The Hello Duetto Journey – Part I
So we are officially getting started with a Hello Duetto blog (only took three years & a lot of eye rolls from my marketing folks, but better late than never, right?). My goal is to share our latest insights / research findings / learnings and hopefully give you interesting thoughts to chew on each week or add some good nuggets of information to your knowledge base.
For the first few posts, I thought it might be fitting to talk about our company’s journey, which has been long, winding, twisted, and completely not what I expected on any level. Here’s how it all started:
I first thought of the idea of Hello Duetto while working as an attorney at a Biglaw firm. I saw women leaving their job / the legal industry after starting a family. I saw empty boardrooms. Naturally the answer was to turn those empty boardrooms into mini-daycares to make it easier for women to transition back to work. So I went with it – gathering investors under a new type of childcare model. The ultimate goal: help make it easier for women climb the ladder and get into senior leadership positions without sacrificing their family life.
But as I started gathering more information and putting our plan in motion, I started seeing a lot of roadblocks to babies in a boardroom. It would require cultural change at companies. Department of Children & Family Services (DCFS) rules only allowed daycares to be built on first floors. Landlords weren’t comfortable renting out prime retail space to a daycare. Some parents preferred nannies, au pairs, or family help. It was a tall order indeed.
So I had a choice to make – continue along a path that would be an uphill battle through & through and prove to myself to be the ultimate masochist. Or try to figure out if there was a better way to do things and see if this resistance would point me in a better direction.
Did I feel like a failure? Yes. Did I have a breakdown and think I made a mistake leaving my legal career to do this? Yes. Was it the best thing to have ever happened to me? F*** yes.
As the weight of everything fell on me and I felt the walls closing in, I remember just giving in & accepting the situation for exactly what it was – a lesson. And then at 3am that night…I woke up with a new idea. A better one than before. One that would address each element of resistance under the previous model.
It was the first time I realized that I could pull myself out of what seemed like an impossible situation. And that by just being willing to ask myself to think differently and be open to changing, I was able to change. After that, everything fell into place, I never dealt with another tough situation again, and it was all rainbows and butterflies.
Just kidding. The next business model wasn’t the final one. Neither was the one after that. Or the one after that. Or the one I’m on now. Or the one after this one. Or the one five years from now. It will always be constantly evolving and learning. I will constantly be evolving learning. And so will the people I take along with me.