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There are special skills that Moms are bestowed when we have our first baby, and even more when we have multiple. It’s a fascinating transition, because no one is really prepared for these new found skills or how they will present themselves. All I know is that they are powerful and transferrable. Even if there are tiny grape jelly fingerprints on my computer screen and I haven’t showered in two days.
Here are seven ways becoming a mom made me run my business like a MOTHER.
Ability to function on no sleep.
Recently, there was a
who did a sleep experiment where he only slept 5 hours a day and had a total breakdown. Moms everywhere: “Hold my beer.” When my new baby was up every two hours for the first year, then a year later I had another new baby who was up every two hours – five hours of sleep seemed like a luxury. But life goes on. Decisions still got made and work still progressed. I didn’t think it would be possible to function without my precious sleep, but it is.
Mindless work ceased. After having kids, I realized how much time I was actually wasting during the day when I only had myself to take care of. If I could go back in time, I would smack myself for wasting it. I could have output 3x more work, easily. Nothing forces you into beast mode like putting your kid down for a nap and busting out a report in 15 minutes before she wakes up again. Now, when I get any time to sit at my computer – I make it count.
Forethought. I always thought I had the gift of forethought until I had children. Now it’s on steroids. Before kids I could plan out a few things, think ahead, but ultimately I just wasted time. See #2 above. Now, I realize that I have very little time to myself and when I do, I make it count. Therefore, I plan out every second in order to be as productive as possible. From planning my next seven dinners, to writing my next seven blog posts, I am able to think out much further in advance. I don’t have the luxury of doing anything “on the fly” anymore.
Because I Said So. Sometimes I have to make decisions that my team doesn’t like, but it’s for the betterment of the company. Things like brushing teeth, wearing a coat, taking a bath. Enforcing rules that keep everyone healthy, keeps the family healthy. It’s much easier to make and enforce decisions in my business that I know is best for everyone – even if everyone doesn’t like it.
But Why? Getting asked “why?” constantly is actually pretty cute and a really great lesson. Getting down to the “why” of any matter, decision, campaign, etc. is how we get buy-in. It’s how we get evangelists, audiences and customers. It’s the reason people do business with us. Explaining why multiple times a day is a great exercise for me and reminds me that I need to pull that into almost every aspect of my business.
Marketing. The other night at dinner, I tried to get my toddler to eat fish. She likes chicken, so I told her it was “ocean chicken” she loved it. When it came time to eat some oranges, I called it “earth candy” – success. I have to give credit where credit is due, however. My father used to pour gravy over a piece of bread and call it “treats” and my brother and I went nuts over it. It was my first lesson in marketing. It’s all how you spin it.
Culture. After having kids, it’s a lot easier to understand that work needs to revolve around family. Not just for me but for everyone I work with. Even if I work with someone who doesn’t have kids – they still have family, friends and pets they love deeply. No work is so important that those things should take a back seat. I don’t believe in work/life balance – I believe in work/life harmony and I want to create a company culture that fosters a place where our families come first. When we feel like we are taking great care of the people and animals we love, we have a full heart to take great care of our work too.
May 10, 2019 at 07:58AM
Forbes – Entrepreneurs