I had an interesting exchange with Wendy Piersall today. I made a comment on her article, “10 Social Media Blunders” (see link below) and I guess it wasn’t so much that the exchange was interesting as the thoughts I had surrounded it were. You see, I don’t think I am alone in my feeling of isolation upon really entering the bloggers world. Blogging gives the Web a voice, I like that but like all things you read you can read into them further and farther than you would ever want. I read through comments, discussions and posts and think, “Who are these people and how are they so brilliant?” also I think, why are they so rude about rules I know nothing about? ” I have not been banned or shunned but you can tell reading their written voices that if you don’t have the right words and phrases, much less know what they mean, you are on the outside of the bloggers social circle. Feels like high school but then again I have yet to meet the Emily Post of the WWW. However, as close as you can come from what I have seen is Wendy Piersall. I like her, I like how she writes, you feel like she cares. She is like the prom queen in highschool, the good kind, who smiles and leads her fellow classmates to social safety. I know Wendy may not like being compared to a high school prom queen, she is gorgeous from her photos and all, but come on she is a multi-tasking social media entreprenuer, who cares if she has a crown? Anyway, undaunted I continue to figure out this whole social media thing, if only to champion those flitting around on the outside like the little Robin Red Breast that taps on my window every morning. I’m not kidding about this . . . she (or he, how do you tell?) sits on the ledge outside my window and hassince the spring thaw started (no end in site after yesterday’s snow storm) and taps. Even my dogs, which I have one less of since Lucky, but you’ve already read that) have quit barking so used to her daily ritual they’ve become. Perhaps, she has a message for me, being on the outside and all, perhaps a living analogy. Perhaps I’ve been online too long!
I had a choice, build a company or die.
I was laid off during what has come to be known as the dot com era. My husband was a police officer and basically only worked to keep us well insured. My income was primary. I was lucky to have 15 years experience and a skill which was convertible into a business. Some of you reading this had to get more creative to come up with a product or service to sell. My livelihood was inborn and in demand and now I had to turn it into an independent livelihood. What did I do? What did we all do? We started a business.
What makes the difference between a successful business and one that you pour years, money, your soul and your family’s soul into only to have to give up in 2-7 years? Why do some people work like you do, out of your garage, basement or dining room, and end up million billionaires, while you end up losing your house?
Why? As much as I hate to ask why and less like to face the answers, I discovered the secret, the key, the answer while face down in the mud after losing a business I had worked heart and soul for 6 almost 7 years.
My company had its shining moments, we had a good product/service and in fact the first three years were successful, so what happened? Why? I won’t bore you with the story of those 6-7 years but the answer to those questions lies in not doing the answer I finally gleaned while face down in the mud.
One of the best things I did this week was to Get Planetary Vision for myself, my friends and my family and look with it you get membership in the Bluebird sisterhood as well! Yay for us Bluebirds!
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For 17 years I was a full-time working mom and for some reason in October I got a hare-brained idea to start my own business and work from home. Partly stress and the long commute but for some reason after all these years it was the right thing to do!
In November I was excited, in December I was so busy with Christmas I forgot about it. January 3rd I was home, alone, kids in school, 4 dogs at my feet. The first couple of days I set up my desk, the next couple of days I got up, got dressed up like I was leaving the house and sat at my desk, the next couple of days I called and emailed everyone I hadn’t had time to email, the middle two weeks of January I watched movies in my jammies, the last week of January I alternately worked and cleaned the house.
I couldn’t decide if I was depressed or if the domestic motherhood thing was really all too much and over my head. Just think of the years I spent laughing at mothers who actually stayed home and complained about “house” work when I managed a large department and came home to do “house” work.
Sufficiently humbled I was finding it hard to work, clean, let the dogs out every hour, make lunches, make dinner, run back to the school with forgotten items, keep kids uniforms clean, keep the floor clean, shovel the snow (from the largest snowfall in ten years, thanks for the timing) and help with homework.
Still with a new company to launch www.planetarystreams.com, an internet communications community which gives people their choice on what they listen to and what they watch on internet, I had to keep going. Yet I had to find a way to survive in this “stay at home” women’s world.
I decided to organize my time. I would get up work out, shower, make the kids’ lunches and breakfasts and then drive them to school on time. I would volunteer once a week at the schools. I would always have delicious, nutrious snacks prepared after school.
I tried this, am still trying this. Somehow it never all fits in or works and then I get the eviel eye from neigbor hood women who seem to have made it to school with a shower. Sure my kids hair wasn’t come and twice I forgot their lunches and more than once they were late. It is hard to get their uniforms on them, and then wash them and put them on again. Half of their uniforms were already swallowed by the washing machine black hole, along with their matching socks.
Do you know how snotty those PTA mom’s can be? My goodness, they are rude, overly organized women, who seemed to be in my face since I started. Criticizing this and that about my children, housekeeping, my dogs in their snow-filled so who cares yard! Had they been doing this all along and I was at work so I did not hear it OR was it just me.
If you couldn’t trust other moms. laboring over the same tasks, who could you trust? Why is it like that? Why are we so competitive when we could really use each other’s help. I know how hard it was to compete in a man’s world, I’ve just written a book on that, out to the editor on February 5th. But how in the world was I going to survive this snotty women’s world?
I called a friend who said, “There is nothing you can do about all those women. Forget about them, I have your back.” I said, “Really? Are you saying that no matter what they say about me you will stick up for me? NO matter what you see me do or not do you have my back? That is a pretty big committment!”
Even as I asked I wondered if that could ever happen between women. We seem to irritate each other so well . . .
She said “Yes, no matter what I’ve got your back!” And I said “Me as well! No matter what I’ve got your back!” And this from me to her is a hard promise as she is tiny, cute, organized with five kids and a gorgeous house with several businesses so women really do hate her!
So we agreed. Still . . . couldn’t figure out how to do it all. Have hosted a daily radio show at noon for years www.healthywealthywow.com and well talked to thousands of women who don’t know how to do it. Still this women thing gnawed at me.
Finally one day, still in jammies but upset with the 16 pounds i had gained since I decided to stay home, I decided to take up watercolor instead of eating. I opened the water color kit my husband gave me last last year for Christmas and started painting. I set up in my bathroom, being prone to spills, and fiddled around.
As I sat there, out of the corner of my eye, I saw the glass bluebird a friend had given me when I was down. A Bluebird of Happiness. The sun (first sun in weeks) glinted off of it and I thought of that great friend who ”had my back” dabbed my brush in blue and created a bluebird.
I then painted two and wrote underneath them. “We’ve got each others backs!”
I felt silly but gave it to my friend, the cute one who had promised she had my back! She loved it, and then because we are on the radio every day and have connection with thousands of women, we decided to create the Bluebird Sisterhood. A group of us who have each others backs . . . no matter what! And we decided that in honor of my ’work at home” depression we would share bluebirds with women like us . . . women who need a little lift, a little reminder that we are lovely just as we are. For me that means, in working in jammies with my kids late too school. The Bluebird Sisterhood means I get credit for deciding to stay at home and trying to work and make the world a better place while also trying to make my kids a nutrious meal! I get credit for that and my sisters are going to stick up for me when the snotty PTA ladies get their dander up.
What do you think? Are you one of us? We’ll get your back if you get ours . . . and we will send you a lovely bluebird watercolor from yours truly to remind you or your promise to your sisters . . . . in case you see my in my jammies in the car pool lane and are tempted to roll your eyes!