How Being a Mother Fosters Entrepreneurship
Women-owned businesses rose by a striking 59% in the period between 1997 and 2013, while the overall number of companies went up by a more modest 41%, according to figures from American Express OPEN. The increase has been attributed, among other things, to the Great Recession and tech advancements that have made it much easier to start a company. There’s a third factor, however, that’s no less important than these two and it’s the fact that once we become mothers, the working conditions we’d been used to before very often don’t suit us anymore.
Many women entrepreneurs, according to a report by NBC, previously worked in large companies but after becoming mothers they felt they needed much more flexibility and their employers could not supply it. Running your own business also means being solely responsible for the use of your time, which allows moms to juggle family and work better. Meanwhile, it has become clear that women-led businesses as a whole do better than the national average, even though they’re still relatively rare, a fact that should be considered by women willing to start up their own company but afraid to do so in case they fail.
Great as it sounds to strike out on your own and become a company owner, like with any other job it’s not all roses. Being an entrepreneur means that you’ll have to make sacrifices when it comes to your family. According to entrepreneurship author Rhonda Abrams, you could be kids-first oriented or business-first oriented. In the first case, when you start a business you should be aware that you’ll be missing out on profitable opportunities, not that you’ll care too much if your kids come first, anyway. Of course, the opposite is also true — if you’re focused more on your business, there will be things from your kids’ lives that you’ll miss out on. Since there’s no way around this, you should just accept facts and avoid torturing yourself.
Sometimes becoming a mother in itself is enough to push you toward entrepreneurship. You find ambition you did not suspect you had, willing to do all it takes to provide your precious one with the best possible start in life. This ambition sometimes unlocks a great creative and business potential and it’s up to you to realize it. Being a mother and a business owner could be a very taxing undertaking but it’s also immensely gratifying. Even when you have to work instead of going to your son’s first baseball game you know you’re not doing it for an unsympathetic, distant employer, you’re doing it for your son and yourself. Being your own boss also means you can do work that you like, you can choose what projects to take on, giving yourself enough time with your family, at least from time to time. And finally, as a business owner you can create jobs, helping other moms support their families. Starting a business requires a lot of work, from business planning to finding money to finance it, to arranging daycare if your children are small. It then takes a lot out of you to keep it going, but if you love what you do, and you’re more likely than not to start up in an area that you like and are knowledgeable about, every effort will pay off.