From raising a baby to fundraising for a startup: what it takes to be a mum-entrepreneur
From changing diapers to cleaning up the mess made ever-so often, being a mother is a full-time job. But being a mum doesn’t necessarily mean you have to give up everything else that you are passionate about.
As challenging as it may sound, it is possible to carry out your mum-duties and run a business at the same time. As a matter of fact, motherhood and entrepreneurship have a lot in common, the skills required to raise a baby are also the kind of skills required to build a startup.
Motherhood is a blessing but it comes with its learning curve as well. Every day you are faced with a new challenge that you need to solve. It prepares you well for a startup journey.
The birth of a mum is the birth of a CEO
When you give birth to a baby, you also give birth to a mother. You see a whole new side of your personality and you suddenly acquire skills you never knew you had. You become the CEO of the household - juggling schedules, managing budgets and solving problems. These are the same competencies required to be the CEO of a business.
Motherhood pushes you into being innovative and creative in solving day-to-day problems which makes you undeterred by some of the setbacks your startup may see every now and then. Motherhood also takes your perseverance to a whole new level, a skill only a few can master. This ensures that you never give up on your business idea and keep trying until you reach your goal. One of the biggest advantages of being a mom entrepreneur is that you start trusting your own decisions. From the day you get pregnant, you get far advice every single day, some good, some bad, but most of them unsolicited. That is when you learn to trust your opinion and develop great intuitive power. Just like you know what is right for your baby, you will be confident to make the right decision for your start-up.
“Being a mum-entrepreneur is like raising two babies at the same time. It may sound like a daunting task but if you put your mommy-skills to the right use, nothing is impossible.”
Challenges and struggles
Even with your expertise, being a mum entrepreneur is no cake-walk. It can be a long, taxing and exhausting journey with many challenges along the way. But the good news is that more often than not, these are rewarding challenges and take you a step closer to realising your dreams.
The biggest challenge for a working mum is the decision to quit from a promising job. Giving up a steady income, especially when you are faced with the mounting bills of baby-care expenses, is not an easy decision. When you start a business, it demands all your focus and attention. It becomes nearly impossible to grow a business by keeping another job.
The other challenge is the lack of funding and support. Most women do not seek investors and rely on their personal savings to start a business. Most of them also don’t get the kind of support that is required from their family in the decision to venture into a business.
There are many challenges that mum entrepreneurs face such as lack of mentorship, difficulty in fundraising and maintaining a work-family life balance. But is possible to overcome these challenges and enjoy success as both a mother and an entrepreneur.
The balancing act
Being a successful mum entrepreneur is all about finding the right balance. The first thing you need to do is to overcome the mom-guilt.
As an entrepreneur, you will never be able to spend 24 hours a day with your child. Instead, what you need to do is make every moment spend with them, count. The key is to keep yourself well organised so that your responsibilities as a mother and a businesswoman are set out clearly.
Don’t forget to take care of yourself while juggling with so many other tasks. Your well-being is of utmost importance to the happiness of your kids and to the success of your business. Finally, find the right support system. Seek funding when required, get the support of your family to take care of the kids when you have an important meeting and most importantly, surround yourself with people who believe in you.
Don’t be hesitant to ask for help when you need it. At one point, we all need it and it is okay to ask for it.
(Edited by Rekha Balakrishna)
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)