For people who don’t know me, I’m a former non profit and higher education marketing director. I’m also a former event planner. I planned events for UT Austin donors quite a while ago. When I went on to get my MBA and focus on marketing and technology, I said I would never get back into event planning. Never say never!
Once my daughter was born, I needed a different job, one that wouldn’t keep me away from the house all day, one that would be flexible. That’s when I made my way back into event planning, this time for corporations and associations. I started doing conference planning, which logistically is still the same as planning shee-shee events, but it takes a different mentality. I liked it and I got back into it. Conference planning is my bag. I’m not sure if I’ll ever go back to marketing.
That said, I always worked for other organizations. I didn’t plan my own events. Yet, once I had my daughter, I kept finding these <as I always say> AMAZING women who were also making changes in their lives to accomodate having children. But these women weren’t settling. Yes, they might be stay at home moms, but they were using their brains by writing or creating a new business. Yes, they were working moms, but they were adjusting their schedules and working for companies that allowed them more flexibility. Yes, they were even 9 to 5-er’s in traditional jobs, but they somehow were creating something else on the side. I thought about this and with some inspiration from all of them decided we all needed to get together more. That we needed to do it on our terms, just like we’re doing everything else.
Today I dropped my daughter off at school and we “signed in.” We wrote her name on the paper together. She looked at it for a second, apparently deciding it wasn’t our best work, and said, “That’s okay mommy, everything doesn’t need to be perfect because if everything was perfect it would be BORING.” One of the other moms heard that and said, “oh yeah, I like that…”
I say this because with MomCom there is so much I want to do. So much I want to offer. I want a lower price for admission, I want to offer free on-site child care. I want sponsors who pay me a ton of money, I eventually want exhibitors (although, sorry exhibitors, I’ve worked in the conference business and y’all are as needy and demanding as my four year old! I can say that because you know it’s true!) I want to be on every TV station, mentioned on every blog and I want to get the best reviews imaginable. But mostly, I want you to attend. I want you to feel like you’re home. I want you to see in yourselves what others see in you. I want you to really hear what the MomCom speakers are saying and understand, “Hey, she’s just like me.” or talk with another mom and realize that you can help her or you could partner with her or at the very least, you could babysit each others’ kids.
But let’s go back to what my daughter said. Everything doesn’t need to be perfect. And it’s not going to be. I don’t have everything I want, I can’t offer everything I want to. If it was perfect, I’d be bored and I’d be boring. And you’d be bored. The whole purpose of this event is to help you realize that no one is perfect (yes, we know this but do we acknowledge it?) and what a wonderful thing that is. We’re not perfect but somehow we’re doing it. We’re going somewhere. We sometimes get lost. But it’s happening. Good things are happening. Good people are happening and they are right here with you.
That’s why I want you to attend MomCom. Not because you’re going to make me a ton of money. I knew that going in. The average conference either loses money or breaks even for the first three years. So no, this isn’t a goldmine I’ve got going here. I really believe in the philosophy that if you do something you love, the money will follow. But for right now I’m focusing on the doing something you love part, hoping that some day the money will follow. And I know that once you join me, once you participate, you’ll know that I am speaking from my heart. I know that you will walk away, not a better person, because you already are that better person, but a person who can acknowledge it and move on it and do something about it, even with all of your imperfections.
Please join me and a host of other wonderful women at MomCom Austin. Thanks to a fantastic group of women from LiveMom, A Family Village and Free Fun in Austin, lunch is now free. So the entire cost of the conference with speakers, lunch, continental breakfast AND chocolate is $55. That’s less than $6 an hour. With child care for one child at Kid Spa Austin, it’s less than $12 and hour. You pay your babysitter more than that. It’s time to pay yourself the same.