Not getting a regular paycheck was making me very uncomfortable. I was conflicted. So I started thinking about getting a full-time gig and giving up on building my business.
That business is my company, HelloFlo. HelloFlo began as a side project with a very simple vision: to change the conversation surrounding women and their periods.
HelloFlo simplifies the lives of women and girls by bringing them convenience and joy when they expected cramps, PMS, and other discomfort. My then side-business was making me happy, but there were several growing pains, or cramps, if you will.
My business was growing slowly.
Money wasn’t coming.
The people who had the money also didn’t believe me when I told them that the way we experience menstruation in this country is not in sync with who the modern girl or woman has become.
I decided I’d reconsider my commitment after I saw through this video that I was working on with some very talented friends. It would be my last effort to see if I could get “traction” on my idea and then be able to really build the business I wanted.
Around this time I had a call with one of my most successful female friends. I had texted her that day to say, I was losing faith and I needed a pep talk. I was also secretly hoping she’d just say, I’ll hire you and you can put this whole episode behind you. Instead she encouraged me and reminded me that big corporate jobs will always be around but I won’t always have the opportunity I had in front of me. She made me promise that I would not give up until I had run my business full time for at least a year. I got off the phone feeling slightly better but also trapped.
Then something crazy happened. My tiny company that had been limping along released a video. And the video exploded. One million views in three days became two, and then three, and then five.
Suddenly I had a flood of orders and received an outpouring of support in the form of emails from women and girls around the world. They told me that what I was doing was important. And they wanted me to keep going – they were cheering for me from the sidelines.
Being an entrepreneur requires that you possess relentless optimism and passion. I had (and still have) the passion but after months of pushing a boulder up a hill my optimism was waning. I was starting to believe the naysayers who said I was just a silly subscription service. I had lost sight of my bigger vision, which is to become a modern day company dedicated to feminine care with my own products and services. In short, I was ready to lean out.
Not any more. Whether HelloFlo becomes the company I believe it can be or whether it goes away I will know, that I tried. I am swinging for the fences and I’m leaning back in. One HelloFlo box at a time.
Naama Bloom is a marketing and operations professional with over 15 years working at both Fortune 100 companies and startups. She founded HelloFlo, a monthly period supply delivery service with the intent to change the way parents and their daughters talk about menstruation. HelloFlo's viral marketing video, "Camp Gyno," created a media sensation, with five million views and counting.