Last night, I had a dream in which my mother had caught a giant shark on her fishing line. She didn't want to pull the shark up and she couldn't get the hook out. She also felt guilty about leaving the hook in the shark's mouth, so she dove into the water and somehow managed to get the hook out of the shark's mouth and jump out of the pool unscathed. She then walked away and I stood in awe and confusion.
I woke up feeling pretty much the same way.
This dream is ridiculous to me in a lot of ways. First of all, my mother hates fish. She is violently allergic to seafood. She barely tolerates seeing all the fish my dad catches when they are in the fridge, let alone wanting to go fishing (though she has done it on occasion because she is nothing if not a people-pleaser).
My mother is an animal lover. In fact, she started out in college wanting to be a veterinarian, but switched to botany when she realized she couldn't bring herself to dissect a dog. After a 35-year career managing rates and tariffs for a gas & electric company (where she actually started her employment making sure there were no endangered plant species where power lines were going to be erected), she began a second career as a dog trainer.
She is now the proud owner of Patiently Positive Dog Training– a name that truly embodies the business owner and method. Great branding.
But we will get to that a bit later...
The part of the dream that had me truly reeling (fishing pun intentional), was the idea that she would jump into a nest of sharks in order to diminish the pain of one particularly large, mean and nasty one. No matter how much of an animal lover my mom is, I know she would never do this in real life.
As I sat in reflection this morning, I realized that she did that for me nearly every day. Though it took me a long time to see it, she was in the shark's den doing her absolute best to make sure the shark wasn't hurt and didn't attack. She isn't the accolades type though, so she would turn her back and walk away from her heroic acts, just as she did in my dream.
Without getting into too much detail, I will say that I had to learn to be a caretaker at a very young age. The concepts of self-preservation and protection were sewn into my fabric without me even being old enough to recognize it at the time.
This caretaker syndrome led me through my life path, many times in a positive way and many times... not so much. I have traditionally (and it appears, genetically) been the type of person who would much rather care for others than focus on myself.
In fact, when I ran my theater company, I earned myself the nickname, "DiaMOMdo." I also was called, "Diamanding," but we can talk about that another time. In fact, feel free to read this article here about my tone of voice challenges.
And while we are at it, if you also feel this caretaker thing, you may want to sign up for my free 7-day email sequence that will help you break the cycles of self-sabotage that are often associated with being a caretaker.
Back to the "DiaMOMdo" part of me...
I recently noticed that nearly all of my clients are "mompreneurs." Those who aren't, spend a lot of time in caretaker mode. Those are my people.
We all know the expression, "teach what you know." Well I firmly believe (and teach daily) that you are best served teaching what you know through who you are. Authenticity sits at the very core of my being and is definitely a value I won't compromise, personally or professionally.
When you take the time to connect with who you are and then unabashedly show this side of yourself to the world, people who vibe with that will be drawn to you. And when you happen to know just a tiny bit more about one aspect of that journey than they do, people will want to learn from you.
That's the key to business.
Not just my business– all business.
So as I sit at my computer on this blustery Sunday morning that we call Mother's Day, I can't help but think about all of the wonderful momrepreneurs in my life... especially the most important one– my mom.
No matter what the word "mom," means to you, today is a day to honor the fierce feminine inside of you that would do anything to protect and serve your people.
I am incredibly grateful to be surrounded by shining examples of this everywhere I turn.
HERE ARE SOME OF MY FAVORITE FIERCE FEMALES AND HOW YOU CAN CONNECT:
Christine Stratakos, Patiently Positive Dog Training (in-person training Upstate, New York)
Melissa Killeleagh (mama bear, yoga teacher, spiritual warrior, entrepreneur, podcaster)
Deb Tilton, DT Fitness (online fitness classes for busy moms)
Elena Anadolis (disability advocate, public speaker, consultant)
Kaitlin Addy Bryant (teacher, leader, mompreneur)
Carly Rodgers (meal-prep services in Buffalo,NY, mompreneur)
Jaclyn Dugan, Unleashed: All Badassery; No BS (mompreneur, personal trainer, Muay Thai)
Kristin Quattlebaum , KQ Coaching (intuitive + wellness guide)
Ashlee Powers, Nature's Path: Mind, Body, Soul (beeswax products, bus driver, Reiki, mom)
Dr. Hayley Nelson, Be Well With Dr. Hayley (accessible neuroscience)
Shana Heatley, Ahh Therapy (yogi, mompreneur, wellness coach, bliss junkie)
Danielle Ufland-Westfield (mompreneur, independent consultant area manager at Arbonne)
Alexandra Kollias, Curio (online vintage boutique, graphic design)
Spartan Yogini, Spartan Yoga Shala (online and virtual yoga classes in Sparta, Greece)
Despina Douka (mompreneur, baker, podcaster)
I could keep going and going...
If you want to be added to this list, please reach out. Let's chat. Let's connect. Let's collaborate!