Posts made in December, 2013

In or Out?

Posted by on Dec 31, 2013 in Diary of a Startup | 0 comments

From January 2012: “One particular person hasn’t decided about whether or not she’s in or out. I bet she’s worried about the impact on her family life, and she’s right to be worried. It’s a big consideration. Even part time, this takes a huge toll. It’s an effort to keep everything in balance. Whether she is in or out, she’s still someone I look up to because she serves God and manages to balance her life pretty well. I feel like I’ll be really disappointed if she doesn’t want to be in, because she is awesome. I can’t let it get me down. Startups are no place to be if you’re going to quit because of a rejection. Or a hundred...

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The Impact On Family Life

Posted by on Dec 31, 2013 in Diary of a Startup | 0 comments

From January 2012: “The impact on family life is considerable. TheBarbarian wanted to make a winter poster with me. Last winter, I was pregnant, beginning my third trimester, and under orders from the doctor to take it easy as much as possible. I had just cut my hours down to part time during December, so in January I was feeling like I had a lot of time off, and I had to spend most of that time lying on the couch watching kid shows. TheBarbarian was not yet in school, just preschool for a total of about 6 hours a week. Princess was not yet 2, but a pretty independent not-yet-2. I did a lot with the kids – reading books, making posters for the house, talking, playing pretend, playing Wii with TheBarbarian and helping him beat the “hard parts” of Super Mario (I still have L33T skillz with Super Mario…it’s like riding a bike, I guess). I felt like even though the house was completely a mess (I was supposed to lie down most of the time because of the difficult pregnancy and a prior difficult pregnancy), I was being “mom.” Now, I feel like I’ve got a much quicker temper with the kids. I don’t have the patience with them bugging me and interrupting my work. I try to get work done on Saturdays because that’s a day when Jefe doesn’t work. They interrupt me and I say, “Why aren’t you asking Dad for that?” TheBarbarian says, “Daddy’s working!” Really, Daddy is working in his basement workshop, which TheBarbarian has nicknamed “The Lair.” Jefe is working on his hobbies, which he has every right to do, and should do. The kids are used to bugging me for stuff like snacks and entertainment, so they do it on Saturday, too. TheBarbarian begged me to make a winter poster with him today, but I’m so absorbed by the startup that I can’t even think about it with him. I have no patience for it. I don’t want to read children’s books, I don’t want to paint, I don’t want to color, I don’t want to play puzzles or games. I’m having a very difficult time separating my work time from my play time. I need to make a division, but the interruptions make it so difficult. My work time is interrupted so often that I am not really getting play time. The play time that I do have is taken up by swimming lessons, necessary shopping, and my brain obsessing about how to tweak the startup or how to get it off the ground. Things got a lot more hectic with the birth of the third child. With two children, I never really felt like our lives were slowed down. Yeah, we changed a lot of the things that we would choose to do, but we still did just as much and we did it well. And on time. After Sirenita was born, everything seemed to take four times as long. It was more difficult from the very beginning. When Princess was born, my parents took care of TheBarbarian for several days until Jefe and I brought Princess home. Jefe stayed with me in the hospital the entire time. When Sirenita was born, my parents took TheBarbarian and Princess for the first night – the night of our anniversary and the night that I spent in labor with Sirenita. Sirenita politely agreed to be born after the doctor had gotten his morning cup of coffee, so after a good chunk of the day was gone, Jefe went home and slept, then came...

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Reflections on Accomplishments and Obstacles

Posted by on Dec 30, 2013 in Diary of a Startup | 0 comments

From January 2012: “I can’t believe how many things I’ve accomplished. I’ve written so much and taken care of so many tasks. I feel like I’m staying organized, mostly, even though there are so many things to keep track of. It’s hard to complete tasks sequentially. I am always working on more than one thing at once. This is because of the interruptions of daily life, and because sometimes I sometimes get bored or distracted and surf the internet for baby slings, my casual baby obsession since my I was in third trimester with Sirenita. These baby wraps are really addictive and they are made in limited quantities so you cannot just buy the one you like, you have to stalk it. Typically, I’ll be thick in the middle of trying to write something, usually having just gotten Sirenita to take a nap for a while, and Princess will come to tell me, “Mommy, did you know caterpillars can turn into butterflies?” for the tenth time that morning. Then I’ll have to say “Hi” to her Ariel the mermaid doll. I’m pretty good at tuning it all out while I work. I worked a lot yesterday on refining the pitch for the service. Even though it was Sunday, it was still difficult to get a second to myself. Sirenita wants to sit next to me on the couch, not play with toys. The older kids are less needy but still get jealous when they see Sirenita with me. Sirenita wants Mommy, not Daddy, so even on Sunday it’s all me. I still haven’t gotten the Terms of Service done yet. It’s long. Completing it is at the top of my list. I’m scheduled in for a really busy rest of the month with jobs, and I can’t let this week get away from me. I’ve always got my eye on my to do list and my pacing schedule. My goal is to begin contacting attorneys at the beginning of February.” Reflecting back on this almost a year later, I feel like I have gotten much better at juggling everything and keeping multiple balls up in the air at once. I don’t think my kids suffer for attention. They are all still demanding. I think that is what childhood is about. Sirenita is still not weaned. I’m sure that discussing breastfeeding at all, and especially discussing breastfeeding after one year, is something that kills my “business cred” with some men, but you know what? I don’t care. It’s time to grow up about breastfeeding. Formula is not as good as breastfeeding. I’m not judging anyone for the choices they make, and my older children both got formula at various times, so  I know breastfeeding is not always possible. I’m talking about the reality of juggling being a mom with having a career (and in my case starting a business at the same time and also shifting into small firm legal practice.) I support breastfeeding as a possibility for working mothers who choose to breastfeed. That’s it. I’ve had a workplace that was very supportive about breastfeeding and allowed me to take Sirenita to work with me, and ideally I wish that were possible for all woman who would want that. Not all women want that, and that’s ok, but ideally it should be possible. Neither of my other kids needed extended breastfeeding, and I was glad to be done breastfeeding when we were done, but Sirenita is different and she still needs it. I hope we’ll be done soon. I still have to keep on my schedule, and I am good doing...

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Hurdles and Explaining the Benefits of Using LearningLawyer.com:

Posted by on Dec 29, 2013 in Diary of a Startup | 0 comments

From January 2012: “I think it will be a hurdle to get people to actually submit their material. Yes, the reaction is positive, but actually spending the four hours to get their materials together…that’s the rub. The benefits to attorneys using the site are huge, beyond just some money for publishing  – clients can find attorneys through LearningLawyer.com. It’s totally free marketing for attorneys. If I were a client and I saw an attorney who had published something practical on the issue I needed help with, then I would know which attorney I would hire. The same goes for an attorney looking for local counsel in another state. The attorney is not just claiming to be able to do a job – they are showing that they have experience doing that job. However, I have to get attorneys to understand this. I have to communicate the benefits of this. Attorneys don’t generally think out of the box. Taking the well-trodden road is kind of what the law is all about. I realized that I don’t have enough people to contact to get content. I think I need about 1000 people to contact, but I only have 300 so far. I would like to begin the site with 200 documents. I had thought that perhaps I would get one submission for every three people contacted, but realistically it has been more like one submission for every 100 people contacted. Actually I read that’s really a good number, and a while back one other attorney guessed I’d have to contact 3000 people to get one submission. This tells me that the concept is...

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Bringing More People On Board

Posted by on Dec 28, 2013 in Diary of a Startup | 0 comments

From January 2012: I need to talk to more people about going in together on this. There’s no way I can contact all of these people by myself…at least, that’s how I feel. Maybe it’s a mistake to give up any part of the company. But I feel like I need someone to work with. The people I have in mind are people I know. One is hard working, smart, she knows different areas of the law than I do, and she knows a lot of people. I talked with her about being part of the whole thing, being Veep, being whatever she wants. She’s in. It’s a good thing. Neither of us has any idea about how to divide up any kind of ownership of the company, either. What’s a fair chunk? We don’t know. I’m going to try to calculate it out. The other person, I had been thinking about calling for a couple of months, and I finally bumped into her. I hadn’t called her because I was worried about feeling like I would be pushing her into working on something when she really clearly had a full plate last year. I was really happy to see her, because I’ve missed her a lot. She was happy to see me. She mentioned to me that she really thinks she needs a job. I told her to talk with me quickly, and I sat down with her and told her about LearningLawyer.com in about five minutes. I completed a description for her of job duties so she could be well informed before making a decision. I’ve made a list of the different job duties for me and potential other people, for all the things the site needs. This way everything is delegated well. I’ve also tried to divide up the ownership of the company. I don’t have any payment to offer, I only have company ownership. Right now the company is worth pretty much nothing because the site isn’t even built. This makes it difficult to value. I talked with my brother, who works at a startup, and he described to me how dividing up ownership pretty much goes. It seems like it’s not all that fair to the people who do the work. I feel like the people I have on board with me, if they are able to do their jobs well, will be the difference between success and failure. I am more about being fair. I do not have extravagant materialistic needs…or even...

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