Did you know that there are over 10 million privately-held, women-owned businesses in the United States? These enterprises employ more than 20 million people and generate over $2 trillion in sales every year. Women-owned businesses account for nearly 30 percent of all businesses in the country, and the majority of startups are, yep you guessed it, started by women. Of course, many of these women are mothers.
No, I don’t think that it is any coincidence that so many mothers also become business owners. I know firsthand that the skills that I acquired since I have become a mother have enabled me to grow a business.
Before I was a mother, I fretted over small things. I didn’t always make the best use of my time, and I didn’t have anyone else to worry about besides myself. All of this rapidly changed the moment I became a mom.
Now, so many “small things” are thrown at me each and every day, sometimes simultaneously, that I just don’t have time to stress about them. Just yesterday, I was rushing to get my older son ready for school when a client called with a question. As I was putting my son’s shoes on and talking on the phone, my younger son had a random bout of explosive diarrhea that literally hit the floor. I turned around, and our cat began throwing up a hairball at the exact same moment. This is enough to rattle even the calmest individual. A big cleanup ensued. Yep, it’s all in a day’s work as a mom, and it’s exactly this level of multi-tasking that lets me tackle ten projects with ten different clients all at once.
Before the boys, I used to love watching TV while lying on the couch. I had the time to watch reruns of The Brady Bunch or catch an episode of Oprah whenever I felt like it. It never really dawned on me the sheer volume of time I wasted. Now, I’m going full throttle from the time I wake up until the time I hit the bed at night. I can’t even remember the last time I saw Oprah. Sure, I get tired, but I accomplish tremendously more now than before. I make good use of my time, and heck, even have time to write this blog occasionally.
One of my biggest drivers in creating my business is the fact that I have the responsibility to provide for our two boys. I want them to be well-provided for, and this requires money. This isn’t the sole responsibility of my husband. There just isn’t enough stability anymore to rely on only one source of income. If something should happen to his job, money will still be coming in from my business. This translates into security for our family.
In a nutshell, being a mom is the ideal hands-on training for becoming an entrepreneur. The same skills you use to manage a household, care for a family, and keep it all together can be applied to establishing a business.
With Mother’s Day nearly upon us, I celebrate all moms, and particularly those who also own businesses. We’re changing the landscape of the American economy and workforce, and redefining entrepreneurship. And, we’re able to do this while simultaneously being able to clean up diarrhea and talk on the phone! I challenge any one of those over-paid CEOs of Fortune 500 companies to do that. I tend to think that most of them couldn’t change a diaper if they tried. Well, watch out chief executives, you have competition. We moms can do your jobs and lots more too!