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Productivity / Professional development

5 lessons from motherhood that helped me in business

I launched my first company at the age of 16. From humble beginnings (my parents' basement in Austria to be precise), my business grew rapidly.

Now, after two decades as an entrepreneur, I have always been my own boss. Cool, right?

Some people might think that I’ve missed out because I’ve never had a mentor to guide my professional approach. But I disagree. Instead, my professional approach has been guided by key moments in my life.

Motherhood was one of those moments.

I firmly believe that raising my rambunctious four-year-old has taught me skills that are vital in the fast-paced entrepreneurial world.

Put simply, the lessons I learn in the playroom quickly become relevant in the boardroom.

Here are my top five:

1.      I don’t sweat the small stuff

My son has taught me that it’s impossible to control every aspect of my life. So, rather than letting a seemingly negative set of circumstances affect me, I now search for the silver lining (or the business opportunity). What’s more, he’s goes from upset to happy in a flash, so I try and do the same. By raising a smile – even when you want to scream – negative emotions can be turned around, and new perspectives can be found.

2.      I multitask like a pro

You haven’t mastered the art of multitasking until you’ve become a mum. Juggling parenting with everything else on my to-do list is a daily battle – but it’s one that has gotten easier as I’ve improved at multitasking. Organisation is key, breaking my day in manageable units of time, with achievable goals and realistic targets. Which, you guessed it, are all skills which help me in my working life too.

3.      I know how to manage my stress

I’ve come to realise that my son isn’t the only one who benefits from a timeout. When I feel my stress levels start to rise, I now step back and take a moment to collect my thoughts and plan my next move. When you’re a mum, there are bigger things to worry about than work. My son gives me incredible perspective, helping me take business challenges in my stride, every single day.

4.      I’m persistent and consistent

Parenting teaches you how to cope with failure. If you persist and learn from mistakes, you will succeed. It’s the old saying – when you fall, get right back up and try again. You learn this very quickly as a mum. Firstly, because you put immense pressure on yourself to do the right thing for your child, and you don’t always make the right choice. Secondly, you learn this by watching them. Children never give up. Watching my son reach milestones like walking and talking is truly inspiring.

5.      I can see the big picture

Yesterday is yesterday – it’s in the past. Tomorrow is tomorrow – it hasn’t happened yet. What we have is the moment, the NOW. We must make the most of it. However, we must also acknowledge the bigger picture, and understand that our daily challenges are fleeting. We will overcome them and move on. Children help give you this dual point of view. One that embraces each moment, whilst knowing that you don’t need to worry about everyday stress – even if it seems dramatic at the time. Kids help you appreciate what’s truly important, and what’s just noise that can be ignored. They really sharpen your priorities.

This post was published on LinkedIn by Fatima Said, co-founder and managing director of eWave

 

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