Mom Boss - Turning challenge into opportunity
Balancing a career (in particular entrepreneurship) as a mom, has significant challenges.
My beginnings into running my own business started the moment I had my son, 4.5 years ago.
I was amazed at how much negativity was thrown at me.
“It’s selfish to think of your career right now”
“you won’t be able to commit to the hours”
“you are in a male dominated industry, being a mom isn’t going to help”
Thankfully, the people that mattered (my family) had nothing but positive thoughts and were ready to support my dreams.
I started off slowly and now, 4.5 years later, am running a successful HR and Recruitment Consulting firm.
Lets make a few disclaimers:
I acknowledge that I am fortunate to have a husband that raises my children with me as an equal partner
I have family that helps look after the kids so that I can get to meetings and do the work
My definition is success may not be the same as yours, but I’m proud of where I am at and for me, that is all that matters
A comment I often get is that no matter how much support you have, things just don’t always go as planned as a mom. I could not agree with this more!
You have an opportunity to take those challenges and let them drive you, or defeat you.
About 6 months ago, I had a meeting with a company I was looking to purchase.
I set the meeting with the owner, had my numbers ready, knew what I wanted to ask in the meeting and had my agenda ready to go. I was all set to go, when childcare fell through last minute. (Keep in mind I have between 4-6 pairs of open arms at any given time so this scenario (thankfully) is extremely rare.)
I had two options: postpone and risk loosing the opportunity, or take my 1 year old with me, and risk not being taken seriously.
I decided to take her with me.
As soon as I walked in the door, I knew I made the right call but before I felt that confident, there were a few things I did to ensure I had some added support.
I informed the people I was meeting with of my situation, explained what I had planned for the meeting and how I planned to manage having her with me, and gave them an out. Since they didn't take it, I was clear to move forward with my plan.
I prepared for the meeting by ensuring I had everything for the meeting ready, and everything to keep my daughter busy. This meant that instead of taking along my computer like I normally did, I printed out my documents and provided them with copies.
I had quiet toys and a blanket for my daughter, snacks (a lot of snacks), and an arsenal of new toys to pull out.
3. Confidence Booster
I gave in to a few luxuries that day: I let her nap in the car, I went through drive through and grabbed a stronger (and larger) coffee, I used the valet so I didn't have to worry about walking far or wasting time finding a spot.
4. Time Management
I limited the meeting to 30 minutes, to ensure I didn’t push her to the brink of a meltdown.
The meeting went well and by the end of it, my little girl had stolen the show. I incorporated my family into my sales pitch, showed them why I was doing what I was doing and who it was going to benefit directly.
I walked in and out of that meeting with my head high and while I do prefer to do my business solo, I know that when everything that can go wrong, does go wrong, I'll still be just fine.