Monday, August 20, 2018

Parents, I am Sharing-My Journey to Becoming an Entrepreneur!

Are you considering becoming a parent? Do you want to be able to work and stay home with your baby? Or do you want a business that has a child care facility for yo and those who work with and for  you? Me too. I am sharing my journey with you come along and let me help you think through the process of creating the life you want for you and your family.

I have always had an entrepreneur's mindset. I want to make an impact on the wold that is uniquely my own. One of the great influences on my thinking is the show Shark Tank. I watched the show not to just see what new inventions were out there but to see what and how the sharks thought. I have learned a lot over the years and understand how investor think about investing. I also noticed that most people pitching rarely have a new invention they simply have a better or different take on an already existing idea. The combination got me to thinking about what I love and am good at, and how I could use that to create my own either new or better take on an item or idea. Just getting into that mindset made me think differently. I was more alert as to what I was seeing and how it impacted people.

My first love is early childhood. I have been working with young children since the age of 13. I am especially fond of children three and younger. I worked in children's ministry for over 30 years and loved every minute of it. I was devastated when the Holy Spirit moved me on from working directly with children. When the children's pastor at our church as me how I could leave, we had a long talk about where God was taking me. Actually, it was not until after I became visually impaired and was forced to stop working with young children that I finally obeyed and started Parents, Teachers, and Advocates very soon after that conversation. A nonprofit which athis blog is based on. However, that Shark Tank idea stayed active in my mind.

So, as I began to look around and see what items where needed I naturally looked in the direction of infants and children. At first I was chomping at t he bit to come up with an idea. My friend, business coach, and mentor Jim Medlin who knows me well suggested I relax and let things just flow. Jim told me great ideas so not come in the form of stress, but in relative calm and clear level thinking. Ir rook me a while but I finally took his advice. It was about six weeks later hanging out with a girlfriend at a local restaurant when I say a mom with a new baby. I knew the baby was less than a month old because the child's cry was still the sound of a new born. Their voice had not yet gained the depth of a child used to human language. She fed him and was trying to burp him. He was squirmy, unhappy, and just being plain ornery. In the course of trying to burp him, he flayed his arms, kicked his little legs and was throwing a fit. The burp pad hit the floor twice. I felt compassion for this new mom. The baby finally burped just as the pad slipped into mom's lap and the shirt she had on was stained. Hre friend took the infant while mom went to the restroom.

My friend and I looked at each other and smiled we took a moment to pray for that new mom and her struggles. Later, I ran into her leaving and I told her to hang in thee it got easier as time went on. She smiled and thank me. Later, that evening as I was laying in bed thinking about my day. I thought of that mom and her dropping the pad. I thought there has to be a better idea for a burping pad one that would not so easily slip or fall.

It was then I realized this was my 'Shark Tank' idea. I created a prototype using fabric and ironing tape. Because I did not have a swing machine. That was 2008. I was not yet ready to take it into production. It sat in my closet for 9 years. Then last December, I was talking to a friend about being an entrepreneur and wanting to take my product to market. We began the process. First, we went through the patenting process. Then onto having several made to share the idea. Next, we found a person to make our professional pattern and sample. Who also got us in touch with a manufacturer. We are now sourcing out materials to send to them so they can be made and sold.

I am sharing this story because I want you to know the people on  the show are just like you and me. They saw a problem and came up with a way to fix it. As a parent that is simply part of your job description. If you want to change the world it has to be in an area that interests you. You can not just randomly pick something out of thin air. It takes a lot of time, patience, and money to bring something from and iea to a product to sell. It takes even more effort to get people to think it is a good idea and prop their hard earned money down to buy one. So, as I continue down this road to discover what it really means to be an entrepreneur, I want to share the journey with you. I call parenting the toughest job you will ever love and hate. If you can do that, you can do anything!
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