Thursday, July 3, 2008

How Being A Mom Has Helped Me In Business


For most women, becoming a mother is a turning point in their career. It’s a time in one’s life that’s rife with challenges, frustrations, and uncertainties, but it’s also when many of life’s most rewarding achievements and miraculous moments occur. What many new moms figure out rather quickly is that the skills that they use every day while taking care of children are also very applicable in succeeding in business. Nurturing a needy newborn isn’t all that different from managing a high-maintenance client, and trying to juggle chores and kids can be strikingly similar to the multi-tasking required to manage a large list of prospects. Here are just a few of the skills that are fine-tuned and mastered the minute you take that leap into motherhood.

Patience
Colicky infants, whiny toddlers, defiant teenagers – If you didn’t have patience before you had children, you quickly developed this virtue as a parent. And, the patience required for childcare definitely helps you increase your tolerance threshold in business. Difficult clients and prospects are plentiful, and patience is the key to unlocking their buying potential.

Time Management
As any new mother knows, time can be a scarce commodity and shouldn’t be wasted frivolously. Whether you need to meet a specific deadline or only have an hour before your child wakes from a nap, time management skills are essential to getting things done. Parenthood does wonders for enlightening women (and some men) on the need to budget time wisely, and this skill certainly gives moms a distinct competitive edge over their child-free colleagues.

Multi-Tasking
If you’ve ever changed a diaper while on the phone making a doctor’s appointment, while reading an email, you understand multi-tasking. Sure, we’d all love to be able to focus on one task at a time, but in this age of technology and information, the ability to multi-task is a necessity if you want to be competitive in the market. Motherhood promotes multi-tasking skills tremendously, and these skills remain with mothers long after the diaper changes cease.

Training Skills
One of the primary jobs of a parent is to teach your child what is needed to succeed in the world. This requires you to be a dedicated, skilled trainer. The same skills are required in business. Whether you’re training a classroom of seminar attendees or guiding a client through the sales process, the training abilities you’ve acquired as a mother will certainly come in handy in the business world.

Flexibility
Children are full of surprises, and staying flexible is a necessity to maintain sanity. Everyday is full of challenges and interruptions, and if there is one thing that is consistent about parenting, it’s the fact that it’s ever-changing. Inflexibility doesn’t work for parents, nor does it work in business. People can be indecisive, situations can change, and even your role can evolve. Having the flexibility to gracefully manage the unexpected is a skill that will always serve you well, whether with the kids or in the office.

2 comments:

Steve said...

Adrian,

You are so right. As a man I have learnt over the years how adaptable women are. My wife, with five teenage children, decided to start a business.What was the business she started? a furniture manufacturing business.

I joined her a year later in the business and we sold out some 12 years later at a very handsome profit.

With very little help she initially supervised the men in welding, carpentary,upholstry as well as doing all the admin. and selling.

All this without an MBA or any previous experience!

As she always said "if I can raise 5 kids, then running a furniture factory is easy". She proved it.

Steve Coleman

www.businessmanagementbasics.com

theinnovationstation said...

So true! My daughters are now 20 and 16, and not only did I become a much better time and business manager when I was raising them, but they have also learned the art of multi-tasking and creative problem-solving by observing how I "managed our lives" while they were growing up.
I started my own business five years ago (after 25+ years of corporate life) and now employ quite a few working mothers. We all know how to juggle, put out fires, quickly change direction, delegate, and "break up fights" and "heal skinned knees" (figuratively) in the workplace.