Updated: Mar 16
This was me on December 2, 2012 sitting at my 9-5 consulting job daydreaming about what I would do later that night for my new business. I was about to give my boss 6 weeks' notice...I was stoked and terrified at the same time. 6-weeks is a lot, I know—I worked with many fantastic and overworked people and wanted to ensure a smooth transition...plus I loved my clients and wanted to ensure their ongoing success.
Little did I know sitting at my desk that day that my plans for the future were not going to be met with blue skies and sunshine. I didn't believe that entrepreneurship would be easy, or that I would be an overnight success in an industry I had little experience in...it's that the Universe had other ideas for my plan.
New Years Eve morning, just before sunrise, I awoke to a phone call from my mom's phone. Mom was NOT a morning person and based on past experiences of our complicated relationship I knew it wasn't going to be anything good. I stared at the phone assuming she would be asking for money or something simple (yet complicated), but when I answered, it wasn't her voice on the other end. I was informed she had a heart attack and was at the hospital. The voice said they would call back when they had news, and the phone hung up. I sat in bed, half-asleep, in shock. I couldn't breathe or do anything. It was too early in the day to call anyone, plus what would I even say. I laid back down and waited.
Within the hour the phone rang again showing "Mom"; I answered immediately. This time they put a doctor on the phone to share the news my gut knew was coming. She died. I was gutted.
Again I couldn't breathe. I grabbed my chest and sobbed for a few minutes—then stopped. I went into autopilot "get shit done" mode. My career and childhood had trained me well to operate calmly in a crisis. To suppress my feelings and behave in a way that was palatable to others' comfort and expectations...after all, I had always been the "strong" one.
Tomorrow I will share how this way of operating in grief and entrepreneurship was not going to work out for me for very long and how breaking down in grief led me on a path to finding myself as an entrepreneur.