Part-time, flexitime, job sharing—today, parents have so much more to choose from than the traditional 9 to 5. But even with our new-found flexibility, balancing work with family life successfully is still a real challenge. For moms and dads!
Which is why more mothers are changing the way they think about work once they start a family. And they’re choosing something completely different: self-employment.
Surprised? Actually, you might not be. The chances are, you’ve already bought from a mom-led enterprise, you know a self-employed mom, or you’re already one yourself. Because our number of female entrepreneurs has increased by 114% compared to this time 20 years ago. Yup—we’re living in the age of the mompreneur!
One thing’s for sure: the mompreneur is one of the most inspiring and resourceful founders out there. But what exactly makes self-employment so attractive to mothers?
Mothers are multitaskers
When it comes to balancing their accounts payable with their pay-per-click—Moms are way ahead of the curve. But what makes moms such natural small-business owners? Quite simply, many of the skills that new founders take years to master have been part of a mother’s toolkit since—well, since you were born:
- Excellent time management
- The patience of a saint
- Problem-solving skills
- A “hands-on” mentality
- The knowledge that you’re capable of more than you thought possible
For moms, it’s all part and parcel of everyday life! Of course, that’s not to say that mother’s don’t face the same challenges with self-employment as other founders. But let’s be honest—who doesn’t go to their mom for advice, even as an adult? Exactly.
The entrepreneur of today—goodbye, clichés!
So, who is the “foundress of today”? If you’re imagining a steely-eyed business-woman in a pantsuit—this might surprise you.
The fact is, that today’s small business founders are as diverse as society itself. Founders are everyone from yoga teachers to start-up owners, from home improvement gurus to beauticians.
For many women, once they have children to think about, work becomes less about pursuing a classic career path and more about having flexibility. By going self-employed, mom’s have the freedom to choose their children and their career.
Starting a business when your child goes to school
If you’re a mother, then planning and time management is already part of your routine. Managing your life and your kids is a full-time job, especially in the early years. But then comes the turning-point that every mom I know remembers—the day your little darlings start school or kindergarten! Leaving you with at least half a day, child-free. Ahhh… So it’s no surprise that, on average, moms launch their own businesses when their first child turns 6 years old.
This is when most mothers regain (at least a bit of) their free time. And on average, mother’s start their businesses at around 37 years old. But this definitely is just an average. The bottom line is that everyone finds the perfect time to bring their idea to life.
Why do mompreneurs start?
Of course, there’s no one reason why mothers go out on their own. But for three out of four female founders, balancing family life with their career is up there.
But are mothers really that different from other founders? Apart from having honed their ability to multitask, their drivers are essentially the same: they set up their business to grow an idea, to become financially independent, and maybe even to change the world! :-)
What do mompreneurs work as?
Lots of mompreneurs work in service industries, like healthcare and education. With many setting up their own hairdressing or beauty salons.
But as a mompreneur, you’ve got a huge choice of occupations—of course, these will depend on what skills and training you have. Check out this blog from 99Designs for stories and tips from amazing founders who’ve gone down very different paths.
Have a new business idea you want to try out? Whether it’s something totally new, or an existing project that you want to showcase to the world—you don’t need to spend months evaluating your idea. Today, it’s easy to test your idea with a free website or ask friends for feedback on social media.
The family entrepreneur
As idyllic as it sounds, being able to set your own working hours to fit with family life does come with its drawbacks. Plenty of founders end up giving up hobbies or sacrificing their leisure time so they can give enough energy to their business and family.
Mompreneurs—you are the most inspiring self-starters we know! You believe in yourselves because you know what you’re capable of. You don’t choose between your families and your aspirations—you do it all! In fact, you’ve done most of it before the rest of us have our socks on. We love you, and your amazing projects, big and small. Thanks for letting us be a part of your journey!
Do you know someone who’s an entrepreneur and a mother? Or are you a mompreneur? Tell us your story in the comments!