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Think about it.  If we didn’t face obstacles in our lives, we would never have anything to overcome, to learn from and ultimately, to make us stronger as individuals.  When Ernesto, Maya and I started this ‘adventure’ into the world of children’s book writing, there was a healthy amount of speculation.  We believed we had this GREAT concept and that it would take off like wild fire.  Much like thousands of others who come up with unique ideas that excite and inspire, we fiercely envisioned what the end product could be and how people would undoubtedly embrace it.  Of course they will…why wouldn’t they??  Well, NOT so much.  I’ve started 3 businesses throughout the last 16 years based on sudden, middle of the night epiphanies.  The first was born by way of a miserable experience with a new IT job I’d accepted down on Wall Street.  Truth be told, I took the job for the money.  In the end, I realized that was just foolish because as the ol’ saying goes…money does not buy happiness.  I’m a pretty extroverted, high energy, optimistic (borderline annoying) person.  As a matter of fact, someone asked me the other day at random, “are you an ALL DAY coffee drinker?”…there was a reason for that (cringe).  My mind is always racing with some new, revolutionary idea that I believe will take the world by storm.  But getting back to the IT job, I quit without any savings (my parents took really well to that one) and took a stab at running my own IT business called “TKL, Inc” in 2000. I was certain that I would make it stand out from the rest.  Picture super IT girl cycling throughout Manhattan rescuing mom and pop businesses (and there were ALOT) from technical chaos.  I generated several clients.  NYC was great for that.  I’d say I was moderately successful for about a two-year period, but sadly, I never established a business plan (MISTAKE #1) and shot from the hip when making decisions.  I finally faced the harsh reality that I’d spent more on the business than I made.  It was a classic text book example of poor planning.  I dissolved the business in 2002.  Next business was in 2006.  Speed Dating anyone??  Yes, you heard right.  I started this fun venture with a girlfriend (and Ernesto as a silent partner going along with one of my harebrained schemes).  We called it “My Planet Luv” (catchy right?).  With the online dating craze still very much alive, Cupid.com became really popular and ‘meet and greet’ events for singles were all the hype.  “MPL” was pretty simple to startup and we had a blast.  Unfortunately, with Cupid as our competitor and their overwhelming market share, it was difficult to keep the momentum going.  Sales for our events were low and we had no real advertising budget other than our website.  Also, our events generated more men than women so that didn’t instill a lot of credibility with our gentlemen participants.  We cut our losses and ended up dissolving.  Third times’ a charm right??  Fast forward nine years later (2015), I convince my husband to start a children’s book series with me.  The stay-at-home daddy thing was (and is) still being socialized in societies across the world and recent reality shows, films and blogs were hitting the topic pretty heavily.  However, children’s picture books (i.e. The Berenstain Bears, Howard B. Wigglebottom, Dora the Explorer, Olivia) never show daddies as the caregivers.  Why is that??  Heck, Ernesto and I have been doing this ‘reverse role’ thing for four years!  I thought, we could totally do this book.  It’s controversial, it’s taboo, yet it’s endearing and PERFECT for Baby Boomers, Generation X’ers and even Millennials.  With some persuading and encouragement, I inspired Ernesto to jump onboard and off we went.  This one is special, I thought to myself.  This could be a legacy for our daughter, something that she will always be a part of and pass down to her children and her children’s children.  Even if we only publish ONE book, how amazing would this be?!  So there it began.  We gave ourselves six to twelve months and learned the entire book writing and self-publishing process from end to end.  Low and behold, we achieved our goal last summer.  It was one of the most uplifting moments of our lives.  To see our names and illustrations of our life…in beautiful, vibrant print.  A real picture book that stay-at-home daddies could read to their young children with pride.  Is third time really a charm, you might ask?  I won’t lie, it’s been an uphill battle finding ways to market our story and get recognized.  The Today Show or Oprah aren’t exactly knocking down our door.  But because this beautiful creation is a part of us and something we would NEVER have imagined for ourselves before this journey began, I would say it already is a success…in our hearts and minds.  Never give up on your dreams…Maya & Me Logo