Birthday, dress up, daughterWelcome to my new column “Minette’s Mompreneur Moments.” In this weekly post here at She Is Dallas, I will be sharing the funny, the not-so-humorous and the helpful tips that I have learned in 12 years as a mom and 9 years as an award-winning business owner and entrepreneur. The truth is, it hasn’t always been pretty, but it sure has been an amazing journey! I started my business when Conner was 3 and Maggie was 1. Conner was in a Mother’s Day Out program 3 days a week but Maggie was too young. So I took her everywhere with me. Friends and colleagues were used to my beautiful little shadow, usually arrayed in pink or purple with butterfly wings and red cowboy boots (she has always picked out her own clothes and I learned early to let her. This was not a battle I needed to fight or win.) She was used to meeting new people and going places with me. Since I worked from my home, I would often meet potential clients at Starbucks, or if they had kids too we might meet at a McDonald’s play place. If I knew Maggie was joining me, I would always be honest with the person, I am bringing my 3-year-old with me, if that’s a problem, let me know and we can reschedule. No one ever said no unless it was not a child-friendly office and they were usually flexible about location and times. Remember, I own a parenting magazine, so most of my clients were in a kid-related business anyway. I am not an attorney or accountant or psychologist. I created my business to fit my life, and I loved it that way. One particular meeting, I had agreed to meet a prospective client at a local Starbuck’s in Plano. I told her Maggie would be joining us. Maggie loved going to Starbuck’s, she always got a cookie and a chocolate milk, treats we don’t normally keep around the house. Fortunately, Starbuck’s was quiet that morning, it was around 10am and most of the morning traffic had come and gone. So I let Maggie roam a bit, keeping her in the corner of my eye as I got to know the prospect and tried to make a sale. Suddenly, a flash of color caught my eye. I looked over to see Maggie standing on top of one of the round wooden side tables, dancing and holding her dress over the top of her head, her full diaper hanging out for the whole world to see. She was giggling, happy and so proud of herself for getting on top of the table. Of course, I was mortified, terrified she was going to fall off and trying not to make a fool of myself in front of this prospect by shouting at my daughter to get DOWN OFF THAT TABLE RIGHT NOW. I calmly excused myself, lifted her gently off the table and asked her not to climb again but to come and sit with me and my prospect. Fortunately she did sit just long enough for me to make the sale and have a good laugh with the prospect, who happened to be an understanding mom! The point of this story is to not be embarrassed by our children when they are just being themselves but to enjoy their freedom and their joy. Now if she had been screaming and running through the store, I would have excused myself, rescheduled the appointment and taken her home, but she wasn’t. I took a deep breath, took care of the situation in the moment and moved on. I had a great story to share with friends and my husband later that day and I made the sale. I learned early in my business that it was important to me to have my children be a part of my life and a part of my business. They have grown up participating in all kinds of events, meetings and business opportunities. Maybe they will grow up to entrepreneurs, too! In fact, in my next post, I will share how my kids learned to write a business plan just by watching me and my team.   We all have these hysterical and embarrassing moments to share. In this case, I think Maggie’s antics endeared her and me to the prospect and helped make the sale! Do you have any similar stories to tell?

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  1. I was once at home with my daughter who was sick. I had a conference call scheduled and chose to take it from my dining room while Abby got an extra round of TV.

    I told my clients that I was at home with a sick child but that I was good to go with our meeting. Being parents themselves, there was a brief bit of acknowledgement around.

    The meeting was running a little long, longer than the 30 minute TV program and sure enough, Abby walked into the dining room and said out loud “Hey everybody, is it time for the meeting?!?” I completely lost my train of thought, almost embarrassed when laughter erupted from the other end of the phone line.

    Took a deep breath, asked for a brief pause, thanked and resettled Abby. And picked things back up. I don’t recall if I made the sale but when I next saw the clients in person they were very gracious and very happy to talk with me in depth about their business.

    This event reminded me; We’re all human, living perfectly imperfect lives. It’s very grounding to have kids remind us of this in their own way. I strive to be conscious of this every day, listening closely to what people and especially my daughter has to say…in actions and words.

  2. Noel, what a great story. Been there, done that. Don’t be too embarrassed to go back. Most people won’t even remember the incident or it gives you a great story to tell, “Remember me, the one with the stroller, we met when…” It makes you real and people want to do business with real people. Thanks for sharing your story! I can so relate!

  3. I recently saw an invitation to a chamber’s “cookout” meet and greet. My sitter fell through, so I decided to take my 2 youngest (3 years and 9 months), figuring that a cookout meant outdoor and casual. WRONG! They cooked out in the back, then everyone came inside – it was their regular monthly meeting!

    I had a huge double stroller that I maneuvered through the crowd, trying to be inconspicuous (ha ha) at the back of the room. We didn’t make it through the introductions of the DIGNITARIES that were there for the Government meeting.

    I was so embarrassed, I’m not sure I’ll ever go back!