Thursday, April 8, 2010

Why Moms Become Entrepreneurs

We know that moms are starting businesses in droves, but what is it about self-employment that makes entrepreneurship such a compelling choice?

We’ve given this question a lot of thought, and we’ve asked around. Ultimately, the reasons women opt to juggle motherhood and business are as varied as the women themselves. We have, however, observed some general categories of reasons.

  1. New Boss vs. Old Boss: All moms know that the “real boss” is the child at home. The problem is this new, little boss is making the old boss hard to manage. No workplace boss is going to love that you show up late because you had to change your puked-on suit, miss days of work for ear infections, or nap under your desk Costanza-style from sleep deprivation. The tension between the two “bosses” ultimately drives many women to strike out on their own.
  2. Fulfilling a Dream: Many women tell us that they started their businesses in order to fulfill a passion, or because they had a great idea, or because they just wanted to work for themselves. In all cases, these women have used mom entrepreneurship as an opportunity to fulfill their dreams.
  3. Big bucks or Pocket Change: Some moms want to make a zillion dollars and believe entrepreneurship is the best way to do it. Many others are would-be stay-at-home-moms who need (or want) to supplement their family incomes. Any entrepreneurial venture is going to be a lot of work, so getting into it for the money is a pretty solid motivation!
  4. Identity Crisis: As much as some women want to be home with their kids, many fear that a total immersion means the loss of their own identities. Having a business is an opportunity to remain engaged in the adult working world while still being available to your children. With a foot in both camps, mom entrepreneurship can provide the perfect middle ground.
You probably have your own distinct reasons for contemplating mom entrepreneurship, but odds are that at least one of the above motivations applies to you.

What we believe is that your motivations only need to work for you. Want to make gobs of cash? Excellent! Want to engage in a business project while the kids are small? Also great. It really doesn’t matter what brings you to mom entrepreneurship. But here’s the caveat – and we can’t stress it enough: Know what your own motivations are. Mom entrepreneurship is too hard to juggle without clearly articulating to yourself why you’re doing it.

Whatever your business, it will involve a lot of work and sacrifice. You will come back to your reasons time and time again – so know why you’re making the leap.

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