Anatomy of Becoming the Marketing Mom

6 months ago I started ruminating, pondering, discovering. I had a burning passion to get back to “me”. I decided I’d probably officially become a marketer again. I started forming my business in my head based on these reasons. This past Tuesday, at my first event (which really delighted me in that it turned out exactly as I wanted it to) I mentioned how quickly my business came together, really in only 4 weeks when put to action. The rsurprised and curious response prompted me to share the anatomy of my business development. 

6 months ago: Desire!

  • I have a constant realization that role modeling for my three daughters is a top job. With a 5 year old who daily ponders what she’ll be when she grows up (from “mom, just a great mom like you” to dentist to circus acrobat), I feel obligated to be true to myself to teach my children to do the same.
  • I have a burning desire to get away from the poltergeist that inhabits me from only talking to young children all day, which happens when the brain cells are only used to determine what kind of ham sandwiches to serve and intervening over fights over Littlest Pet Shops.
  • Good friends in similar life situations start to find their true raison d’etre, and pursue their own style of events and opportunities to motivate and mentor women. As they speak from their hearts, I’m reminded how much I enjoy speaking to groups and would like to follow this path too.

4 months ago: Opportunity!

  • I am reminded of what I have to offer other women when I participate in my own MLM (www.usborne.ca/kim) business meetings and share my knowledge. I realize that this market is underserviced in coaching women to real, practical broad marketing skills.
  • A gaggle of mompreneurs take interest in my notion of taking my marketing knowledge to the local streets and local entrepreneurs and ask me to “get on with it already”. They want what I’m talking about.
  • I develop two business ideas. One requires significant capital and sweat equity I don’t have. The other involves putting myself forward and embracing ‘me’ as a business offering. A few statistics searches confirms my instincts and the ruminating from ‘what’ to ‘how’ evolves.

2 months ago: Planning!

  • My family is impacted by the recession. The year of stay at home mom, without EI this third time because I worked part-time after my second daughter, has opened our eyes.
  • I realize I could work my MLM business more, as the opportunity is definitely there, but my heart is in my marketing now. I decide the Usborne Books business, as a supervisor with a team of 40, is too good to give up, and make it my goal to use it to help fund my start-up costs for my new business (mostly in the form of childcare). If I didn’t really love the books I wouldn’t bother. It is the best of both worlds.
  • My husband, out of necessity due to the changes to his job as a contracted software developer, takes on extra contracts. I agree to do my best to be super mom, and start my business development “after hours”. In our house, after hours are after all three kids are asleep. We begin making every minute count… in our work, in our family, in our relationship. Hard, but productive.
  • In an hour, (and 4 months of thinking) my 3 page marketing plan, with overview of my business idea is drafted, circulated among some respected peers for feedback. 
  • Business naming is put into process and becomes the most difficult task to date. I owe great thanks to my virtual sounding board for their patience with me in this effort which took longer than I imagined. I really couldn’t have done it without them and their time to share their thoughts!

4 weeks ago:  Action!

  • My 10p.m. – 3a.m. work schedule begins. I love sleep. But when something is fun and feels good, sleep is not a priority.
  • I hire a graphic designer to create my logo. I wanted to start the business in February, but push it back to March because reality was staring me in the face. March was still a stretch, but with a great collaboration between myself and Amy and Kerri-Lee of Meringue 3.14 (www.mmm314.com), the logo comes together easily and quickly. I have a visual image. I am a business.
  • I beg a few 8 p.m. Starbucks office hours, escaping the bedtime routine, so I can email and make calls before colleagues are in bed, to generate a list of successful, local entrepreneurs. First 6 event speakers series come together REALLY easy… a first sign that I’m on the right path.
  • Late night fine-tuning on the events and services, and Go Daddy web development (short-term plan) logs me at least 20 working hours after dark for two weeks in a row.

1.5 weeks ago: Panic!

  • 2 weeks ago my husband kindly agreed to lighten his work load the week before my first event. 1.5 weeks ago, the universe had other plans and called him away on an emergency software situation for his client in Montreal. I freak out with very little maturity and grace. But it only lasted 10 minutes because I had to make some plans amongst the panic. I’m reminded of the real marketing world already!
  • Last Monday I was interviewing a nanny, by myself… unshowered, the house was a mess, and I was unprepared, all due to the rapid departure of my husband. (Seriously, it was a 3 hour turnaround from ‘maybe’ going away to being on the plane). I was a disheveled mess, but the lovely lady and her husband seemed like saviours. She came for her first few hours on Friday. It wasn’t my plan to hire a nanny so soon, so non-income generating, but I’m an opportunist. Between her and a few others who kindly lent a few hours, I pulled off a local poster campaign, many emails, lots of ‘working the network’, and event fine-tuning.  It wasn’t what I planned, but it was more than I thought I’d manage with barely a moment to myself.
  • The house was a mess, my kind, loving 18-month baby was acting like a terrible two year old, my oldest were fighting, and I was just planning for the best. Because as a reformed perfectionist, the best I could do was just the best I could do. And I did my very best.
  • My husband comes home, with the knowledge he will have to return, for the weekend and to see me through to the event. A little breathing room gives me the opportunity to prepare for the presentation, and finish the fine details on event planning.

2 Days Ago: Open for Business!

  • In mad last minute panic, but fairly certain all is in order, I realize I have 16 people including myself, coming to our first event and I’m thrilled. I’d hoped for 10 based on the marketing activity. Some late night stealth marketing and literal driving around the neighbourhood to see who else is in business helped pull together a really decent turnout for only 10 days of marketing on next to no budget. Thrilled to have set and exceeded a goal.
  • The event was wonderful. I am inspired to continue on the inspiration and feedback of the participants. I know I’m really onto something here.

Today: Breathe! Ground! Relax!

  • Catching up on my neglected Usborne responsibilities, I let myself completely off the hook for any ‘commitments’ other than connecting to my children and meeting their needs. This is not a business building day. It is a day of reflection, which is an important marketing skill and life skill.
  • Even though my husband left on a red-eye business trip right after my event, I’m more prepared to single-mom it until he returns, now this first event is under my belt. While I’m not working, my brain is ruminating on its own about what I’m going to do to ramp up my efforts next week. I’m raising the stakes and setting my sights on 20 attendees next time.

Anatomy of a new business. Real life. Real drama. Real me.

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