Thursday, July 24, 2008
I'm feeling humbled. I launched SavvyAuntie.com exactly two weeks ago, and I have already been asked by reporters, bloggers and women entrepreneurs, for advice on how I did it.
Advice on how to start a company. From me. It's truly amazing that I have come this far.
People seem to love my 20 Tips for the New Entrepreneur post from a few weeks back, and believe that I inspire other entrepreneurs and small business owners. But they always want more. And so I dug a little deeper within myself and my life to find what may be an answer.
First of all, here's a little secret of how I have managed to turn my life around in just one year. I deeply, profoundly knew that something big was going to happen in my life. Former colleagues told me it would. Friends told me it would. Family always made me feel like I could do anything. Specifically, it was my mom who always made me feel incredibly special. So all of that support propelled me to believe in myself.
My mom passed away close to 20 years ago. We were very close - bosom buddies of sorts. While I did not know her as an adult (I was just 19 when she passed), I can look back on our life together and clearly see how much she believed in me.
I launched SavvyAuntie.com on July 9, 2008, 1:00PM EST. And while I had been looking forward to this date and time for a year, when it was finally arriving, I was petrified. I wasn't scared about the success of the site as much as I was the new turn my life would take. And perhaps scared is the wrong word. I felt alone at a threshold, not knowing what was on the other side.
I think about my mom often. Not every day. It's been two decades and as much as I loved - and love - my mother, I can't possibly think about her every day. But the morning I launched.... boy, did I miss her. I would imagine it's the way you miss your mother on your wedding day. Or on the day you give birth. When your life changes, you not only want your mom there to experience it with you, you want your mom there to hold on to you. Give you advice. Cheer you on. Tell you that you can do it!
At about 12:30PM on that day, I put up a Facebook status that read: "Someone please hold my hand." But there was no one there to hold my hand. Not that you all weren't "there." I know you were. SavvyAuntie was the most Tweeted word that day. Emails were pouring in. Flowers were arriving. There were IMs, txts and phone calls. You were there, dear Readers. You were there.
But my mom wasn't.
I thought of my mom in that same profound way the day my nephew was born. The first time I saw him, his dad was holding him against his chest. My mother's grandson was born. Her legacy continued. Parts of her DNA and her good soul were now present in this little boy.
I don't know if my brother knows this... but I made a vow to love this little boy for my mother as well as myself. I made a vow to give him the love of two women, Auntie and Bibi (as she would have been called). It wasn't fair that he would be cheated out of having her. And it certainly wasn't fair that she would never experience holding him.
On July 9, 2008, 1:00PM EST, I gave birth to my first "baby." I don't mean to compare this website to a real, human, miracle of a baby. But still. For me. I deeply, profoundly, knew that my 'something big' had just happened.
My mom wasn't there. But it was her belief in me and love for me that gave me the courage to start this company in the first place.
No wonder I felt a little tug at my hand.