Monday, October 26, 2009

MidChix Start Up Financing Part 2 or "My Money or My Life"

By January of 2009, MidChix haunted my every waking moment, and I began searching high and low for funds. I needed $50,000 dollars and it was nowhere to be found. I sold some jewelry. I looked under the seats of the car. I pocketed bills that showed up in the lint screen. I cashed in the kitchen change jar. I consigned clothes. I substituted in the office at the school. I did everything I could think of short of pulling a Bernie Madoff.

True confessions. I actually contemplated the number of sexual favors that it might take to land a big fat loan from my supportive, but cautious husband.

Then one day, the light bulb went on. Didn’t I have a life insurance policy somewhere? I raced upstairs to the study and the file cabinet. Yes! There it was. Now technically, this wasn’t “my” money. My practical and organized (yet prudent and possibly sexually deprived) spouse, had realized when our fourth child arrived well before our oldest turned 6, that he would be TOAST if I ever took up sky-diving. Nevertheless, I felt, at this point, that I had earned that money. I mean for heaven sakes, it was there to pay some poor slob to fill in for me if I was dead. I mean, if I was dead wouldn’t that make him sad and he’d do anything to make me feel better…I mean make him feel better…I mean make me feel so good I wouldn’t be dead?

Okay, okay. I decided that I had earned the money, because I had ended up being the poor slob bringing up our four kids (later 5) while he was working his cute little investment banking butt off providing for the five kids that we would need to pay some poor slob to take care of if I died.

Fast forward. I didn’t die. The kids got older. (Even the youngest one.) We moved to Denver and my practical hard-working husband continued to be practical and hardworking, but available enough that he learned how to hold down the fort.

So on a wing and a prayer, I pointed simultaneously to him and our 14 year old daughter (while glancing meaningfully at her little brother) and announced, “If I die, you’re it!”

After returning the rescinded Mother-of-the Year Award to the proper authorities, I cashed in my life insurance, hired the software developers, and decided to live the dream.

So far, so good. But if you ever see me outside in a lightning storm, please make sure the wine glass I am holding doesn’t have one of those metal doo-hickeys hanging from it. And in the meantime, Cheers!

Monday, October 12, 2009

MidChix Start Up Financing Part One or Cleaning Up

I wasn’t complaining, I swear. It’s just that for the 54th consecutive Monday, when I turned on the living room lamp, nothing happened. For the 54th consecutive Monday, I went out to the garage, retrieved a new bulb, screwed it in, turned the little knob and…still, nothing happened. Oh yeah, I thought, the cleaning lady unplugged it again.

Believe me, I knew I was lucky to have a cleaning lady, I got hives anytime I recalled the first eight weeks in a new house still under construction sans one with a new baby, a six-year old with asthma, and three older kids whose idea of helping around the house was flushing. Still, I have to admit I went crazy every time I found that the shampoos had all been moved out of the shower to the tub, or my night table water bottle had been tossed, or the blow dryer unplugged and hidden in a drawer (a different one each week). The best is when I would find all the dirty sheets and towels deposited on top of the clean clothes in the laundry basket.

My husband went nuts every time they folded the end piece of toilet paper into a neat little triangle (just like in fancy hotels)…even when it was literally the end piece of toilet paper. He is still traumatized by the last time that he had to waddle to the linen closet with his pants around his ankles.

So early this year, when finding funding for MidChix was keeping me up at night, I began pecking around for any and all sources of cash. And after replacing that light bulb for the 54th consecutive Monday, I had an epiphany. I could clean my own house! And pay myself! Admittedly, I don’t clean the whole house every week, but I have developed a pretty good system that manages to keep the sinks relatively free of toothpaste and the dust bunnies to only a couple of generations.

This seems like a natural evolution from a prior epiphany, which I think should be a future topic on this site: Stay-at-Home Moms should get paid. My preference would be that the government paid us…but until we manage to have that legislation passed, having the household account pay me will have to suffice.

The best part is, I never replace a light bulb that isn’t burned out.

Stay tuned for Part II of MidChix Start-Up Financing Story. It promises to include seamy details including sexual favors and life and death decisions!

Monday, October 5, 2009

MidChix Mission and Mantras

As I made my way down the start-up path, I had some pretty firm ideas about what I wanted for MidChix. After realizing that it's not that hard to get blown off course, I decided to put a few promises in writing so that when the inevitable mission-creep threatens, we can refer back to our original purpose.

When I began to investigate the world of social networking, I was dismayed to discover that many social networking sites allow advertising and fees hidden in the small print that compromise the security of their members. Here are a couple of examples:

Early in the year I was drawn in by a Google ad on Facebook and ordered a free sample of two skin care products. Unbeknownst to me, I also signed up to be placed on auto-ship for both. A charge of $39.99 showed up on my credit card bill a few weeks later, and when one of the products arrived before I became aware of this scam, I was told that the product could not be returned after it had shipped. So next time you are tempted to click on that ad which promises a no-fail method for weight-loss, or wrinkle-reduction, or some other miracle cure, BUYER BEWARE.

The following month, I registered for to help with research for MidChix. Though charges a fee to members, I figured it was worth it to learn about a different revenue model. Once again, I was scammed. Turns out when you sign up you are also sold a credit check service. It was three months in before I happened to be the one paying our Visa bill one evening and noticed the $19.99 charge from "Privacy Matters." Guess my husband didn't want to pry when he saw that charge, or secretly hoped it was some erotic product that I was planning to surprise him with...

You can be assured that MidChix will never put revenues ahead of your rights.

We promise:

  • We will never hide fees/charges/contracts in small print.
  • We will protect your privacy.
  • We will never provide personally identifying information to anyone.
  • We will only support advertisers that have demonstrated a commitment to women through their products, employment practices or charitable endeavors.
  • And we will do our best to expose sites that are not safe or that hide fees.