Being a parent is challenging. It requires a lot of patience, organization, preparation and adaptability—just as running a business does.
This is why mompreneurs are in a unique situation. They learn a lot about how to manage their businesses by raising their children. These moms can take the transferable skills they've cultivated at home, and readily apply them in the workplace.
If you're a mompreneur, there are many valuable parenting skills you've already gained that also will be incredibly helpful to you in professional situations. Here are a few ways to apply your parenting expertise to your business and help ensure its success.
Making organization a priority
Rochel Lazar, who runs the Orthodox Jewish women's website Nashim Magazine, is the mother of four. She said that, because she has so much to juggle, she has to constantly stay organized, which is extremely useful when she is at work as well.
"I keep a well-organized planner, which I check religiously all throughout the day. I also make notes on my phone reminders when I am out of the house to make sure things get done in a timely manner," she says. "I've learned to forge ahead and work hard on very little sleep, so that comes in handy, too, when I have a tight deadline."
Since Lazar is always multitasking when it comes to her kids, she has learned to do the same for her business. "I'm constantly organizing everyone's activities and appointments, so that we run like a well-oiled machine. Running a business is similar—you need to make sure all the parts are working harmoniously and everything gets done in a timely manner and everyone gets where they need to go. It's all about planning and organizing yourself."
Allyson Ziskind, who is a swim coach and infant swim rescue instructor at her business Revolution Swim School, has learned the value of patience as the mother of a special needs son.
When she is giving classes to children or dealing with parents, she makes sure to always have patience there as well. "Even if I'm talking firmly to the children in my school, I have to be very loving. I can't treat every child the same. I have to treat children for all their different needs, and be able to comfort a child and be empathetic to parents' needs."
Among the skills that business owners and leaders can have, patience is among the most important. Exercising patience at work is very closely related to the critical skills of listening effectively and showing empathy. A mompreneur's ability to take a genuinely individualized approach to each client also is critical to meeting the needs of diverse people and situations.
Being realistic about goals
Moms have big plans for their businesses, just as they do for their children. They may want their child to become a doctor, and they may want to make it into the Fortune 500 with their company. However, if a child is not interested in medicine or a business isn't bringing in enough profits, it's not healthy to push for something that won't happen, according to mompreneur and nutritionist Shaina Kamman of Super Simple Nutrition.
"With my kids, I always want to help them become better, and challenge and nurture them, but I also want to lovingly accept them and embrace the level they are at," she said. "I try and carry that attitude into my own business."
Though it's good to have goals for her business and children, Kamman said she wouldn't want to accomplish goals while disliking who she became in the process. The same goes for her kids; they may be good at reading, but hate doing it. "Build what you're trying to build and become what you're trying to become without feeling overwhelmed and pushing yourself so hard that it's not sustainable," she said. "You need to say, 'I'm not stuck in this. I chose this, and I choose this every day.'"
By staying organized, practicing patience and being realistic about what your goals are at home, you can learn how to do the same in your business. Whether you're developing your marketing plan or getting started with social media, you already have parenting skills that apply to your business situation. And, as with parenting, there is no perfection in entrepreneurship—it's all about doing what works, day in and day out, and celebrating the little victories as they arise.
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