We clearly have little to no shame when it comes to plugging our alma mater, Wellesley College (an all women’s college in New England). Primarily because we love the idea of empowering others, particularly women and young people, to go out on their own, face challenges head-on, and follow their dreams. True, it sounds super cliché. But, when it comes down to it, if you’re one to believe that you do only live once, why spend your life feeling trapped in the rut of doing something you don’t absolutely love?
The day my son, Arjun, was born, many things changed for me. And, these changes weren’t solely about my sudden need to deal with exploding diapers. Or, middle-of-the-night feedings and ridiculously loud crying sessions that my very supportive husband seemed much better equipped to handle at times as I lay there, practically in the fetal position, wishing the sleepy cries away with all the will I could muster at 2am. Or the fact that my protruding belly still was, um, THERE there. And, would remain THERE there for several more months. Although, I guess that doesn’t technically qualify as a change per se.
I realized that, in order to be genuinely present in my son’s life, I’d need to find a way to spend more quality time doing the things I loved. The things I had thought about doing for years. The things that had driven me to go out and get my MBA while working full-time, but that I had never had the courage or time, oddly enough, to pursue. When it came down to it, the idea of leaving Arjun for 9 hours every day at daycare, despite the fact that he’s been with the most loving Greek family, was far from being guilt-free. Or gluten-free. Or anything-free. It was hard, especially in the beginning.
Malini and I have talked at length about this desire to follow our entrepreneurial passions, to be innovative, and to empower ourselves to do what we love. In fact, it comes up in almost every conversation we have. And, we talk a lot, as you can imagine, ha! That yearning to just go for it, even though we know it’s potentially risky and that we’re headed into the unknown. It may be a motivating factor. Or not. But, it’s a relief to know that we’re coming from such a similar place. A place that drives us to be better…and do better. And, want even more out of an already fulfilling and wonderful life.
When I think about other so-called mompreneurs out there, and women entrepreneurs in general, I imagine they’re often going through the same internal thought processes, the same experiences. It’s amazing how this whole seemingly glamorous “starting up” thing can be so exciting, daunting, and exhausting all at the same time. Especially when you have children. And, even more so when you also work full-time and need to spend evenings and weekends focusing on your side job. Following that passion. Of course, since we’ve invested our own capital in this, there are the financial risks as well. Not to mention the possibility that the venture may not be as successful as expected. Will we actually sell books?! Ahhhhh. Fortunately, we’ve found comfort in a handful of communities and networks that allow women who’ve either started businesses from the ground up or who are in the process of doing so to connect and share information. That knowledge transfer is so critical.
Anyway, this is all to say that we’re truly grateful to Project Eve, in particular. Project Eve is a fabulous website geared towards supporting and guiding women in business. If you’re looking for practical solutions, or mere inspiration, I recommend that you browse through their resources. We actually recently submitted the 2Lokas start-up story, which they picked up and featured in their Starting Over section. We’re honored to be mentioned among such an amazingly talented group of innovative, bright, and driven women, many of whom are leading their own entrepreneurial endeavors. And, with great success!
For those interested, here’s a link to our Q&A. =)