Happy Mother’s day to all of our Pinnovate Mama’s today!
I’ve used this analogy a few times this year, and as year 2 comes around the bend, I can’t help but get nostalgic, especially on Mother’s Day. The truth is when we came up with the concept of Pinnovate, we were toying with the idea of adding a 4th little one to our awesome family. What happened was we opened this business and it mirrored my journey as a mother in more ways than I had imagined. I didn’t really plan it out or think it through, thank god, but the up’s, the down’s the challenges, and the similarities are uncanny.
I had an idea, signed a lease, and had never owned a business; I talked my husband into it (with our family it was the other way around), and that was it, away we went with the next chapter of our lives!
Pinnovate did start with 9 months of build-out, no joke! The anticipation, never ending conversation about what we’d name it and reading endless books from experts who’d done it before us! The odd friend who thought we were crazy, countered with others telling us we’d be okay after a few years and were thrilled for us! We were blessed to have many business people around us in our personal lives who would give us the hard truth, like parents do about their children, but at the end of it they would beam about their entrepreneurial journey and say they wouldn’t change it for the world!
Then on June 27th, 2017, she opened. Yes, Pinnovate is a she, like all of the ladies who’s backs she has been built on; damn straight she’s a girl! She was beautiful, bright and shiny, and pretty and everything we had hoped for. People loved her masculine name and her website and her fun yellow shade … It really was a magical time! Our family came, our friends came, the media came, our neighbours came and reassured us that we’d be okay and shared our excitement because frankly SHE was awesome!
And just like that it began … worrying, sleepless nights, a different dynamic in our personal life, a change in our lifestyle. A first summer of no social outings, a summer of our “actual” children being raised by aunts and grandparents with my husband and I guilt ridden for trying to juggle Pinnovate, parenthood and marriage. Just like after we had children, we’d occasionally look at each other and reminisce about the good old days before we had our business. Pinnovate was exciting and lovely, but like parenthood, it was not all roses and was draining on our marriage. The first year was tough, we wanted stability, and a routine, and normalcy, and would look at other entrepreneurs who had it all together, but again, we had a newborn business and they had teenagers!
Opening any business and having the expectation or family balance is frankly unrealistic. Like being a mom, eventually you do find a groove. I did find a new normal over the past year and really begin to enjoy the journey. Again, like motherhood, I realized it takes a village to do it right and sometimes and you have to not sweat the small stuff. I began to prioritize differently, spend time with business friends at times the same way I did with my new mom friends because frankly they could relate to me differently. I realized the limited hours I had in a day, owning a business and having a family, and that my hours needed to be spent wisely and with those you really wanted to surround myself with.
As I come up to Pinnovate’s 2nd birthday, I am enjoying her more than ever, and damnit am I a proud mama! Its a nice place to be; I feel like Pinnovate got potty trained and I’m not dragging a stroller everywhere; still enjoying it, but easier in a way. This last year we won a Parent’s Choice award for most inclusive children’s facility and were once again nominated for a Calgary Small business award.
The normalcy has come, family dinners at home most nights, picking up my little ones from school again, and still running a business. It really is a wonderful Mother’s day on so many levels. We even spent 2 weeks in India with both of our moms earlier this year. A trip of lifetime which we could only take because of the tribe of ladies who’s raising Pinnovate along side us . I thank you all for allowing me to be the best Mother I can be where it counts most, at home.