How to go to a meeting when you want to sit home and cry


Here’s what last week was like: On Sunday I flew to Detroit and gave a speech at the Public Relations Society of America. Then I flew back to Madison on Tuesday and met with an investor who only wanted to talk about my blog even though I want him to put more money into my company. Then the farmer slept over Tuesday night, and drove me to the airport at 4 a.m. so I could fly to Ft. Lauderdale to give a talk the Electronic Recruiting Exchange. On Thursday morning I woke up at 4 a.m. again and flew to San Francisco and took a car to Sand Hill Road, venture capital mecca of the universe.

In the car, I called the farmer for fifteen minutes of fun. I should have been preparing for the venture capital meeting. But I was so tired, and I told myself the call would make me perky for presentation edits.

In that car, on that call, the farmer dumped me.

He has actually dumped me a lot. Five times in four-and-a-half months. In fact, he’s dumped me so often that he has already dumped me once when I’ve been on the phone in a car. And he has already dumped me once when I flew to San Francisco.

So you’d think that maybe this would be familiar and I would just plow through it like the other times. But there is a theme to the dumping. He wants something to be different and instead of telling me, he dumps me. So I convince him that if he asks for something then probably I can give it to him, but he has to ask. So he asks and we go on a few more weeks, and then he dumps me again.

This time, I realized that I should not keep convincing him to ask for something instead of dumping me. I think I realized this after I twittered that he keeps dumping me and it was like confessional because I hadn’t told anyone before, and the universal tweet response was that I should get out of the relationship.

So this time, when he dumped me, I decided it was really the end.

I said, Okay, and we hung up. Nothing else. You might think that being together four months would mean we have stuff at each others’ houses. But the farmer is 38 years old, and he’s never been in a relationship longer than four months, so I think we both knew that leaving anything at anyone’s house was too optimistic.

Which means it’s a clean, no-strings break.

Which would have been completely true if it weren’t that I was so sad. And if it weren’t that I had to give a big presentation two hours later. And on top of that, I didn’t have the sales numbers finished that I would need for the meeting.

So I took drastic measures. I could tell I was in shock and I was going to need to cry and I didn’t have anywhere to break down. So I got a hotel room, even though I wouldn’t be sleeping over. I sat on the bed and stared at the wall and got scared that I would never be in love again in my life.

Then I worried that I would not be able to hold my life together. I have too much with the kids, and the divorce and the company and now being dumped. It’s too much.

But then I realized that I never fall apart. I get through lots of stuff and people always say it’s so much but really, what else can you do? People get through what they have to. So then I worried that I’d get through this but I’d be numb. One of those people who is great at work but checked out everywhere else in life. I worried that I wasn’t crying.

I didn’t cry. I opened my computer and realized that I didn’t even have the numbers I needed for making a slide. So I called Tim, the guy who helps me with my PowerPoint stuff. And I said, “Where are the sales figures?”

And he said, “Where is the email you said you’d send so I could do the sales figures?”

And I said, “Crap.”

So we worked on the slides, and I know my voice sounded like I was trying really hard to hold it together, but I hoped that Tim thought it was because I was nervous that I was missing the slides.

I said, “I hope the guy at [renowned VC firm] is nice.”

Tim said, “You don’t need someone to be nice. You need someone to be direct and honest.”

And then I started crying. I said, “Tim, the farmer dumped me.”

And Tim said, “Again? He dumped you last time you were out here, too.”

“This time I’m not trying to convince him,” I said. “And I do need someone who is nice. I’m sick of direct and honest. I want nice.”

Tim said, “I’m sorry.” He suggested that maybe I should move the slide about my accomplishments to the front of the presentation so I can feel good about myself right away.

So I redid my makeup to fix the teary mascara. And I put the slide in the beginning of the deck, and I went to the meeting.

I ate three chocolates in the lobby because I remember reading that kids who ate a chocolate bar right before the SAT scored higher.

I pitched the company. The guy said he was familiar with my site.

“You mean you read my blog?”

“Yes,” he said.

I told him that my company is not my blog. Then we ran through all the company stuff.

At the end of the presentation, this is what he asked me: “Who was your childhood hero?”

My first thought was that this was like a classic interview question: “What food would you be if you were a food?” And I decided that it was important to give an answer that I could talk about in a way that would be consistent with who I am. And who I want him to think I am.

I said, “Judy Blume.” As soon as that came out of my mouth I realize that I was going to have to talk about myself as a writer, and not as a CEO. And all investors want to grill me on my ability to lead a large company. Except the investors who immediately think their friend will run my company because I will be a blogger.

It’s times like this, paragraphs like that, when I think, what am I doing? How am I ever going to get funding when I write so often and openly about my dark, funding underbelly? I used to tell myself that the investors have no time to read my blog, but in fact, the investors are so enthralled with reading my blog that they have started asking for advice on starting their own blog.

And still, I keep writing. Because when I think about how I got though last week—the too-much travel, and the high-pressure meetings, and being dumped for the fifth time—the only thing I can think of that will make things better is to write about it. All of it.

And then I think that the investor is a genius for asking me my childhood hero because it does, in fact, reveal who I am. I just have to keep reminding myself that Judy Blume is not only a writer. She is an empire.

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  1. Cindy  Foster Grace
    Cindy Foster Grace says:

    I too am a writer and my words have gotten me through the illness and death of my mother, the illness and death of my aunt, the illness and death of my grandmother all within 25 months.

    Recently, writing (along with prayer I must admit) has been cathartic in dealing with prickly teens and my own health concerns. Case in point:

    Of course, unlike you, my business affords me the luxury of working from a home office where I’m seldom seen by the client. I can sit in my fuzzy red robe (yes, I really work in it quite often) and boo hoo to my hearts content…all the while the keyboard keys are clacking away.

    I once took a decorative painting class in the midst of a big move. Someone asked me how I had time to sit and paint while all the world appeared to be going to hell around me. My response, “painting is cheaper and safer than taking valium.”

    There is a great release and a contentment that surrounds creative energy. I’m glad someone else writes through the tears and can heal herself.

  2. vincenti
    vincenti says:

    I am only 21, I have not even graduated, maybe i wont even graduate with a very good mark and when i do it will be really hard to find a job. But after reading this post i understand that maybe i AM happier than a successful blogger and struggling ceo.

    You can do two things now. Keep pushing yourself travelling, try to find money for web startups, paying twitter editors and everyhing else OR you can have some time with your kids and maybe start a meaningful relationship.

    If a 5-times-dumped-in-5-months relationship is meaningful enough to write about it in a suceessful and business oriented blog then you’re in big trouble. Think about it. You are not getting any younger

    • Lex
      Lex says:

      Hilarious. I nearly stopped at ’21’, but reading on was….? Touching and appalling at the same time? Hon- I’m so sorry, but you actually made a huge fool of yourself there:( I wonder if 26 has shown you anything about the fiction that is ‘black and white’. I would *never* be 21 (or 26) again- not for love or money. I might have had more to choose from then- but boy, more of what?? Arrogant college boys? Every male customer that ever came into the crappy restaurant I worked in? Lovely men are hard to find. They’re harder to find when half of them are still “young and dumb” and working themselves out. Love is love. Firm boobs ( or a ‘sorted’ life- whatever that is) really don’t make it more possible. Honestly. I hope you learn that:)

  3. Michael Fontaine
    Michael Fontaine says:

    Lots of comments here for months have been wishing you and the farmer well. But hey, not every relationship works out in an easy way. He’ll probably come back to you in a week, begging you to take him back. Because you’re obviously OK–you’re still grounded enough to think clearly about what’s going on and what’s important to you. So congrats on your strength and let us know when the farmer is back in your life, because he will be.

  4. says:

    I’m sorry and very happy you had those three pieces of Chocolate, the farmer was a jerk, and to have allowed him to dump you more than once was very generous of you…and yes we do apply our mascara, look at the face in the mirror and say…I don’t wanna but I can….and then we
    of-course do.

  5. Jeff
    Jeff says:

    Hello – I found this post very compelling in that it spoke to me on two levels, (1) I’m currently working for an international publishing business and have started two of my own companies in the past,and (2) I’m a frustrated writer who would love to make writing my full-time profession aside from the fact that I have not jump started that avenue yet. I’ve thought quite a bit about being a writer when I ran my companies and even now and when I do write I can’t convince myself to leave the business world. I’ve also read quite a bit of Napoleon Hill, one of my hero’s, and he implores us to reach for our “definite chief aim.” I believe you are doing this and you must never let anyone convince you otherwise. Perhaps we can be of help to each other. Contact me via email if you want to continue this dialogue. I wish you all the best.

  6. Debra
    Debra says:

    I’m so sorry about the farmer. I’ve never commented before, but I just wanted to let you know that you’re pretty great.

  7. Margie
    Margie says:

    It’s his loss, sister. Seriously. It doesn’t mean it doesn’t suck. And it certainly hurts and whatnot. But it’s 100% his loss.

    As a side note: one of the best meetings I’ve had in a long time was following a 20 minute cry-fest two weeks ago. I said it was “allergies” and then proceeded to give what was called “a very heartfelt presentation.” Of course, how could it not be? Clearly heart was trumping mind at that moment so I had no choice. Ain’t nothin’ wrong with a good cry (or four).

  8. le
    le says:

    Firsty, Vincenti – ouch – not getting any younger … please do you really thing P would want to be any younger – and ‘think about it’ – well I am sure she has – she seems quite the thinker to me – give me a break !

    Said as only a 21 year would. Will wait for your take on things in 20 years and see if you might find some compasion/empathy and understand the phrase ‘don’t kick a (wo)man while (s)he’s down’.

    Now P you know well enough to understand the only real failure is to have not tried (or risked) anything in the first place …. in love and business.

    I’d take your risk / reward / experience over youthful simplistic thinking anyday.

    Apologies for sounding like a mouth piece – I know you can kick back when needed ….. cheers le

  9. jon
    jon says:

    Hi Penelope,

    Thanks for the post. I’ve been going through my own heartache in relationships just over the last week, and your courage to still continue your daily work is awesome. Keep up your honesty, and always keep holding on to the hope of a better future.


  10. Neil C.
    Neil C. says:

    That’s too bad about the farmer but it sounds like it is for the best. You were both so different (which is what made it so interesting to read about) & your beliefs were probably too far apart for anything to develop into a long term relationship.

    It’s probably best that you had to give the presentation. It kept you busy & gave you a purpose instead of having time to just stare at wall and feel crappy. The meeting forced you to get it together & that is a good thing.

    You obviously meet a lot of people from work & in your travels so I am sure someone better will come along. Until then just enjoy the journey & keep doing what you’re doing.

  11. Sital
    Sital says:

    To write openly as you do requires courage, committment and skill. Plus it makes for interesting reading and helps others who are dealing with similar challenges. Which is admirable.

    Unfortunately writing so openly in the public domain can put off certain investors in your company. But maybe they’re not the type of investors that you’d work best with?

    Dust yourself down and keep on searching….

    (p.s. does the same point apply to the search for love..?)

  12. Mel
    Mel says:

    I’m glad you cried. It’s good to let it out even if it is at a somewhat inconvenient time such as right before a meeting.

    Hope you feel better!!

  13. Mark W.
    Mark W. says:

    “In that car, on that call, the farmer dumped me.”
    Huh? WTF, you mean to tell us he doesn’t have the common courtesy to tell you this straight up in person? I only know what I read here so I think you can understand how immature he appears to be in my mind. Also I don’t know how anyone can fault you for not trying to make this relationship work with him. I’ve already said enough here on this aspect of this post.
    “I get through lots of stuff and people always say it’s so much but really, what else can you do?”
    In one word – balance. You write about it in various posts on this blog and only you will be able to achieve it in your own way somehow. I think your relationship with the farmer has started you on the path to find this balance for yourself.
    “So then I worried that I’d get through this but I’d be numb.”
    I don’t think that’s your true self. You’re already aware of this possibility so I don’t think you’ll ever let yourself go there.
    My childhood (TV) hero was Chuck Conners who played Lucas McCain in “The Rifleman”. I thought it was a good western TV series that promoted good character in people and the use of force only when absolutely necessary. Now I really do feel old!

  14. GenerationXpert
    GenerationXpert says:

    I’m not going to give you a pep talk about the farmer. Here’s the thing: Sometimes the same thing keeps happening over and over (i.e. the dumping) because it takes a while for us to either 1) get it or 2) learn what we needed to learn. This happens to me quite a bit – but usually in career stuff (like I keep getting the same asshole boss over and over for 10 years and then I finally “get” what I was supposed to learn and I end up with an awesome boss).

    The second thing is that you seem like someone who’s up for the challenge and likes to win. I think that’s what’s going on here, too. Like the Farmer is the prize – and you’ll be the first one in 38 years to get the prize. I understand this, too. I like to win (Gen Xers are competitive). I just think you can go for a bigger, better prize. It’s fun to win something at the carnival, but when you get it home, do you really want a monkey stuffed animal?

  15. vincenti
    vincenti says:

    Yes, maybe i was a bit too blunt but hey. I got different targets. For me family is #1 and i really do not believe that being a GOOD business(wo)man and a GOOD parent can be both achieved. You can be at only one place at a time. With your kid whenever it needs you or with your client. And your kid needs you more than you think.
    But if you think it, the cause of all of P’s problems is that she works too much. Imho of course.

  16. Don B.
    Don B. says:

    I kept readin the blog trying to figure out how you did go to the meeting. You never really gave any advice on how. Were you saying you just go or have to go to the meeting. I do not know how you did it but congratulations. I am not even involved but am sad and unsure of my next meeting now. Wish I could say something profound and comforting. You life sure seems busy. I regret my previous thoughts thinking you were not blogging enough. Take a moment off occasionly and breathe.

  17. Editormum
    Editormum says:

    I am sad for you that the relationship ended in such a difficult and unpleasant way. But I am happy for you that the relationship ended, because it was clearly a problem relationship.

    It is not a healthy or mature relationship when one person threatens to leave in order to open a dialogue on change. Emotionally mature people say, “I don’t like ___, and I want ___ instead.” Emotionally immature people resort to passive aggression, manipulation, and fear tactics.

    If your partner is afraid to say, “I don’t like … I want …” then there is something wrong with the relationship, or with one of the partners. I am glad that you have accepted that there was a problem between you and the farmer that is probably not fixable at this time.

    I’m glad that you were wise enough to give yourself a private place to regroup, and then that you were smart enough to distract yourself with your work. I’m glad that Tim was able to empathize with you and to suggest ways to bolster yourself before the presentation. I’m glad that you were able to access your inner strength to accomplish your goal.

    Going forward, try to focus on the good that came of the relationship with the farmer. You gained a lot of self-knowledge in those months, and that is valuable. It will help you be a better person. And maybe a more balanced one. Wouldn’t you be a lot happier if your work and life didn’t crash at the intersection?

  18. Holly Hoffman
    Holly Hoffman says:

    Date #4 and I broke up yesterday. Today, I have four meetings with managers of all levels, including c-level, where I need to present myself in the most credible light. I’m barely keeping it together. I’m with you, P. Right now.

  19. Rosy
    Rosy says:

    Great post, Penelope! I do love your candor. Take care of you and it’s his loss for SURE!!! Everything happens for a reason, it’s just sometimes we don’t always know the reasons right away.

  20. Anthony Papillion
    Anthony Papillion says:

    Ms. Trunk,

    My deepest sympathies about the Farmer. Know that you did the right thing. Communication is one of the most important things in a relationship and it’s obvious that he has a problem with that.

    On another note, don’t beat yourself up too much. You’ve had a rough week. Relax, take some time to be nice to yourself and treat yourself gently for a bit. You’ll be back and stronger than ever! I know that, there is the perfect investor for you right around the corner.

    You’re incredible. Don’t let anyone make you think for a moment that you’re not.

    Anthony Papillion

  21. Sally
    Sally says:

    “But the farmer is 38 years old, and he’s never been in a relationship longer than four months”

    Oh my God. What a piece of work.

    I’m sorry for your lost, but you can do way better. Good luck. The VC scene is a little rocky these days.

  22. earlgreyrooibos
    earlgreyrooibos says:

    I know there’s never a “good time” to dump someone, but wow, what the farmer did was just low.

    Although you and I disagree on a lot of things, I still think you’re a great role model for those of us who are/want to be careerists, even if you don’t necessarily want to be a CEO of a venture capitalist company. Your advice crosses career lines; there’s a lot of your writing that has been applicable to me, even at my nonprofit research job. This post really shows how to keep it together, even when you feel overwhelmed and it seems your personal life is falling apart.

  23. Caitlin
    Caitlin says:

    You are better off out of that relationship. He sounded like a nice guy until you let on about the serial dumping. He’s an emotionally immature jerk.

    I echo le’s comments about Vincenti – totally insensitive and also far too binary. It’s not a simple case of choosing between business and relationships/family – Penelope is the breadwinner and her family does need her to earn a living as well!

    Penelope, I feel for you, not only going through the divorce and the recent breakup but also trying to start a business in a recession (or on the brink of one). I really admire that you are still out there doing it, day after day.

  24. MJ
    MJ says:

    OK – awesome column. Awesome. You know what is more important than tap-dancing in shiny shoes and a shiny suit in front of other suits? Knowing and being what you are. Then, if the don’t like your tap-dancing, F them. I don’t mean to sound anti-careerist, but maybe I am if “career” means conforming to someone else’s BS. The only thing, and best thing we have at the end of the day, is our sense of self. Great column about recapturing yours.

  25. karen
    karen says:

    This sort of told me how to get through a presentation when I want to go sit and cry, but almost not enough. I don’t mean to be critical, just that the subject of this post got me VERY excited because I have been in that situation many times and probably will be again. And only Penelope was going to tell me how to do it. Because other women wouldn’t admit to being in a situation like that.

    Judy Blume isn’t just a writer. She is an icon. She got a lot of young women through their teenage years. She is almost a dictionary definition – if you say you are writing a Judy Blume-type book, people will know what you mean.

    You need to start charging people for advice about how to start their blogs.

    Crap. That's a very good edit. Sooner or later you get to a point in your career where you don't have a choice. You just have to pull yourself together. I've gotten so used to not having that choice that I forgot to write about how to do it.

    Here are four steps to making sure you never miss a meeting due to emotional drama.
    1. It is only an option to miss a meeting if someone is ill or dying. Otherwise, you have to go.
    2. Take measures to recuperate quickly, and don't judge yourself on how crazy the measures are. Getting a hotel room for 3 hours is the tip of the iceberg for how crazy it could get.
    3. Mix caffeine and Advil—both are proven to be mood enhancers and confidence boosters. Do it a half hour before the meeting.
    4. Trust yourself. People have a remarkable ability to flip an emotional switch on and off if they are forced to. Force yourself to rise to the occasion by walking into the meeting.

    One of the greatest things that a career can give you is a sense of self-reliance. And you can only measure your self-reliance in a bad situation. Everyone is capable when they are in a good spot. But going to a meeting when you are crying is a great opportunity to judge yourself.

    – Penelope

  26. Wayne Allen
    Wayne Allen says:

    Just noticing that you’ve experienced two deaths this past year – your marriage died, and now your 4-month relationship died. You cried, and yet do not seem to have made time to grieve.
    I think remember you writing about therapy, and discovering what mistakes you made in your marriage. While this is an excellent thing to do, (full disclosure: I’ve been a psychotherapist for 26 years, so I’m partial to therapy…) such exploration/discovery is only fodder for the mind– as is totally directing your attention to work–a very ‘yang’ thing to do. Your head has more knowledge, but it does little for your heart and soul.
    The ‘yin side’ is the ‘taking the time to collapse into grief’ piece.
    Many are the arguments for not doing this work: bills to pay, reports to process, the recession, whatever. These are ways to avoid doing the scary thing – having your feelings.
    As you are noticing, you are ‘full’– and the feelings, the grief, is not going anywhere on its own — unexpressed, it just gets somaticized.
    Maybe go visit your therapist, and instead of more discussion, ask to hold the box of Kleenex. You’re full. Be empty.

  27. Joselle
    Joselle says:

    Penelope, I’m sorry. This might not mean anything now but you will be in love again. When I was with someone who didn’t love me but didn’t want to leave me alone, I couldn’t help but plead my case. I thought that’s all I needed to do. I would tell them why they should love me and act like someone worthy of sticking around for. It took me a long time before I realized there was no amount of convincing I could do to make the person love me back. They were completely getting off on me acting like an attorney or salesman for my heart.

    Now I’m with someone who I knew would be kind and gentle and careful with me from the first 5 minutes of meeting them. I sometimes test him because I’m used to having to plead my case–to lovers and parents and the world–so it’s just a habit I’ve formed. I don’t need to, though. He’s actually just a really decent, functioning human who would never let me torture myself. He’s real. I wouldn’t have thought so a few years ago. Now I know there are many more men like that.

    I’m still sorry and it still sucks.

    You are a very memorable, funny, and truthful writer who knows how to stun with sentence structure. Keep writing.

  28. Carmen
    Carmen says:

    And still, you were polite and open and smiling when Jason Warner introduced us. A passing moment for you, I’m sure. For me, I felt pretty cheeky that I had just met the Brazen Careerist! 20 years ago, I took my mother to an Oprah show taping. After the show, Oprah stayed and greeted every single audience member with a smile and personal comment. That’s why, I’m convinced, she is an empire. The farmer sucks. You’re awesome.

  29. Liz
    Liz says:

    “But if you think it, the cause of all of P’s problems is that she works too much. Imho of course.”

    The “problem” is that she has feelings for someone who hasn’t treated her nicely, or with proper respect. Do you really think that if she stayed home more, this guy would behave himself? Because if you do, it sounds like you think she can control him to give her what she needs – that his behavior depends on her toeing the line – and that’s not a healthy dynamic at all.

    People behave themselves or they don’t. No one “makes” him act a certain way. And she can’t prevent his actions, no matter how well-behaved she is. (There are plenty of stay-at-home mothers subjected to domestic violence to attest to this, unfortunately).

    PS – The farmer isn’t necessarily a jerk. But wow does he ever sound like a control freak! That dynamic, “I will let you know that you did something wrong, and now you get to figure out what it is and how to fix it – oh, were you distracted by something that is not me when I dumped this on you? Pity…” is a pretty classic maneuver.

  30. earlgreyrooibos
    earlgreyrooibos says:

    “Do you really think that if she stayed home more, this guy would behave himself? Because if you do, it sounds like you think she can control him to give her what she needs – that his behavior depends on her toeing the line – and that’s not a healthy dynamic at all.”

    And furthermore, why should she deny who she is just to make someone else happy? I know that if my husband wanted me home more, we’d get divorced. Because I would be miserable if I were a housewife. I know it works well for some people, but not me. Yeah, the relationship clearly didn’t work out, but would it honestly work better if Penelope had pretended to not be herself just to make someone happy?

  31. Liz
    Liz says:

    Oh, and Penelope, I am sorry if that comes off as blunt. I think the Farmer had some attractive qualities and gave you something that you needed. It’s ok if you decided that he also has a downside.

    You’re not going to be alone forever just because you left one guy on the shelf. And it doesn’t say anything about you that you had a relationship that didn’t work out. (Even though right after a divorce, it feels like all relationships are a referendum on your culpability for the past). Lots of relationships don’t work out. Lots of people don’t suit each other. You’ll find someone. I swear.

  32. Joselle
    Joselle says:

    Reading Wayne Allen’s comments made me realize that my comment might have sounded like, I met a bad buy and then I met a good guy.

    Really, it didn’t matter who I met. Neither one could have gotten to me in the different ways they did without me having done therapy and learning to not shame myself. It was a lot of alone time and work I did in between those two people and after.

  33. micsmith
    micsmith says:

    In your earlier blogs about the farmer he sounded like a guy with lots of great qualities.

    Not so much here. It seems that you have thrown him under the proverbial bus. I wouldn’t wait for him to take you back.

    I hope he does, I just wouldn’t wait.

    Don’t make life more complicated than it is. I always tell high school kids… make things simple… marry someone who wants to marry you and work someplace where you are wanted.

    If the farmer wants to move on, let him. If investment firms are more interested in your blog than your business, be appreciative of having another loyal reader.

    Make life simple. Don’t fight it. Because when you do, you usually end up losing.

  34. Potential teacher
    Potential teacher says:

    Not to hijack, but micsmith, are you a high school teacher or counselor?

    I am wondering if I should be one and I even got the career book Penelope recommended (Do What You Are) and I’m still undecided.

  35. Mark W.
    Mark W. says:

    “And he said, "Where is the email you said you’d send so I could do the sales figures?"
    And I said, “Crap.”” – from the body of your post and
    “Crap. That's a very good edit. …” in response to Karen’s comment.
    I would have to disagree with Wayne Allen with all due respect that, in fact, you are not full (or at least not as full as you were before you wrote this post).

  36. GeekMBA360
    GeekMBA360 says:

    I’m sorry to hear the sad part of this story. But, I have to say that you’re as resilient as anyone out there. I’m sure you’ll get out of this stronger and happier.

    One thing I’ve been wondering is whether you will be better off by being a popular blogger vs. starting a venture-backed start-up.

    You’re a great writer, and your blog has a good reader base. You could monetize your blog without hiring too many people. Given your site’s traffic and content, you should be able to bring in $1-$2 million annually just by working with someone who knows internet advertising well. And you’ll earn a good living while spend most of your time writing and “playing” with your kids.

    It’s very hard to start a blog network like what you’re trying to do now. And the economy is tanking, and the ad market will be impacted significantly. I’m not sure if you want to set up such a substantial operation with VC money.

    Just my 2 cents. Good luck.

  37. Tim Taylor
    Tim Taylor says:

    Having been there first hand, I can say with certainty that you will get through both of these things (the break up and the financing). Great to read all of the support you have. Talk soon amiga.

  38. Rachel - I Hate HR
    Rachel - I Hate HR says:

    It was a good run with the farmer and I think you got what you needed to get out of it. You’ll find something better in the long run. I’m not sure a long term relationship is good for you right now anyways.

    Judy Blume is so much more than a writer. She’s a woman that pushed the boundaries and was liberating to women everywhere. She’s like a feminist hero (and I don’t like feminism :)

    Keep working on the investors. You’ll find the right one soon.

  39. Jennifer - The Camp Director
    Jennifer - The Camp Director says:

    Great post! I think it is important for people to keep the personal side of the internet where it can often seem impersonal. I am trying to write more on my own blog and you serve as a good example of communicating with your audience and being true to yourself while also giving us good content.

  40. Brian
    Brian says:

    Hi Penelope,

    Great post. I’m sorry about the farmer.

    Thanks for linking to my post. I’m curious to know how you felt about the PRSA speech? Obviously, you read what I thought – that the Gen. X and Y’s loved you, but the baby boomers gave you a hard time?

    Does this happen a lot since baby boomers seem to be more of traditionalists?

  41. Shawn
    Shawn says:

    The important thing is that you went to the meeting. Yes, writing can help some people get through the ups and downs of life, but you didn’t have time to write about the farmer before you met with the investor…yet you still went through with the meeting even if you were crying on the inside.

  42. The Opinionator
    The Opinionator says:

    He dumped you knowing you were going into a huge meeting in two hours? What a jerk. You were right, quit fighting for something he does not want. And get comfortable with yourself. You seem to put up with a lot of crap due to low self-esteem “…scared that I would never be in love again in my life.” You can do better than that!

  43. Jenn Barnes / HR Wench
    Jenn Barnes / HR Wench says:

    P – You don’t need a relationship with someone that is so immature that instead of communicating his needs and wants he dumps you. I don’t mean that in a “mean, name-calling way”, either. I just mean, if he’s at that point in his communication, intimacy & relationship skills, he is not the guy for you. Sorry about that.

    You are beautiful, smart and lovely. You will rally again. I’d bet cash money on it.

  44. melissa
    melissa says:

    Isn’t this a big reminder to be yourself? You are a writer and that isn’t going to change no matter how many companies you run, will it?

    I’m sorry about the Farmer, as being dumped sucks, plain and simple, but at least now you won’t be dumped by him repeatedly anymore.

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