Prologue: Leaving My Role in Software Dev to Start a Business?

I am overthinking this post. I have spent over a week trying to find the right words when I just need to type them as they come to me. So I am going to set my Pomodoro timer, and for 25 minutes, I am going to type.

I am starting a business. No, I am not jumping into a multilevel marketing program, because those just aren’t for me. I’m pretty sure that everyone in their life has tried one form or another, and while some people thrive on it, I never wanted to hit my friends and family up to buy stuff…felt too much like fundraising in elementary school. I am opening a craft boutique where I will sell cool stuff on Amazon. But what made me want to do this? Here’s the backstory…

In 2021, things were cooking in my career as a software engineer. I loved my job, absolutely adored my team (especially, my boss), and the project that I was working on was deeply fulfilling. I was being paid well to be a valued contributor to a small, agile team and we built some pretty neat functionality into our application. The application looked pretty good, too! In October, we learned that we were pregnant, and after a pretty heartbreaking late first-trimester miscarriage in March, I was elated. We found out on Thanksgiving morning–via mail in blood work testing–that we were getting our little girl. But our viability scan showed that something was not okay with our princess; I was advised to do further bloodwork, due to my age. Two weeks later, we found out that our daughter had a 95% chance of having Down syndrome.

The next six months or so were a blur. Lots of tears and plenty of anxiety. What did this little girl’s future mean for my future…the one I had spent the past five years building? Many of my new friends that I made in the DS community stayed home to be their child’s paid caregiver, an incredible program that Colorado has that not many other states offer. But I did not think that was what I wanted…at all. After all, I was a software engineer (Enneagram 3, much?). We really wouldn’t know what kind of medical issues Aspen would have until after she was born, and then we would reassess and see what needed to be done.

Aspen was born, absolutely perfect and wonderful, extra chromosome and all. I didn’t quite realize her perfection yet (but would soon see that this girl was exactly what our crazy family needed. I had a very honest conversation with my boss stating that I didn’t know if I would be able to stay in my current position with the insane number of doctor’s appointments, procedures, exams, and therapies. I think it was about one month in that I realized I needed to come up with a game plan, and fast. I went ahead and completed the paperwork to become Aspen’s paid caregiver, and as luck would have it, I went less than a week between leaving my job in software and starting my job as a paid caregiver.

The past few months have been such a privilege to be available 100% for Aspen without worrying about deadlines, pushing buggy code, and scrum calls. But there is one piece that I don’t enjoy…I don’t love that my number of hours (thus, my pay) is determined by how medically complex Aspen’s needs are. I want what is best for her, not what is best for us financially. I started to explore options and got targeted by a Facebook ad for starting an FBA (fulfillment by Amazon) biz.

Five minutes are left on the timer, and one blog post is done. I am excited about doing this. As you will see in subsequent blog posts, I truly have poured everything into getting this off the ground, and I hope that documenting this journey is interesting to at least one person wanting to start their own thing.

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