THE INC. LIFE

3 Ways Being a Mom Can Make You a Better Entrepreneur

Both “careers” can actually help the other

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BY Melissa G. Bagamasbad - 15 May 2017

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

Being a mother is said to be something that cannot be turned off at the end of the day. It has no days off or holidays, which, in many ways, is a lot like being a start-up founder. And so the herculean task of bearing and raising a human being can actually be helpful in one’s work as an entrepreneur.

Kathy Chan, 31, is one of those who have risen to the challenge of being both a mother and a full-time entrepreneur. In 2012, this “mompreneur” started a bridal store called Ivory and White, specializing in affordable, ready-to-wear wedding gowns. “For me, it was really about trying to seize an opportunity. When I was looking for my own wedding gown, I found that there weren’t many mid-range shops for ready-to wear bridal,” she says.

Here are three reasons why being a mom makes you better at what you do:

1. It forces you to manage time well

“One challenge that I think all working parents go through is how to juggle everything,” Chan says. “I want to be there for my kids and at the same time, I want our business to succeed.”

Chan believes in making schedules, which has helped in both her roles as a mom and entrepreneur. “Make a schedule so you’ll be more efficient,” she says. “With everything going on at the same time, it’s easy for things to fall into [the] cracks if you don’t have checklists and schedules to follow.”

Writes Leonard Kim in his Inc. article, “having kids drastically decreases the amount of time you have in the day while exponentially increasing the demands and obligations you have. When these kinds of odds are stacked against you, moms (and dads alike) realize very quickly that their strategy for managing time must change in order to take it all on.” This leads to results-driven managers since they know that time is limited.

2. You’ll develop discipline and initiative

“You’ll only be able to achieve as much as you’re willing to,” says Chan.

Motherhood means having to focus on your kids, but that doesn’t mean other priorities can be neglected. This is where the discipline comes in—so you can finish the most crucial tasks first and still have time left to do less urgent ones.

As with being a parent, running an enterprise requires initiative because if you don’t move, nothing will happen to your business especially if it’s a young start-up. Everything can depend on you.

3. You’ll learn patience and empathy

According to Kim, “Every child is different, just like every member of your team is different. Their backgrounds and personalities vary. Each issue needing resolution should be approached with the objective to seek out the full story and consider differences in mind. Mindfulness and empathy are integral in finding the best possible solution and moving forward in a constructive way.”

The kind of empathy and understanding that one uses with their children can be helpful in managing employees and treating them humanely, and not merely as cogs in a machine.

Having the patience of a mother can also help one mentor their employees better. “Just like kids, employees need the chance to learn, absorb, and develop into their careers,” says Kim. “Thriving in a role doesn't happen overnight. Embrace the process and cultivate people as if you were coaching your own children,” he adds.