Being the first-born of two first-born parents, I’ve had a driven personality most of my life. I want to know that what I’m doing has meaning, helps people, leads to personal growth AND is in line with my values, principles and beliefs. This has lead me to want to be my own boss – first in teaching piano and tutoring, and now as I’m studying to be a doula.
Before I was a mom, I used to think that the best time in my life to start a company would be before I had kids, but I didn’t really have the vision for what I wanted to do long-term. While I was pregnant with my second, I realized what I had a passion for and what I wanted to pursue. It turns out that motherhood was the best preparation for entrepreneurship that I could have asked for.
As a mom and entrepreneur, I’m here to tell you this: Being a mother actually qualifies you more to become a successful entrepreneur. Creating your own startup is hard, and so is being a mom. I believe that as mothers we acquire many of the skills that are essential as we become entrepreneurs.
You can check out my article, 4 Traits of Entrepreneurs as a Work-at-home-Mom on my blog A Mother’s Road, but below I’m going to go through just some of the ways moms are entrepreneurs:
1. Moms have an early wake-up time and their job really is non-stop, 24/7.
Moms are used to limited vacations and holidays and working through the weekends. Some days they may be required to stay up until 3 am working and then have to wake at 6 am to comfort a sick child, or just play with an early riser.
Entrepreneurs deal with the same constraints on their time. As an entrepreneur, your mind is always on the business and you are likely brainstorming 24/7. You also get up early and stay up late because your “baby” needs attention.
2. Moms regularly fine-tune their negotiation skills.
Whether it’s trying to convince your toddler to go pee on the potty, or sticking with your guns when you’ve asked your kid to eat at least ONE bite of vegetables before he leaves the table. Believe me, if you have kids – you’ve already been practicing the skills of negotiation.
As an entrepreneur you have to negotiate all the time. If you already have kids you might find that closing the deal with your kid might even be more challenging and brutal than selling your solution to a potential customer or brokering a deal.
3. Moms often have to start something before they feel ready.
Well, the prime example is just the act of becoming a mom. Most moms feel as though they are not ready for motherhood (or you later found out you were not ready to becoming a mom). There is just something about raising a kid that forces you to grow up.
Then, once you feel like you’ve finally mastered your baby’s routine and know what to expect, they go through a growth spurt and change it all up. Sometimes I feel like I’m in a constant state of starting something new. There is both the challenge and confusion – how are you going to rework your daily life? – and the excitement of what this new stage might bring.
As entrepreneurs, you are also bound to feel uncertain, unprepared, and unqualified whether it’s pitching your idea to an investor or collaborating on a big project. Be assured: what you have right now is enough.
4. Moms practice creativity and depend upon crowdsourcing.
As moms, the ability to come up with creative strategies, access other people’s knowledge, connections, and resources is vital. “It takes a village,” right? Community is so important. You ask your friends, family, online community, and even strangers for their help and advice.
There are a million different Facebook mom’s groups and it’s a great place to ask, “How did you find your second-hand baby equipment?” or “How can I keep my curious toddler out of ______?” You might ask your neighbor, “How did you find that awesome and cheap cleaner?”
Entrepreneurs go from nothing to something. They often begin their endeavors with minimum financial resources, so the ability to come up with creative strategies and use crowdsourcing is crucial.
5. Moms weather the ups and downs of life.
Life as a mom is definitely a roller-coaster at times. One day your little one may say “Mama” for the first time or is an angel during the long grocery shopping trip, and the next day both your toddler and baby are having meltdowns constantly or you have to rush to the emergency room. You go from flying high to wanting to just get away for 10 minutes!!
But you can’t just give up, just like when starting a new business and a contract goes south, or it is taking longer and more work than you expected to get out of your rut, you have to keep pushing forward. You might have to pivot and try new strategies at times, but never give up!
However, entrepreneurs are different from moms in one crucial way:
While a startup founder always has a choice to give up and throw in the towel, a mom can never give up on her child. Kids are going to make messes and test your limits to your breaking point at times, but you would never shut them down, even if you wanted to in your secret moments. So you have to learn to weather the storm with each new challenge that arises.
So what’s stopping you, Mompreneur?
If you, as a mom, have ever considered starting your own venture and were afraid that motherhood might hold you back—just consider how motherhood has actually trained you in the very skills you need to push forward—and take the jump onto the entrepreneurship train.
What are you waiting for?