The word 'mother' conjures up a picture of nurturing and inspiration. And a reality check
reveals that whether it's children, a business or a brand, they need time, attention and nurturing.
Text: Lyndsay Jensen
It is an emotionally moving experience when a mother feels the first signs of life. It would be correct to imagine similar stirrings of creating a new business. Like mothers go through the experience of pregnancy leading to the moment when the life you've spent time growing, a business founder also feels overwhelmed with love when their business is born. Add a sense of responsibility to nurture it to evolve or grow it into a wonderful and successful entity.
In a broader perspective, all business owners face similar issues involving bringing up kids. You plan the business growth and guide the brand's direction both with the target market and competition. But is this all structured and scientific? Not always, planning a business's future involves being prepared for roadblocks and U-turns and the occasional crisis. Motherhood is like a training session for starting a business in many ways. There's a lot at stake, and entrepreneurs have to be innovative and adaptive. They must learn along the way, as well.
So, all 'maternal instincts are in full swing when a woman (and mom) entrepreneur gives the final push to her startup, which can give you a bit of an edge in business. Here are some points for harnessing the 'mama-bear' instincts to nurture your business:
Juggling many balls
Mothers are used to juggling. After all, they have children to look after and most probably hundreds of different chores in and out of the house. So, multitasking quickly becomes a part of the daily routine. While running a business it's not that different. Unexpected disturbances can crop up in a business (just like it can happen with kids). Dealing with customers, employees, vendors, or tech issues, and it's not uncommon for any or all of them to need your attention at the same time. Since moms are used to keeping going on or completing several tasks at once, they're prepared to absorb, prioritise and accomplish any task that is sprung at them during the workday.
Are mothers mind readers?
Another factor that is naturally associated with Moms is problem-detecting and problem-solving. Babies may not be able to tell us why they're crying – but mothers instinctively realise what to do. The term "mother's intuition" is common, and for a good reason. Science supports the idea that the biological changes in a pregnant woman enhance her intuition. Just as these skills are applied to parenthood, they can also be valuable to the entrepreneurial environment. Thinking and analysis skills are critically important when launching or growing a business, and when it comes to success, it's intuition that comes in to play a critical role. Remember, intuition isn't just a "feeling," it's also informed by an accumulation of experiences. The knowledge you accumulate during motherhood is like none other; most significantly, it can easily be adapted to your professional life.
The art of negotiation
One thing, in particular, Moms constantly have to negotiate is communicating with kids. They instinctively try to arrive at winning solutions when it comes to negotiations. This quality of 'being tough but fair' can go a long way in establishing a successful business. No one wants to feel they aren't receiving good value for their money or proper compensation for their work. Here, women can often find natural solutions that work for all involved. If you want to succeed in a business, you need to "win" - and you also have to "win over" consumers and nurture a loyal customer base. Again, an efficient negotiation ability goes a long way in accomplishing this.
The mother of all inventions
Kids often question or give their opinions on almost everything. Being inventive comes in handy when facing tasks, challenges, or decisions. Today, we see female entrepreneurs who successfully start their businesses and take care of their families. Many mothers view launching a startup business as a smart solution when they have a family to take care of. Running their own business enables them to establish a schedule that works for them and their families. The autonomy and freedom that accompany being your own boss are indispensable. So, why not do it? As a woman and Mom, you have exemplary skills and attributes that you can bring to the marketplace. Importantly, these qualities can become strengths that will form the backbone of your winning, successful businesses.