Motherhood and entrepreneurship have a lot in common, meaning raising kids can do wonders in preparing you to run a business.
June 10, 2018 5 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
To all women who have raised kids, if you are new to entrepreneurship, switching career gears or possibly jumping back into the work force after having kids you are in the right place. As a mother myself of three older step-children and a 5-year-old, I’m here to say, you couldn’t be any better prepared for being an entrepreneur than being a mom and raising children.
We’ve all heard that motherhood is a thankless, underpaid job, right? Turns out, so is entrepreneurship. You aren’t going to start your own business if you are looking for pats on the back and a huge salary. None the less, like motherhood, this shouldn’t stop you from jumping head first into the most amazing experience of your life.
Here are six reasons why moms make the best entrepreneurs.
1. No drama mama.
Moms are used to things not always going their way. From middle of the night diaper blow-outs to middle of the store tantrums, life as a mom is messy.
As mothers we’ve learned how to keep our composure to get through these unwelcome situations with a little more grace than our single selves could have. We know that while one minute we’re up to our elbows in poo, the next moment can bring pure bliss from a simple gesture like child’s smile. Suddenly, we are reminded that all our hard work and effort is well worth it.
Entrepreneurs live a similar existence, finding themselves in many icky and uncomfortable situations. One day they feel like their business is a failure, but then, with a small win, they’re reminded of why they went into business in the first place.
2. Don’t sweat the little stuff.
If we moms dramatized every time our kids erred, we wouldn’t have any time to enjoy all the good stuff that’s happening around us. We quickly clean up a mess, bandage a boo-boo or side-step piles of dirty clothes to get to what really matters: Quality time spent with our kiddos.
As an entrepreneur the ability to stay focused on the big picture will be advantageous to success. This leaves them with more quality time to spend developing relationships and a long-term growth business.
3. Time flies when you’re having fun.
Juggling a full schedule of children’s play dates, practices, nap times, homework, dinner menus or whatever, truly sets mothers up with superior time management skills. Moms easily wade through daily to-do’s distinguishing urgent tasks from long-term goals, making us very efficient at our job.
Sometimes an entrepreneurial effort will be focused on making it through to the next day. Other times it’s about developing a strategy that will ensure the future of the company. Knowing when and where to invest time is a huge part of running ones own business with high level efficiency.
4. Hats look good on you.
Moms are used to wearing many hats. We become short-order cooks, doctors, therapists, teachers and chauffeurs. While we may possess some applicable skills already, for others we’ll just jump on YouTube for help from experts.
Most entrepreneurs possess a variety of skills that are applicable to starting their particular business. But as they really get into running a company, they’ll be forced to learn all sorts of new skills and gain knowledge in areas of expertise they didn’t even know existed.
5. It’s not you.
This ones for all the new moms who’s baby chooses daddy to hold them over you and to moms of teenagers who one day decides they don’t want your hug in front of their friends. We have poured our heart and soul into our children, and when we get rejected, it’s hard not to take it personally. But mothers keep an eye on the prize. We continue giving of ourselves because we know unwavering dedication makes all the difference in raising a good human.
Related: Don’t Take Rejection Personally
The same sensitivity applies to the way entrepreneurs experience rejection. Whether it is the failure of their initial company idea or repeated passes from financial investors, it’s hard not to take those rejections personally, when it’s about something you created.
Regardless of how many times or by whom an entrepreneur is turned down, they will choose to keep going. Why? Because they believe they can truly make a difference, and because they believe in themselves.
6. Money doesn’t grow on trees.
As moms we are more likely to be the one that budgets spending and makes the majority of the purchases for our household, from school necessities to family vacations. Making smart and savvy decisions is a high-pressure gig. Knowing where to save and where to splurge can make all the difference in a family’s survival.
The large majority of startups are initially funded by the founders own personal savings. That makes every spend a big decision. An entrepreneur must decide between fees that are imperative to manage and grow their business versus those that just sound nice.
It seems like I am constantly applying a skill I’ve acquired from being a mother that I now apply to my new role as entrepreneur.