Interestingly enough, this same role equips mothers to become thriving and successful entrepreneurs. Jill Salzman, creator of ‘The Founding Mom’s’, says it best during a TEDx Naperville talk:
“How many of you here wish that having a baby came with a set of instructions? I’ve had two babies and neither came with a how-to manual. So, what do you do … you start making it up, right?! And as you’re making up all of these things with this brand new human being in your care – what do you do next?
You start telling everyone. You call your family and your friends, and you start telling them all these crazy, embarrassing, unbelievable things you’re doing with this brand new baby. And by doing so, you end up creating your own community.
Similarly, “How many of you, on the day you launched your business, knew exactly what you were doing? I’m going to guess you were busy making it up. So, it’s my contention today … that mom’s make the best entrepreneurs.”
The striking similarities between motherhood and entrepreneurship abound. Here’s a look at three key areas where mom’s excel in startups – babies, business, and otherwise.
Exciting and scary, firsts.
In, author and parenting expert, Katherine Eskovitz’s open letter to her children she explains: “Being your mom means I get to see you up close experiencing exciting, sometimes scary, firsts.”
If you’re a mother, who has launched a startup the concept is not unfamiliar. Startups are chock-full of scary firsts – from picking a company name, to investing in the resources and tools necessary for your business to have a good head-start. It’s altogether exciting, exhilarating, scary and worthwhile.
Know that I made mistakes.
“Know that I realize I made mistakes. Sometimes I pushed too hard; sometimes I did not push nearly enough,” says Susan Schwartz, president of Chicago-based Davka Corporation, in a letter to her adult children. The human condition doesn’t allow for perfection, in motherhood or entrepreneurship. But the most important part is this – you’re trying.
You learn a lot from making mistakes – especially in business. Mistakes can: “point us to something we did not know, reveal a nuance we missed, deepen our knowledge, help us see what matters and what does not, inform us more about our values, teach us more about others” and so much more. All of these things are invaluable to mothers – and entrepreneurs.
You are teaching me.
“You have no idea now, but you are teaching me to lean hard into the moments that shape my character, no matter how uncomfortable they are. You are teaching me that serving others around the clock is hard work. But it is turning me into something beautiful,” says Natalie Falls, wife and mother of three, in a letter to her children.
In the same way, becoming a business owner teaches you many things about yourself that you may not have otherwise known. If you let it, entrepreneurship will shape you like a potter shapes clay on a wheel: slowly polishing out imperfections and giving you time to dry so you are solid enough to “hold your own weight.”
Let’s face it. If you can tackle motherhood, you can embark upon entrepreneurship. “Here’s to strong women. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them (Unknown).”
This article is dedicated to my loving mother – my best friend, my rock, my angel. Thank you for setting the example, paving the way and leaving a legacy. Just another day in paradise.
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