My mum has always been a wonderful source of inspiration, support and encouragement. Here are three business lessons I learnt from her.
Give back when you can
Mum has always helped those in need, and now, even though she’s over 70 years old, she still works part-time to help those less fortunate.
One small way that I give back is by donating a portion of my sales to Kiva, an organisation that provides loans to solo and microbusinesses around the world in order to help eradicate poverty.
Every setback is a stepping stone to success
I have always loved writing creatively. In fact, from the age of six years old, writing was part of my everyday routine. As the years went on I wrote anything and everything, with my mum constantly supporting and encouraging me.
In my early 20’s I wrote full-time to achieve my goal of becoming a published book author. Both mum and dad supported me with this endeavour, but it was my mum who provided unwavering emotional support as I worked at my computer for 12-14 hours a day.
I received many rejection letters from publishers (all arriving in the tell-tale, stamped, self-addressed envelopes). Mum would collect the mail, stretch her lips into a smile, knock on my study door and walk in with the envelope, saying, “You received another stepping stone today!”
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As a mother myself, I can only imagine how hard it was for her be the bearer of so many “stepping stones”.
Thankfully, I did eventually have a children’s novel accepted and published. I was so excited that I didn’t care how many copies sold, I only expected to sell 100 copies because that’s how many my mum raced out and bought. So imagine my shock and disbelief when I didn’t just sell 100 copies, but thousands.
I’ve found that setbacks are a big part of running a business as well, but thanks to my mum I constantly try to remind myself that every setback is a stepping stone to success, and that there is no such thing as failure, just feedback.
Think positively when you can
When I was in high school my mum was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent surgery followed by chemotherapy and radiotherapy. It scared the absolute hell out of me to see her so sick. She didn’t decorate the situation with tinsel or force herself to smile when she couldn’t. But, I do have a really fond memory of a mantra she would say in the mornings sometimes: “I must, I must, I must…I must improve my bust!” Thinking about that still brings a smile to my face.
Although it’s not as serious a situation, in business, I’ve found that it’s beneficial to think positively whenever possible. It’s not always easy, and I don’t always do it. But I try. When I’m having a bad day I remind myself tomorrow is a brand new day, a new opportunity to think differently and make better choices.
I have learnt many other lessons from my mum as well, but learning to be charitable, resilient and positive are definitely three important things that have helped me in business and in life.
What business or life lessons have you learnt from your parents, or anyone else for that matter?