…for the just falls seven times, but rises up again!(Proverbs 24:16)I got a text on Mother’s Day congratulating me for making “it” look easy. By “it”, I assume my friend meant juggling being a woman of God, a wife, and a working mom. While I am honored by the acknowledgement that she thinks I am doing a good job of it all, I want to remind everyone not to let the look fool you. As a good Southern girl, I was taught to smile and act as though everything was perfect. This followed me into adulthood, where I learned to act as though I had my superwoman cape on underneath my business suit, trying to do all things while making “it” look good and easy to everyone else. I got the reputation of being a fixer, so when I decided to become an entrepreneur, I continued the act, and proceeded like I could juggle all of my new responsibilities without any help.
The problem with juggling too many balls, or responsibilities, is that if one thing slips, epic fail or catastrophe is almost certain. I have spent so much time trying to prove myself that I sometimes forget that it is ok to ask for help. As I write this post, I do not know whether to credit Madeline Albright, Oprah Winfrey, Donna Freedman, or someone one else with this saying that has helped me to find balance in my life: You can have it all, just not at the same time. In my own experience, I was at the brink of failure (mentally, professionally, and financially) before I admitted that it was time to ask for help.
Starting a business for me was like getting married. In the beginning, during the honeymoon phase, everything looked easy, as though I could juggle all of the responsibilities. Getting married was the easy part, but after a couple of years, I soon realized that the real work was staying married. We surrounded ourselves with other married couples, of various ages and stages of their marriages, just to share experiences and to provide a sanity check that our journey was normal. Without specifically asking for help, these couples became our Marriage Board.

After starting my business, I made some avoidable mistakes, primarily, because I did not want to ask for help and have anyone think I was a failure, or a fraud. I am a survivor, so I learned a valuable lesson that allowed me to rebound stronger and wiser: I needed advisors. Large organizations have corporate boards to provide guidance and insight to avoid making catastrophic business mistakes. Throughout this journey, I know that everything will not go according to the strategic plan and that some failures are unavoidable. To help me manage the risks, I have an Entrepreneurial Board that consists of seven people who challenge me with checks and balance and boundaries: A seasoned mentor who has built a successful business model in industrial manufacturingA financial advisor who keeps me out of trouble with the taxman and in good favor with lendersA spiritual friend who reminds me that I am exactly where I am supposed to beA creative genius who dares me to color outside the lines (inside joke)A youthful mentee who has the same drive to change the world that I had in my twentiesA retired collaborator who imparts wisdom and constantly asks about my exit strategyA soulmate who allows me to dream in living color but keeps me grounded in the present
So to my friend who says that I make “it” look easy, I say thank you, but rest assured it is not easy. I make a lot of mistakes every day. But as Pastor Donnie sings, we fall down, but we get up…on our road to good works!


…for the just falls seven times, but rises up again!(Proverbs 24:16)I got a text on Mother’s Day congratulating me for making “it” look easy. By “it”, I assume my friend meant juggling being a woman of God, a wife, and a working mom. While I am honored by the acknowledgement that she thinks I am doing a good job of it all, I want to remind everyone not to let the look fool you. As a good Southern girl, I was taught to smile and act as though everything was perfect. This followed me into adulthood, where I learned to act as though I had my superwoman cape on underneath my business suit, trying to do all things while making “it” look good and easy to everyone else. I got the reputation of being a fixer, so when I decided to become an entrepreneur, I continued the act, and proceeded like I could juggle all of my new responsibilities without any help.
The problem with juggling too many balls, or responsibilities, is that if one thing slips, epic fail or catastrophe is almost certain. I have spent so much time trying to prove myself that I sometimes forget that it is ok to ask for help. As I write this post, I do not know whether to credit Madeline Albright, Oprah Winfrey, Donna Freedman, or someone one else with this saying that has helped me to find balance in my life: You can have it all, just not at the same time. In my own experience, I was at the brink of failure (mentally, professionally, and financially) before I admitted that it was time to ask for help.
Starting a business for me was like getting married. In the beginning, during the honeymoon phase, everything looked easy, as though I could juggle all of the responsibilities. Getting married was the easy part, but after a couple of years, I soon realized that the real work was staying married. We surrounded ourselves with other married couples, of various ages and stages of their marriages, just to share experiences and to provide a sanity check that our journey was normal. Without specifically asking for help, these couples became our Marriage Board.

After starting my business, I made some avoidable mistakes, primarily, because I did not want to ask for help and have anyone think I was a failure, or a fraud. I am a survivor, so I learned a valuable lesson that allowed me to rebound stronger and wiser: I needed advisors. Large organizations have corporate boards to provide guidance and insight to avoid making catastrophic business mistakes. Throughout this journey, I know that everything will not go according to the strategic plan and that some failures are unavoidable. To help me manage the risks, I have an Entrepreneurial Board that consists of seven people who challenge me with checks and balance and boundaries: A seasoned mentor who has built a successful business model in industrial manufacturingA financial advisor who keeps me out of trouble with the taxman and in good favor with lendersA spiritual friend who reminds me that I am exactly where I am supposed to beA creative genius who dares me to color outside the lines (inside joke)A youthful mentee who has the same drive to change the world that I had in my twentiesA retired collaborator who imparts wisdom and constantly asks about my exit strategyA soulmate who allows me to dream in living color but keeps me grounded in the present
So to my friend who says that I make “it” look easy, I say thank you, but rest assured it is not easy. I make a lot of mistakes every day. But as Pastor Donnie sings, we fall down, but we get up…on our road to good works!