The term mompreneur is both celebrated and hated – some think the term is empowering, others think it’s patronising and unprofessional. Personally, I don’t really care for labels although I don many, including: mom, entrepreneur, chef, wife, friend, partner, daughter, sister, to name but a few. Although I don’t much like being pigeonholed, I cherish all of those labels, because each one has moulded me into the person I am today, particularly entrepreneur and mother = mompreneur.
Opinions aside, the term mompreneur is not going anywhere. The number of self-employed women is rising at nearly three times the rate of men. There are now more than 1.2 million self-employed women in full- and part-time work. Of these, an estimated 300,000 are mumpreneurs, according to Mumpreneurs UK, contributing £7.4bn to the economy each year. Impressive eh!
The fact of the matter is, us women make great entrepreneurs. In fact, studies showthat companies that are led by a woman typically produce higher revenues and launch on a third less capital. Furthermore, women-led companies are proven to be more robust to financial and market crises than their male equivalents.
As a mother and entrepreneur, I’m here to tell you this: Being a mother actually qualifies you more to become a successful entrepreneur. Raising your own business is hard, and so is motherhood – I think that becoming a mother brings with it a whole new skill set, one which is also fundamental to becoming an entrepreneur.
Here are the top three skills motherhood gave to me, which in turn, made me a better business owner:
- PRESSURE, WHAT PRESSURE?
Picture this, you’ve got a 2-year-old asleep, a new-born stirring for a feed and a husband asleep in the spare room having just finished a night shift. It’s 4am in the dead of winter, turning on the lights is not an option, so you have to carefully manoeuvre yourself out of the bedroom, down the stairs and into the kitchen without stepping on a creaky floor board or slamming the stair gate. You make it to the kitchen, with your mole like blurry vision trying to find the switch for the kettle. Kettle’s on now you have to measure the formula…yes, you know don’t you! The precious £13 tin of formula that your baby consumes every 3 days. You crack open the tin and begin measuring scoops into the bottle, carefully does it, it’s too expensive to waste! 1,2,3, scoops in and SH*T, how many scoops was that? 3? 4? Yes definitely 4. Or was it? The pressure is starting to mount, you’ve just wasted 4 prized ounces of milk, the baby is starting to stir, and if you don’t hurry up, you’re looking at a DEFCON 1 situation in the Underwood residence. Quickly, you re-measure milk into bottle, frantically run it under the tap to cool, praying the baby doesn’t completely lose it. Check bottle – burn wrist, OUCH, too hot! More cold water. Check again, perfect. Race up the stairs like a bat out of hell whilst maintaining cat like precision, retrieve baby, jump into the rocking chair, and…order is restored. Now that’s pressure!
You think selling your services to a potential client is hard or negotiating the deal? Try selling anything healthy to an obstinate three-year-old! Believe me, if you have kids, you’re already a fantastic negotiator. Closing deals is a walk in the park in comparison.
- CHERISHING THE UP’S AND THE DOWN’S
Entrepreneurial life is often described as being a roller-coaster. One day you land that big contract, and the next day your systems crash. You go feeling on top of the world to wanting to walk away. But the ingredient to being a successful entrepreneur is to not give up and cherish those downs, as well as the up’s. Learn from each and every mistake, improve and fight with every ounce of your being for your business baby.
If you are deliberating starting a business and are afraid that motherhood will hold you back, think about how your newfound skill set could actually spur you on. Just do it, what’s the worst that can happen. Life is for living ladies, you’re in control of your own destiny – have no regrets. If you need any help with marketing or business coaching, we’re your team!