By Yeldi on May 10, 2017
Do mothers make better entrepreneurs?
In light of the upcoming Mother’s Day celebrations we decided to step away from the usual Man versus Woman battle and asked our staff if ‘being a mother prepares you better to start your own business’? The discussion took an interesting turn and light was shed upon what women and moms in specific were feeling. One of the biggest misconceptions or fears that mom’s have is that they can’t juggle household responsibilities as well as dedicate the energy that is required to birth a new business from scratch. Some also felt that after taking a maternity leave or until the child is old enough to start school, they were out of touch with the business world and their confidence took a hit. Quite the contrary, studies by the Kauffman Foundation and the Dow Jones company have shown that venture-backed companies led by a woman typically produce higher revenues by 12%. Additionally, women-led companies are proven to be more resilient to financial and market crises than their male counterparts.
We compiled these 10 points to dispel the myth that Moms cannot be entrepreneurs.
1. Professional Multi-taskers - Being a mom generally means doing 6 things at one time, from getting your child out of bed to making breakfast to packing their school bag to getting ready yourself in the morning. Similarly, being an entrepreneur means being a jack of all trades – from a HR person to a sales person to a designer to even a recruiter.
2. Good negotiation skills - Ever tried to talk to your child into finishing their homework before they get to watch the cartoon channel? Or maybe get them to clean their room or do some chores around the house. Negotiation is woven into daily life. This is an excellent trait when it comes to closing deals with investors or vendors.
3. Natural networking skills - Being a mom means keeping in touch with your child’s friend’s parents, their teachers, their paediatrician, their karate class friends etc. The list goes on and is never ending. One of the biggest advantages while starting a new business is the ability to network to pass on the word and market your business or even approach people for contacts.
4. Manage finances better - Starting a family is a serious decision. It takes months of preparation and sound financial planning with adequate savings, to give the child a comfortable life. Every Rupee is accounted for as it makes a difference. Similarly running your own business means being very meticulous with every financial decision and an organised approach to see where the money goes. Like in cricket where they say ‘catches win matches’, similarly in a new business, one needs to be accountable and tight fisted with the financial resources. The similarities between personal and professional life are uncanny.
5. Ability to pick up body language - Moms’ know when their child is hungry or even when they are trying to fib. Their sense of picking up body language is very astute, especially when the child is young and hasn’t learnt to talk and express their needs. This is a valuable trait when running a business and one has to pick up body language of people in meetings or while doing an analysis of one’s team performance or to even pick up signs if an employee is shirking responsibility or bullying some one else.
6. Better problem solving skills - Helping one’s child resolve problems in school to squabbles with siblings or friends, a mom is prepared to see the world in black and white. Office communication issues between employees, billing issues with vendors or even HR issues are all a reflection of life at home.
7. Work under pressure - Being a mom is not easy and one has to constantly work under pressure situations especially when time bound. This prepares one for the unexpected situations that arise in a work environment.
8. Good sales people - Ever tried to persuade a child to eat Palak or Broccoli? The amount of convincing that is required is tremendous. Not taking no for an answer as well as the ability to look at a situation from all angles to convince a team mate or a potential client is very useful while closing deals.
9. Better story tellers - Breaking down complex lessons into simple stories so that the child understands the message is something every mom has done in her life. Lessons from the art of storytelling helps one become an effective teacher in the real world of work.
10. Moms don’t give up - Resilience and endurance are some mom traits that need to be applauded. And this holds good for every entrepreneur starting her own business. Stressful situations that crop up can almost cause the bravest of people to give up. But ploughing through with resilience and endurance will help the company and oneself in the long run.
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