This morning I went to the beach with a 4yo, 2yo and a 10month old as well as a dog. Motherhood is the ultimate training ground for entrepreneurship. We juggle it all daily and fail miserably at it. Yet we pick ourselves up, brush ourselves off and start over again. The skills and traits that make a great mother are also the ones that make a great business owner. There is no manual to starting a business or a parent and yet so many of us are trying to write it. To pass on our wisdom to the next dreamer! As a mom, you are already used to juggling multiple tasks, managing your time, and being resourceful. You are also used to dealing with unpredictability, problem-solving, and making decisions under pressure
Did you know that toddlers don't follow timetables? We are programmed to move naps and rearrange playdates. Running your own business allows you to create a schedule that works best for you and your family. It's tough work. Setting up a business is not as easy as setting boundaries and priorities and you have the balance worked out, but neither is motherhood. Things change rapidly and unexpectedly both personally and professionally but its a rollercoaster worth the ride!
Remember what you thought motherhood would be like? And then it wasn't?
Well that's what will happen when you start your own business. You'll read the 10 tips to start a business and think, you got this, and then boom....Your little is sick.
So while owning your business can allow you to create a flexible schedule, allow you to prioritise more and not have to ask permission but its still demanding.
A study conducted by the National Women's Business Council found that 48% of female entrepreneurs cited time management as a top challenge in running their business.
I dropped any notion of creating a work-life balance quickly into starting my own business. Working with moms in business, I began to see the strain it was taking. How either having a full-time job and balancing everything else came with it OR starting a business and surprised when it took more than 10 hours a week. Let me take you back to the first few weeks after your newborn was born. Did you ever imagine it would be so hard to take a shower? But you got through it. You managed it and you are more prepared than ever for the ups and downs of entrepreneurship. So instead, I learn to sway. Sway with the ups of family life while my business is swinging downwards.
The lockdowns closed down my daughters creche and so we both juggled calls with countless episodes of Peppa Pig. But we also got to see new milestones that would have been missed. I realised I simply could not go back to dropping her off at 8 and picking her up at 6 for bedtime. And so many of my clients share the same sentiment.
Entrepreneurship allows me to have something to focus on outside of my gorgeous kids and honestly, I know it makes me a better mom. It aligns with the skills I worked hard to build before becoming a mom, the values I want my kids to learn and provide a purpose. This sense of autonomy can be empowering and can help moms feel more in control of their lives.
But honestly, I know that I would not be the business owner I am today without being a mom. Both my parents were serial entrepreneurs and sitting at the table with them during a recession was an eye opener at how brutal it can be. Having a family is so incredibly rewarding, it teaches you about empathy, compassion, patience and perseverance.
When you have a business of your own, you are not only providing for yourself and your family, but you are also making an impact on the world. It can be incredibly rewarding to see your hard work pay off and to know that you are making a difference in the lives of your customers or clients.
So what skills do you need to be good in business?
Every time I look at this list I grin to myself and think about the morning routine! Negotiating with kids to eat their breakfast and put on their shoes. Being resilient to being slapped one moment and kissed the next. Endless updating the grocery list and adding mental adjustments to the monthly budget because we need new tights and extra undies. Delegating duties, solving the problem of the missing while simultaneously timing how much longer we have before we are definitely late! And of course, the cherry on top? Meeting new parent friends at the drop off!
Motherhood can teach valuable lessons about perseverance and resilience. Being a mother can be a challenging and demanding role, but it also provides opportunities to learn from mistakes and failures, and to keep moving forward. The experience of motherhood can instill a sense of optimism and determination that can be applied to other areas of life, including owning a business.
In business, setbacks and failures are a common occurrence, and it's essential to maintain a positive attitude and keep trying despite challenges. The ability to maintain a long-term perspective, to learn from mistakes and failures, and to remain committed to one's goals are all qualities that can be learned from motherhood and applied to the world of business. By recognizing that today may not be perfect, but that there is always tomorrow, you can develop a sense of resilience that can serve them well in their professional lives.