A Mother and Entrepreneur Who Faces Conflict Head on
and with Uncompromising Principles
on GROWING FROM UNCOMFORTABLE CHALLENGES:
"I think I’ve always sought experiences that put me out of my comfort zone because I knew the challenge would eventually make me grow. I would quake in my boots all the way until I got there, feel extremely uncomfortable for the first few days (or weeks, depending on the length of the experience), and then something would shift inside me. I’d learn about my new environment and accept it as a place of growth.
Probably the best example of this is when I went to Northern Thailand (Chiang Rai) to teach English in 2008. I had just gone through some big changes in my life. I’d recently gone through a breakup and I knew I needed to reset and focus on myself. I had just read “Eat, Pray, Love” and felt inspired to go soul searching. I didn’t know exactly what this experience would be like and I was extremely nervous about it. But, I did know, that no matter what, I would learn something from it. And I did. I learned about being alone and getting to know myself on a deeper level, being present, and above all to keep an open mind about people and experiences."
"I WOULD QUAKE IN MY BOOTS ALL THE WAY UNTIL I WOULD GET THERE (...) AND THEN SOMETHING WOULD SHIFT INSIDE ME."
on STRUGGLING TO DO IT ALL AS A WORKING MOM:
"One of the hardest things for me right now probably sounds very cliché coming from a working mom, but it’s true. I’ve got a part-time job, I’m working on a startup, and I’m raising two very small children (and trying to keep the house in order). I’m constantly juggling how to allocate my time and often feel like there is never enough time for any of it. I feel a lot of pressure to bring in some money, while being there for my kids, and also move my career forward with this startup. In between all of this, it’s important I find some time for my husband and for myself. It’s just a very busy time in my life, and finding the balance is a real challenge I struggle with every day."
On Making Tough Decisions to Find Better Opportunities:
"When I lived in London, I worked in a small media company for 10 months and was laid off at the end. My boss simply never understood how to define my role there and I wasn’t advanced enough in my career to define it myself. That was a huge blow to my ego. I felt like all my friends were progressing with their careers and mine was at a complete standstill. To make matters worse, I then took what seemed like a very promising job at a social media company, and within two weeks walked out the door. The company was run by people in their early twenties who somehow made me very nervous. Taking the tube to that job in the morning was an awful experience. I would be more and more anxious the closer I got to my stop. In the end, I was called into the HR office (after two weeks!) for making a silly mistake. I knew then and there that I couldn’t put up with this awful environment another minute and sent in my resignation that night.
This experience taught me to never judge anything by its appearance. Yes, it sounded great to work in a very cool company, but from that moment on, I made sure to investigate whether I liked working with the people first and if the actual job description would be something I would enjoy.
Finding myself out of a job again was a very low moment for me. Eventually, the perfect job did come my way. I saw the job recommended to me on LinkedIn. I started filling the very lengthy application and at one point wondered if it was worth spending so much time on an application that would disappear into the ether. Well, it led to a job that really moved me forward. You really never know where your next opportunity may come from."
The courage to stand up for herself:
"I hate confronting people when things don’t feel right to me and to be able to stand up for myself takes a lot of courage.
Very recently, I’ve had to step up to the plate and be brave twice. Once in a more personal setting and the other in the professional world. I won’t go into any more detail, but in both instances, I had to confront and be brave. It was very hard leading up to it, but once I spoke the truth and said what I had to say, I felt much lighter. Now, I’m no longer in the business of pretending."
On getting it all out there:
"I tend to let things bubble up in my head until it explodes. I’ve learned recently that if something comes up, don't be afraid of expressing it, even if the truth hurts. Sometimes conflict is necessary to make progress."
"if something comes up, don't be afraid of expressing it, even if the truth hurts. Sometimes conflict is necessary to make progress."
Her biggest fear as a mother and working woman:
"Currently my biggest fear, aside from the well-being and the safety of my family, is not being able to find a balance between my work life and my home life. I know that I can easily get overwhelmed when that balance is not found. I want to be a good mother first and foremost, but I also need to stay active in the work world to some degree for my sanity and for financial reasons. Finding that balance is a huge challenge for me."
What people do not know about her:
"I’m a very nice person, but I guess there’s also a hard edge to me. Under the sweetness, there’s a woman with uncompromising principles."
What people love about her:
"I’ve been complimented by some friends who do not yet have children that I’ve done a good job at staying true to myself after becoming a mother. Becoming a mother never changed who I am at my core. It has added several layers to my life, and although it's made it harder to do all the things I loved doing before, it doesn’t mean I don’t still try to do them. Just because I’m now a mom, doesn’t mean I still don’t enjoy having some fun!"