The mamma business boom is at an all new high, is it by default or genuine business acumen?
Small business is a tough gig, it doesn't matter who you are or what your domestic situation is. External factors and the pressures placed on the 2020 economy is forcing a squeeze on small business. That made me think about all the mums out there, who have, or are thinking of starting their own business. Obviously, doing what I do, I think about motherhood and business quite a lot! But this was the first time I had to really question the evolution and relevance of #mumpreneurship in todays business landscape. When you are a mother and own an SME, I believe, especially when the pressure goes up, it is going to bring to light some harsh realities. One being, do you consider yourself a mumpreneur or an entrepreneur? What is the difference on how you view yourself and your business?
A mumpreneur is defined as a woman who combines looking after her children whilst running a business enterprise. How different is that to entrepreneur? An entrepreneur, by definition, sets up a business entity and takes financial risks with the hopes of turning the business into a profitable entity. In the definitions researched, is it implying that the 'mother' isn't taking a financial gamble? Is it implying that profitability isn't on the agenda? I am pretty sure (from my experience) that mamma's who are setting up serious businesses (like myself), have considered profitability and financial stakes, it is just that we can do it whilst being a mother (#multitasking).
When starting up Metamorphosis Collective, I did A LOT of reading on mothers in business. Most mumpreneurships are started in order to bring balance back to the home situation. They are not usually started because there was a market need, gap or opportunity to capitalise on. It is born to make life easier where a corporate role no longer is suitable. When dealing with business mothers, one of my favourite questions to ask my clients is -
"What made you start your own business?" Usually this is followed up with "What do you need to become to be a decent business owner?"
I ask these questions to try and frame their intentions in a business space, as opposed to a personal one.
Most women start their business because they have small children, and it is easier to work around domestic duties, and they love what they do and simply thought going at it a lone was better that giving it up. I often get a lot of silence with the second question. Why? Most women think about their families first, squeeze their work around it to suit, but don't really consider themselves in the role or game of 'business'.
That is what brings me back to entrepreneurship as a term. I challenge women, like I have challenged myself, to take being in 'business' rather seriously. It is in your best interest when you start your business to develop a level of business acumen, or 'know how'. Consider the realities of financial risk and profitability. If this is not your thing, seek assistance. You are investing in your business and yourself. Understand how to improve your business overall, not just your service or craft. If you are really in business with the intention to make a real go of it, it can't be treated like a hobby. Stop hiding behind the 'mum' in mumpreneur. That is what I have come to realise about myself. Despite all my serious intentions and know how, I was hiding my potential behind being a mum, and not taking myself or my business seriously enough. You (and I) are entrepreneurs or small biz owners, first and foremost, who just happens to be a mother too. My guess is, if you are amazing at one gig, you will be amazing at both!
If it's time to get serious about your work life mamma, book a complimentary Introductory Session today:
Vanessa is a professional business & career coach with experience in marketing & communications, small business operations, organisational culture & learning. She is currently undergoing further training & qualification with the LCA Australia and the International Coaching Federation. Vanessa has recently completed certification as a Wellness Facilitation Coach. Most importantly, she is a mother of two, teaching them to see the world with compassionate eyes and to act in kindness.