I feel like I was punched in the gut.
I just opened up an email where someone I had just had a phone conversation with gave me some not so kind feedback.
I’m not going to lie – it stings. I feel horrible.
And my instinct is to feel indignant and push back and say they don’t know the true me.
And they don’t.
But the fact is, for 40 minutes in one day of one week, the impression that someone walked away with was not in any way the person I think I am or strive to be.
Like anything, I can certainly rationalize my behavior – J is traveling, I had the girls myself and I was trying to occupy the Bug with a Daniel Tiger marathon (eg. 30 minutes) while I quickly had a conversation that I had been trying to schedule for 2 weeks.
And the sad reality is, as a founder and the mother of young kids, it’s just not the same to say “oh can you hold on one minute, my daughter needs a glass of milk” as if I was a father. The father would be given a medal and wide berth of consideration.
A mother? Just confirmation that she’s not committed. That she’s unprofessional.
That’s happened so many times in the past that I didn’t want to risk it and so I played down this fact and instead, most certainly came off as distracted and dismissive.
Horrible. I feel horrible.
But there is nothing to be done for the past. Only a vow to be better today.
The worst part is, that the more I try to be all of these things – a confident leader to my team, a responsive servant to my customers, a present and engaged wife and mother, the less I seem to be able to do any of them really well.
Even writing this post likely isn’t the most prudent thing to do. As a founder there is the bravado, this confident veneer that is necessary to convince the world all is fine and well and in-frickin-credible that some days I start to question which is the reality.
My admitting my faults will appear weak to some, a confirmation of why I may not be worthy of investment.
But the only thing that I can tell that separates the founders that make it and those that don’t is this innate faith in self. That ultimately, no matter what anyone says, the only thing that can matter is what I think. How much I believe.
So bare my soul and I write this because to do otherwise wouldn’t be true to myself and this journey I put myself on.
And so here is the cold hard truth: I behaved poorly yesterday. Whether it was excusable or not doesn’t really matter.
I can only hope that I have the opportunity to demonstrate to this individual the true person I am. Someone that is far from perfect, but who is unafraid to hear the critique and use it to fuel the creation of a better version.