Mumpreneur -- dirty word or badge of honour? Research tells me that the jury is divided on this one as some love it, some loathe it.
From where I stand, it's not the word that's the problem; the real culprit is how others interpret it and the hidden meaning they add to the label. So in the best interests of every kick-ass female entrepreneur who also happens to have kids, let's set the record straight.
Myth #1: We don't work as hard as other entrepreneurs
Ha! If only.
Let me give you a snapshot of my day.
6 a.m.: Woken up by the hysterical cries of an adorable 1-year-old after a night of four hours sleep. Feed children, dress children, somehow try and shower by myself, tidy up breakfast, enjoy some outdoor play.
9 a.m.: Set infant and 1-year-old down for a nap and try to make a couple of business calls while simultaneously engaging in building Duplo with toddler.
11.30 a.m.: Babies wake, drive to park for play and picnic lunch. Head to shops for groceries and essentials. Feel guilty that said shop visit has run into 1-year-old's afternoon nap time and he has probably missed his optimal sleep window.
4 p.m.: Get home, unpack groceries, make dinner for kids, mediate sibling conflicts, bath, stories, bed.
7 p.m.: Hubby overseas on business which means that I don't have to make dinner and can enjoy a nutritious meal of vegemite on toast. Set up laptop and get seriously stuck into work for the next five hours.
Midnight: Lights out. At least until I'm woken by a miniature human in the night wanting a drink of some variety or simply a cuddle.
Not only are we working equally hard on our business as other entrepreneurs, we are doing it while also managing another full-time (literally 24 hour) job. Our kiddie-free time becomes our best opportunity to grow our business and downtime is non-existent.
Think mumpreneurs don't work as hard as other entrepreneurs? Think again.
Myth #2: We treat our business as a hobby
A hobby is, by definition, a task engaged in for pleasure and relaxation. Think reading, exercise or woodcarving. No pouring all your blood, sweat and tears into a business idea which can take months or even years to get off the ground, if it even gets off the ground. We are mumpreneurs, not masochists.
Why, oh why, would we choose to spend our child-free time agonizing over a business idea unless we honestly believed in it and wanted to either create some sort of change in the world or bring a brilliant product to the market? We wouldn't. Being a mum is work enough as it is without adding a business on top of it unless we were really serious and passionate about what we were doing.
I dream of the day when the word "hobby" can re-enter my vocabulary. Who knows, I may even build that mosaic table top for our outdoor setting that I've been talking about for years. In the meantime though, like many mumpreneurs, it's all about giving quality time to family, quality time to my business and fitting in some sleep in between.
Myth #3: We will give you a discounted rates because, after all, see point No. 2 above
Remember the part about having to work extra hard because we are also raising kids? Don't even get me started on the mumpreneurs who are raising kids, working on their business AND working in paid employment until they can fully make the transition into being their own boss. Talk about superwomen. We are not doing that just so that we can give you a special "mummy rate." We are not looking to create a bit of side income to cover the weekly groceries and give ourselves a bit of extra pocket money.
We are businesswomen. We are businesswomen who also happen to have children. I don't go into any other business and ask for a special rate on the basis of the owner's child status. Please pay us the same respect.
So, are you with me or are you with me? Yes, sometimes feel like we are working twice as hard for half the recognition, but it's not really about that, is it?
We do it because we thrive on it and because we love the challenges associated with seeing our dreams comes true.
Now it's over to you. I want to hear your thoughts so please join the discussion below or send me an email if you're the kind of gal who likes to share things a bit more privately.
Be Brave, Live Fierce