A little over a decade ago, I quit the corporate job I loved to start my own business. Many people thought I was crazy to throw away the 15-year career I’d worked so hard to build (myself included!), but every time I looked at my baby daughter, my heart ached at the idea of only seeing her for fleeting moments a day, so I knew I had to at least try.
When I handed in my resignation, my boss, the CEO of a large private bank, couldn’t have been more supportive or encouraging. He told me that being a parent was going to be the biggest leadership lesson of my life and that I’d grow immeasurably in the process—and he was not wrong.
Since starting my business, I’ve encountered countless other Moms who have told me “I’d love to start a business, but I don’t have the skills or any value to offer.” If you think that too, I’m here to set you straight!
From my experience as a mompreneur and business mentor for women, I’ve seen, firsthand, that in raising a family, you are also building some badass business skills. Here is my list of the top 6 reasons why moms make great entrepreneurs.
1. They know the value of hard work.
Starting your own business is not easy, and there is no way around the fact that you need to show up and do the work. Making your business successful over the long-term requires consistency and commitment—something mothers have in bucket-loads.
Women instinctively understand that it takes time, energy, and hard work to have a healthy, happy family—and this is the same mindset you need to succeed as a business owner.
2. They are amazing at customer service.
Moms always know exactly what everyone likes and how they like it. They know each child’s preferred color of sippy cup. They know how each friend and neighbor likes their coffee. They know the exact thing to say to help each of their cherubs feel better after a fall or disappointment.
It’s this kind of attention to detail that makes a big impression on clients and will set your business apart from the others. In these days of growing standardization, this kind of service is a powerful way to win the hearts and loyalty of customers.
For anyone in business, taking care of customers is essential. You need to have a genuine desire to add value and make your client’s lives better or easier in some way. I see this quality in moms every day.
3. They are negotiation ninjas.
Anyone who can persuade a toddler to do anything is a master negotiator in my opinion! I think self-development author Brian Tracey would be quick to agree, as he stated that the three top skills of persuasive negotiators are:
- Being able to choose the right questions to ask
- Having patience
- Being fully prepared (have you ever seen inside a mom’s handbag?)
I rest my case!
4. They understand that success is a team effort.
Every mom knows that it is impossible to be successful (and remain sane!) by doing everything yourself. You need to delegate certain tasks to your husband and kids, and you need to build a fantastic support network around you.
To succeed, entrepreneurs need to do exactly the same. Working on your own can be tough, but with outsourcing, delegation and a good support network full of like-minded business owners, there is nothing you can’t achieve!
5. They are masters at thinking on their feet.
As every mom knows all too well, life rarely goes according to plan! Just when you have everything nicely planned out, something unexpected happens—the baby’s nappy explodes, the pet rabbit escapes, one shoe goes missing, the kids miss their bus…the list of potential barriers and road blocks is endless
But moms are amazingly adept at thinking on their feet, finding quick solutions and instantly rethinking their original plans and tactics, and seamlessly moving forward regardless.
In The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Steven Covey talks about the importance of using your “R and I.” In other words, your resourcefulness and initiative—two things that are woven into a mom’s DNA.
6. They are natural salespeople.
Moms often tell me that they’d like to start a business, but they are no good at selling. I don’t believe this is true, I just think people have an inaccurate idea about what selling actually is.
- That kid-friendly restaurant you recommended to another Mom—that was selling.
- That broccoli you just convinced your 3-year old to eat—that was selling.
- That “Learn to Read” app that you just excitedly demonstrated at the playgroup—that was selling.
Selling is not about convincing people to buy something they don’t want, but about understanding someone’s needs and challenges and caring enough about them and their problem to offer them an appropriate solution, then listening to their questions and helping them make the right decision for them. Another skill that mothers are practicing and perfecting every single day!
So, if you are a mom with a dream, it’s important for you to understand that the years you have been putting into your family, have also been working in your favor too—helping you grow into a strong, resilient person with many powerful and valuable skills. The only question is, how you going to use them to create the future life you dream of for you and your family?