I know it doesn’t make sense, but even if I am in a swimming pool, I hate being splashed or shot in the face with a water gun.
Evie, of course, has finally figured out a genius workaround for this. This past week, she developed a “spa treatment” that involves spraying someone’s arms, hands, legs, and shoulders with a long, skinny flamingo water sprayer. “Ok, now, other hand…” She takes it all very seriously. And hence, tricks you into opting into being sprayed.
Once she had tested and perfected the concept on Paul, she swam over to sell me on the services. My payment for these amazing spa services (that a few minutes earlier would have gotten her in a time-out for spraying people) was several fun pool maneuvers I do. Like “Water Ski” where she stands on my thighs and holds my arms as I spin her around yelling “Water skiiiiiI!”
“Ok, that’ll be two water skis, one no bueno, and a submarine,” she said. “You can go ahead and pay me the water skis now and the rest after the treatment.”
She ended up doing a longer “treatment” than expected, so she told me how many extra water skis and no buenos I’d owe her at the end, and included a speedboat as gratuity. I nodded.
It was then that Eli burst in: “Evie, why are you even charging mom for these services? Shouldn’t you just do them for free, because you love her and she’s your mom?”
Evie turned her head icily to Eli as she continued refilling the flamingo. “HOW ELSE AM I SUPPOSED TO SUPPORT MY BUSINESS, ELI?”
Then, sensing a recruiting opportunity, she added, “You know, Eli, right now it’s just me, but I’m looking to expand if you are interested in joining me…”
I’ve never been more proud.
One of the hidden blessings in this time is the kids’ getting an appreciation for how hard I work and what goes into building a company. My parents were teachers, and I always felt like it was a huge gift that I was able to be a student in both of my parents’ classes. To get to see them do what they do best in the world that has nothing to do with being a parent.
In many ways, it was more the ultimate NeedHop-inspired moment than a Chairman Mom-inspired moment. Evie clearly knows her worth and isn’t going to discount her work—even if I’m her mother.
She inspired me the next day when a good friend asked if he could pick my brain about podcasting.
“Sure!” I wrote, “Here is my profile on NeedHop.” And then I went and added “podcasting” to the things I was qualified to talk about. Yes, this was a friend of mine, and I could have done this for free. But he was also doing research for his job at a very well-funded company, so in a sense, he was getting paid to do the call. If Evie can charge me for flamingo spa-treatments, why shouldn’t I be paid to present my knowledge of running a bootstrapped podcast that paid my mortgage for an entire year?
Today’s new questions on Chairman Mom:
- How to deal with well-intentioned “pity” at work?
- Am I overreacting to balk at doing projects (aka free work) in job interviews for VP (or higher) roles?