Sunday, 13 May 2012

Business Lessons From Motherhood

Being a mother is my greatest challenge and my most brilliant accomplishment.  And I’ve learned a lot that I use in business.  Here are just a few of those business lessons from motherhood. 

How to function without sleep – probably the first thing every mother learns and let’s face it, it can be essential to running a successful business.

Patience:   I once waited almost an hour for my daughter to stop screaming in a Park when she was having a major tantrum.  Maybe this just pertains to businesses with creative people, but patience is something you can’t succeed in my business without. 

Creativity:  Finding solutions to simple problems seems to be a Mother’s main function.  You are in the middle of nowhere and they suddenly have to go Potty.  It’s been raining all week at the cottage and you have to keep them entertained.  Business is all about having new challenges being thrown at you and finding new ways to make them work for you vs. against you – much like being a mother.

Focus:  “Mama play that song from Adele again!”  Repeated at the top of his lungs about a hundred times while I’m trying to do a significantly challenging driving move.  Yep, kids absolutely teach you focus amidst chaos. 

Negotiating skills:  My two kids are like the most hard core negotiators I’ve ever met.  They make my head spin.  If anyone thinks I’m a decent negotiator, the only reason I don’t suck, is what I’ve learned from my two pros at home.

Helplessness:  Sometimes there is nothing that can be done.  They are getting bullied at school.  They have to get through the process of learning how to get comfortable with daycare.  Their sad little eyes are enough to break your heart and yet you learn, some times there is nothing one can do.  Sometimes things just are.  Business lesson?  Absolutely. 

Dinosaurs:  Well not just dinosaurs, Thomas the tank engine, ancient Greece, everything I’ve never wanted to know about bugs, and some disparate things about science, social networks, cell phones, how a 18 month year old learns to experience an ipad and what makes 16 year old girls tick.  Understanding strange facts and the process of watching two different generations of children grow up has made me a better marketer and businessperson. 

Perspective:   Business can be stressful.  Things happen you can’t control.  You feel the pressure of ensuring your staff and your business succeed on a daily basis.  But it doesn’t always happen.  You fail.  You aren’t as good as you’d like to be and it can feel like everything is coming apart at the seams.  You go home.  Your son or daughter says, let’s go to the park and make a sand castle.  And you do.  There is nothing like sand castles at the park to let you know that it really doesn’t matter and it will all be ok.  Perspective is everything and they give it to me every day. 

Final Note:  As I was finishing this up, my 3 year old son has come into my room and wants me to be done and play Thomas with him -- couldn't think of a more perfect way to end this post and start my day :)

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