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The new breed of mumpreneur

mum
Having children is one of those moments that no woman can prepare for - your life, as you have known it, is fundamentally changed forever.

Gone are the days when a woman could expect to be supported by her partner in return for keeping a house and raising the children. Now a woman can have a successful career, a loving, equally committed parenting partner, a nice home and a flock to fill it with, along with the money to pay for it all - none of us are complaining, really we're not.

For many women our ability for 'right-side' thinking (the multi-tasking gene) comes with an unsaid expectation that we are, as a species, remarkably good at, and qualified for, balancing competing demands and needs, precariously walking the tightrope of priorities. This multi-tasking label has ingrained itself so deeply in the female psyche that women are seeking out new ways to have it all.

The acknowledgment that mothers are still naturally the predominant carer and therefore, rightly or not, responsible for their family's wellbeing and happiness, is encouraging women to find ways of clawing back some flexibility within their busy lives.

And yet, many women worry that having a child has become an unspoken impediment to career progression that can only be removed through greater work flexibility.

The multi-tasking label has ingrained itself so deeply in the female psyche that women are seeking out new ways to have it all

Often the route favoured by mothers contemplating a return to work is to consider an alternative career. Many lust after a home-based business and employment that allows the flexibility to balance the duties of motherhood while employing the previously learnt career skills, for example an accountant may go into work-from-home bookkeeping. 

And still, women worry that they won't have the necessary skills to accomplish such a feat. But, far from compromising your entrepreneurial aspirations, the life-changing event of motherhood equips you with a host of skills that can prepare any woman to step out of her corporate desk space and go it alone in the home.

The 10 Business Skills of Motherhood

Adaptation - Any mother will tell you that children require you to adapt continually to a set of different, competing demands on a daily basis and remain undaunted by it. Entrepreneurs equally must adapt continually to changing markets and competing demands.

Acceptance - As a mother you must accept that your child might not grow as fast as you want or develop as quickly as you planned. This is the same when setting out on any business venture, whether starting out, buying one or looking at acquiring a franchise.

Communication - To be successful in business you must be a great communicator. Women love to talk and mothers are great at devising unique ways to communicate with a child, whose vocabulary is limited.

Creativity - To manage a business effectively you must think creatively and strategically. A mother who spends time playing with a child develops creative and innovative ways to engage and amuse them.

Consistency - Instructions to a child must be consistent, otherwise they grow confused. When running a business or managing staff consistency is equally vital for the same reasons. 

Empathy - Right-side thinkers are hardwired for empathy. This gives mothers an edge when it comes to understanding another's state of mind and therefore in dealing with clients and suppliers.

Intuition - 'Mother's just know'. Being attuned to your child and its surroundings can be a useful skill. Good business sense relies heavily on gut feelings too.

Patience - It's a virtue that few of us have, but the patience developed in motherhood can be applied to running a business. Knowing when to push and when to be patient on business deals can be the difference between getting the right deal or the wrong deal, or no deal at all.

Planning - Whether it's arranging babysitters, planning meals for the week or working out what's best for the school holiday, planning in motherhood is like planning in business; you must have the foresight and ability to organise to cover all eventualities.

Negotiation - Negotiating with a three-year-old makes dealing with the most difficult of clients child's play. They will be self-centred, intransigent and unreasonable at every turn - but children can be even worse.

Networking- Mothers need help. You must seek out individuals who can share your burden as a parent. Whether that's finding new friends at antenatal classes or finding parents to help with the school run, the wider you cast your network the more attainable your goals will be. Business requires the same skills; the ability to network effectively means you have a greater chance of meeting your business goal.


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