3 Ways Being a Mom Has Helped Me in BusinessAdrian Miller
I’m a business owner. I’m also a Mom. These two have more in common than you might think.
You see, before I started my business over 30 years ago, I thought that being a mom was pretty much the toughest thing that I had I ever done. Sleepless nights, temper tantrums, and a nagging worry that I was “doing it all wrong” occupied my mind on a regular basis. Motherhood forced me to question things that I had always taken for granted, and I couldn’t imagine anything else making me feel so insecure.
That is until I started my own company.
By the time I opened for business, I had the whole “Mom” thing down. I even offered advice to friends who had jumped on the parenting bandwagon after me. Getting the kids to sleep through the night? Not a problem. Fussy during mealtimes? I had a solution for that, too. My insecurities about the kids had been put to rest, but my business, well, that was another story.
I cherish these pictures of my children – then and now.
Looking back now, I can see so clearly how the insights and instincts that I gained through the trials and tribulations of parenthood were instrumental in helping me to successfully birth my business. Even more, I can see where I was able to avoid the land mines of infancy and toddlerhood as well.[Tweet “@amiller shares 3 ways being a mom helped her in business – via @smarthustlemag”]
Here are some of the most important lessons I learned to be a good parent, which have helped me to be successful in business. (You don’t even need to have children for them to work for you!)
Be Patient and Understanding From the Start
Every parent knows they must exercise infinite patience when dealing with their children. Trying to rush things and reacting hastily can be a disaster. Shooing a stubborn toddler out of the store, for example, will lead to a major meltdown; sometimes it is just easier to wait it out. The same concept applies when teaching children how to read, ride a bicycle, or even how to eat with a fork. These things simply cannot be rushed. The owner of a new business must demonstrate patience and understanding as they nurture their nascent company and see it through to maturity. For every business that enjoys a meteoric rise, there are thousands more that naturally experience slow and steady growth to success. Moving too fast and trying to hurry things along can result in serious business mishaps and in some cases financial ruin.
It Will (probably) Be More Expensive Than You Ever Imagined
Children cost money, often more than was ever planned for. In addition to the essentials such as food, clothing, and shelter, there are critical investments to a child’s happiness and wellbeing: books and education, toys and entertainment, medicine and childcare. Many parents take a stab at saving but quickly find that without a concrete financial plan the day-to-day expenses eliminates any possibility of putting away money for the future. The same might be said for starting and growing a business. Sure, you can open a business on a shoestring and bootstrap budget, but at some point, you must invest in the areas of your business that will make it profitable. Developing an infrastructure, engaging in sales and marketing outreach, and building a technology platform are all necessary steps for taking off the company’s training wheels.
Develop Relationships With Trusted, Dependable Resources
It’s difficult to “go it alone” as a parent, and “doing it all” is nearly impossible. At an early stage, I found a nanny and a team of babysitters which enabled me to go off to work with a free mind and the certainty that my children’s needs taken care of. A new business is much the same: when you bring in trusted resources to help you run and/or manage the needs of your business, you are able to dedicate time and energy to other facets of the company. Today my bookkeeper, accountant, business lawyer, virtual assistants, and marketing advisors assist me in keeping track of my business essentials as well as help me to make the right decisions. Most importantly, they enable me to have some “free” time to do what only I can do – be the face of my company.
Is parenthood a prerequisite to building a successful business? Of course not! But these attributes are pretty much required for success in either venture. Happily for me, being a Mom came first, so the rest seemed easy!