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THE INC. LIFE

Why Mothers Hold the Secret to Becoming a Great Entrepreneur

The qualities you need are close to home

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BY Pauline Mendoza - 11 May 2018

mothers

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

Is there a formula for becoming a great entrepreneur? You probably don’t need to search that far.

Mothers play a huge role in people’s lives. And make no mistake, they hold the secret to becoming a great entrepreneur as well.

Even the most experienced entrepreneurs still look to their mothers for advice and inspiration in business and in life. Virgin group founder Richard Branson shares that he got his greatest career advice from his mother. “Never look back in regret — move on to the next thing,” he says.

For ONE Championship founder Chatri Sityodtong, his mother served as his greatest inspiration in building a successful company. “Come hell or high water, I’m going to do something with my life so my mom never suffers,” Chatri says, recalling the days when he and his mother had to live on just $4 a day in his dorm room.

These and many other stories relate the powerful impact of a mother’s care. And in finding the secret to a successful entrepreneurial life, take the time to look at the natural qualities mothers have. Here’s what entrepreneurs can emulate.

 

1. They give birth

To give birth is a very powerful moment in a woman’s life. It’s an act that goes beyond the physical and gives meaning to different aspects of life.

Entrepreneurs must embrace their own capacity to give birth to new products and ideas that can change society. After all, how many entrepreneurs do you know who consider the business as their baby?

“It is the application of the creative mind that allows for multi-faceted innovation to take place — a mind that can look at things differently, take risks, break things, and make things,” says Kay Vasey, founder of MeshMinds, a Singapore-based creative technology impact investor.

 

2. They nourish

As a mother carries a child in her womb and even after she gives birth, it’s natural for her to give enough nourishment for the baby to grow.

Entrepreneurs should look after their start-ups as if it were their own child. And to nourish means to sustain growth — it’s not a one-time thing; it must be done continuously.

“You can’t just do this for one year or two years; this is really for the long-term,” says Diane Eustaquio, director of start-up incubator IdeaSpace, to new entrepreneurs. “Some start-ups are not committed; what we look for are those who want to do this for a long time, who want to really make an impact and understand that it will really take a long time before things can get disrupted.”

 

3. They empathize

When the child faces a rough patch, no matter how gravely the child is at fault, a mother can still empathize.

“Mother [entrepreneurs] can add empathy,” Eustaquio says. “Customer empathy is an integral component of creating and maintaining a valuable product.”

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