work at. As a mom, a wife and a micro-business owner.
It’s a blessing to be able to invest my most valuable commodity – my time – into the people and passion projects that bring me joy. And I know so many of you are working moms, entrepreneurs, side hustlers, doing what you can to find a little balance and a little zen in a crazy world. And I’m here to tell you, you don’t have to get it all right, all the time, or on anyone else’s timeframe.
As I write, I’m sitting on my front patio, next to a camelia (they bloom in the winter!! This is anathema to any plant in my home state of North Dakota), playing the animal guessing game with my girls and enjoying the beauty of the day to the fullest. Am I a little adrift at NOT ‘working’? Some days. I like being part of a team. Contributing, building culture, storytelling, being part of a process and something bigger. But I have a team. They are the friends and family who have contributed to my passion project over the years, through their creativity, time, feedback, enthusiasm and support. They are priceless.
Cheryl Sandberg told us to ‘Lean in.’ So I am. To the things that matter most during a time that I can’t get back. Our time is precious. The time we have with our kids is fleeting. Whatever stage or season you’re in, kids, pets, deadlines, chores, COO’ing – you’re doing great. And your passion project doesn’t have to be on the back burner forever, or a far-away goal that feels out of your grasp. It also doesn’t have to be a Fortune 100 company to be successful. Do what you love. Small steps. One breath at a time. One day at a time. Life is good. And if you need to re-center – head to the lake. It’s my happy place 😉.
Happy Mother's Day!