Because I am a woman, I must make unusual efforts to succeed. If I fail, no one will say, “She doesn’t have what it takes.” They will say, “Women don’t have what it takes.” ~Clare Boothe Luce
We’ve heard it tossed around here, there and everywhere. It’s the new catch-phrase and, it seems, the newest catch-all way to lump all successful women together into one broad category, and label us with terms that make our success seemed somehow more palatable…
Apparently, there still is a closet feminist inside me, despite my slow but steady progression towards the (dark) right side of the political spectrum, because everytime I hear the term “mompreneur” a little part of me dies.
Why is this, you ask?
I had a hard time putting my finger on an answer until a very wise and inspirational woman did it for me. I had the pleasure of sitting down with Natasha, ‘the’ Natural Urban Mom, and she explained that we would never label a successful businessman as a “daddy-preneur”. We would call them a businessman, because the idea of a man succeeding in business isn’t so novel that it requires it’s own terminology.
And once again it seems that my gender takes one step forward and is pushed two leaps back. Or at least it did, until last Friday night when I was honored to attend the first meeting of #yegmomsirl, a gathering of some of the brightest and most successful young female entrepreneurs in the Edmonton area. And are they ever awesome. They also happen to be mothers. This makes them even more awesome.
Because- contrary to popular belief- these are women who have countered the long-standing stereotype that a ‘working’ mother is abandoning her family or otherwise shirking her ‘womanly’ responsibilities. These are women who shout out loud “I am a mother AND a businesswoman. I LOVE my family and I LOVE my work. I CAN be both a parent and an entrepreneur. Society WILL NOT dictate my job description based on the size of my uterus.”
This got me thinking: What IS a mompreneur, really? What are the skills that define her?
A mompreneur is a nurturer. She has grown her babies from birth, kissed away their tears and lifted up their spirits. She ALSO grows her business, lovingly and tenderly caring to its needs and dreaming up visions of its future.
A mompreneur is creative. She fingerpaints, sings silly songs and plays dress-up. She ALSO dreams up logos, slogans, and marketing strategies.
A mompreneur is a natural communicator. She mediates sibling arguments, speaks at least 5 different languages ranging from infant to child, and knows how to tell the very best stories. She ALSO interacts with hundreds of customers, employees, colleagues, and investors on a continuous basis.
A mompreneur is a time-management wiz. She fits in doctors’ appointments, soccer games and social family outings. She ALSO fits in a full business schedule, meetings, banking and strategic planning time.
Every mother knows that motherhood is the toughest job out there. You are “on call” 24/7. You are constantly juggling your resources, resolving internal conflicts, organizing your ‘work space’, planning, budgeting and forecasting…
Sound familiar? These are the very same traits that make for a successful business! And why should we be surprised? Life itself is the greatest business experience one can get, and moms are FULL of experience.
So I say to you mom-entrepreneurs out there, wear your mompreneur title like the badge of honor it is! Tell others, you have earned it- your skills as a mom make you uniquely qualified to excel as a business owner. And while you’re at it, you are ALSO building the kind of life that your family deserves and opening them up a whole world of possibilities.
To all other mompreneurs out there, I raise my glass to you. It’s empty. Maybe we should fill it up again at #yegmomsirl round 2!
See you next time,