One year ago, I did something that absolutely terrified me. I took a little idea that had been rattling around in my brain for years, wrote it down, and shared it. And then shared it some more. And then found myself on a stage at Accelerate NEO pitching my idea to a room filled with 400-plus smart, engaged Clevelanders. Accelerate is a civic pitch contest hosted by The Cleveland Leadership Center and it ended up being an experience that would help me redefine who I am, how I might give back to this city I love, and how I might help others do the same.
My idea was MotherBoard, a place where nonprofits and small businesses can engage with moms who want to opt back into the workforce or find careers that allow for more space and flexibility in their lives as they navigate working parenthood. MotherBoard is a community of women who don’t simply admire the problems that can come with working motherhood but, instead, set out to find ways to be empowered by the challenge of it all.
I stood on that Accelerate stage one year ago this week, so worried that my idea would sound trivial. Wondering if it would resonate with other moms or – dare I dream – resonate with anyone who understood the joys and struggles of finding the elusive “life balance.”
The thing is, it DID resonate. I meet moms almost daily who want to talk about their paths, their struggles, their successes. I believe we have tapped into a part of our workforce that can lead and execute with strength and compassion, if we can just help ease a bit of the burden of working parenthood. It’s about small changes, common ground, and a desire to be stellar moms and stellar employees.
We are still figuring out what MotherBoard really is. Because I am a working mom, I spend a lot of my time doing just what my job title describes: working and parenting. Sometimes that means MotherBoard takes a spot on the backburner for a bit. But MotherBoard, and the idea of women helping women, is my passion and my purpose. Our MotherBoard team is excited to roll out some new blogs and new ideas in the coming months and see what year two holds. We are also always looking for new ideas and new writers so drop me a line if you want to chat more.
So, happy birthday to us and to all of you who have followed our journey. Cheers to year two and to always doing the things that terrify you most of all.
PS Want to check out Accelerate? Tickets available at the door for tomorrow’s event!