For some reason, mothers often downplay their skills and accomplishments. If you are under the mistaken impression that you aren't as sharp as you once were because you have been focusing your energy on raising your children, then it’s time to shift your thinking. Here are some skills that you have developed as a mother that can be easily transferred to the business world:
Most project managers would find it a challenge to take on the responsibilities that the average mother faces on a daily basis.
Negotiation skills. Do you remember the last time you tried to persuade your son to eat his broccoli? You started out by asking nicely. Next you tried reasoning with him and when that didn't work, you threatened to take his toy truck away. Finally, you were able to work out a compromise in the form of cheese sauce to make the broccoli a little more appetizing. While it may seem strange, the negotiation skills that you develop while raising your children can be an asset to your business. However, you will probably have to stifle a chuckle the first time you hear yourself trying something on a client that worked with your son the night before.
Organizational skills. Consider the amount of planning that you do on an average day. Even dinner alone may involve finding a meal that is appropriate for three children: one vegetarian, one with a gluten allergy, and one who won't eat anything green. Of course you have to do all of this meal planning while also getting the house cleaned up for tomorrow's play date and ensuring that two of your children make it to their soccer games (which are at different fields). All of this coordination requires a complex plan with a task list, identified priorities, and strict delegation. Most project managers would find it a challenge to take on the responsibilities that the average mother faces on a daily basis.
Problem solving skills. Your child is all of a sudden refusing to go to school. What do you do? You analyze the situation, identify the problem, and find a solution. If your solution doesn't work, you regroup and try something else. Mothers are faced with new problems several times a day, most of which need to be handled quickly and with sensitivity. The problem solving skills that you developed while taking care of your children have prepared you to meet the challenges of owning and running a business.
Creativity. As a mother, the ability to be creative can rescue you from sticky situations. With a little creativity, you can easily plan a birthday party, entertain your children on a rainy day, or make a Halloween costume in fifteen minutes. This out-of-the-box thinking can be what differentiates a successful entrepreneur from a mediocre one.
Every mother has developed skills that she can use to benefit her business. Perhaps in the future, our daughters and granddaughters will be able to put being a mother on their resume and employers will immediately recognize that they possess a wealth of valuable knowledge and experience.