I was talking to this woman who’s in her late 20s about how you have to know what you want to be respected for in order to feel respected.
People can’t respect you if you don’t respect you.
I can’t tell you her name. Let’s call her Imogene because it’s one of the most popular names of 2014 and I want this blog to feel fresh even though I’m writing about a topic that I have not been able to shut up about for five years.
My investors respect me. But I’m pretty sure they respect me for my track record and not for what I’m doing now, which is running a startup in slow motion.
But whatever. It’s my fourth startup. They’re all the same. You waste money on things that don’t work. Over and over again. The problem is believing in yourself through all that. And I’ve done that.
Speaking of my startup, this would be a great time to announce a new course, because you are listening, but instead I’m going to go on a tirade.
So I was talking to Imogene and she told me that I’m having so much trouble with my current life because I want to be respected for work, but I feel compelled to give my kids a great childhood to make up for my own shitty childhood, so I am focused on my kids instead of my work and it’s not fulfilling.
I was defensive, and then incredulous, and then I thought “Fuck her.”
You can fail at a lot and still earn respect.
And it’s really bad I am writing this because Imogene will recognize herself as the object of my wrath. But sometimes you have to shoot the messenger – we can’t be our best selves all the time.
So in that spirit, I’m just going to tell you. It was Melissa.
Melissa said this to me, and I was really shocked. Because Melissa is usually right about everything.
But she pissed me off so much that I realized that I think I’m doing great, and I can’t actually believe that she can’t see that I’m doing great.
Here’s where I’m not doing great:
I wish I were writing more.
I wish I were doing webinars more.
I wish I still have a twentysomething butt.
I take anti-anxiety medicine that maybe I would not need if I were not a mom. But probably I would need to take it because when I was the standout startup girl everyone lusted for, I was also throwing up in-between team-bonding meetings. So probably I need anti-anxiety medicine for whatever I do.
Look at what you do well. Now. That’s what earns you respect, whether you like it or not.
What I’m saying is that I love this blog so much and thank you so so so much for reading and also thank you for making this blog have such great comments that even my brother who is a total big shot—and I can’t believe I hide his name here because his whole office reads my blog—even he says I have some of the smartest comments of any blog.
When I question if I’m successful, I think about this blog. And how I’ve been able to earn enough money to not starve. (Even though sometimes I have to use the farm account if I have bad cash flow.) (And even though right now my husband wants to kill me.) But even though he wants to kill me, I have a solid marriage (which is not really a marriage because he won’t marry me because I have too many tax problems) but even those are not huge problems to me because I can compartmentalize.
Which, by the way, is an innate skill of all good CEOs. It just happens that it’s not usually a skill of women. And I’m a rockstar at compartmentalization. (You have to be, to throw up during work and still look like a leader.)
It’s okay to stop caring about some stuff.
So I am happy that I’m homeschooling my kids. And some days I want to kill myself because most of the people I used to network with I would rather die than talk to me now. Because I have nothing to say. Because I don’t care what they’re doing.
I just want to be a good mom and have intelligent conversation. And in the end, I want respect for this blog and respect for being a good mom.
Maybe you’re thinking it’s easy to be a good mom. Maybe it is. I wouldn’t know, because I have a mom who did not get respect for her parenting. Well, at least from her kids. The rest of the world, the world that does not read my blog, thinks she’s a great parent because all her kids have big jobs.
If you count my job as big. My mom calls me a journalist because she’s from the generation that thinks that job is impressive.
You can only get respect for something you work hard at.
What I call myself is someone doing a good job of keeping my life interesting while I raise my kids.
And I’m meeting my goals. Like, I can pay my taxes.
My investors are rich and famous and you would know them but I promised a thousand times that I would not name them on the blog. I’ll tell you, though, that I’ve learned a lot from them. Especially about my taxes.
Still, I will not get your respect from handling my taxes properly because I don’t care enough. I won’t even be able to get married for learning to do my taxes right; my (not) husband still thinks I’m a maniac with my money.
I had forty years of therapy so I can be a good mom. But still, we all go to a family therapist because I’m so scared of being my parents, so scared of messing things up.
I respect myself because I’m doing something really hard for me.
On anti-anxiety medicine. Because all this makes me nervous, but that’s why I have you along for the ride. Thank you.
Writing this post was not hard for me. It took me only five years. Five years of trying to figure out who I am if I am not a top-flight serial entrepreneur. But who I am is fine. I want to be respected for doing work I like and being the kind of mom I want to be. And for keeping a friend like Melissa, who’s willing to tell me stuff that makes me want to scream.