Anyone who has children knows that raising them involves a lot of learning, both for the kids and their parents. Parallels between entrepreneurship and parenthood are plentiful. Parenthood, like entrepreneurship, is one of life’s ultimate learning experiences.
We asked EO members who are mothers: “If parenting is akin to entrepreneurship, what entrepreneurial lessons have you inadvertently learned from your kids?”
Here are six lessons that they shared:
1. Ask precisely for what you want
“My youngest child is extremely determined. When she sets her mind on something, she will get it. She’s taught me to dream big and never settle. When she wants a toy, she is relentless. I am amazed how at such a young age, she has learned to phrase an ‘ask’ and make it impossible for me or anyone else to say no. As an entrepreneur, it has taught me how to ask precisely for what I need and might want.”
― Liza Roeser Atwood, EO Idaho, Founder and CEO, Fifty Flowers
2. You’re more adaptable than you think
“As a born planner, I never planned to have a baby and start a business at the same time. But that’s what happened: My daughter was born in April 2013; my first gym opened in June 2013. After a two-week maternity leave, I started running staff meetings at my house while breastfeeding and figuring out the new baby routine. After the gym opened, she slept in her car seat under the front desk while we worked 6am through 11pm, seven days a week for the first year. It was unprepared, unplanned and totally hectic.
“Reflecting back, I now realize that sometimes the best things in life are unplanned. My daughter turns six this year, and she’s a happy, charming and social girl. I’ve also learned that both she and I are more adaptable than I thought!”
― Alice Kao, EO Los Angeles, Co-founder and CEO, Sender One Climbing