What's In a Name?


Labels have never really been my thing. Having been born in Italy to Iranian parents, moving to Australia when I was three and being married to a Canadian who is of Flemish decent, I consider myself a citizen of the world and feel a proud sense of identity with as many countries as I have fingers on one hand.

I always raise an eyebrow when someone asks me where I am from and I usually pick and choose my answer based on my mood and my level of agreement with the current government policy at the time. It's a beautiful situation to be in and I love the fact that conversations with my three year old about his heritage usually involve getting out a world map and many different colored markers.

Lately, however, there has been one label that I just can't quite seem to shake. One that seems to plague me despite the fact that there is so much more to me than one word could ever suggest. One that no matter how hard I try to explain the diversity of who I am and what I do, seems to pigeonhole me into one small box. That word? Mumpreneur.

For all intents and purposes I am a mumpreneur. I am a mum. I founded and run my own business which I suppose makes me an entrepreneur. But while 'entrepreneur' sounds savvy, 'mumpreneur' sounds... cute.

"Awww, you are a mumpreneur? Well, good for you!"

'Entrepreneur' gives you no clue at all into the nature of someone's business whereas 'mumpreneur' conjures up images of kids, chaos and online small business.

It's not that this is incorrect necessarily. Truth be told, most days my life is a whirlwind of kids and chaos. The issue is that this is only one small piece of the picture.

For every mum entrepreneur who is running a successful online business, there is another running a bricks and mortar shop front with multiple employees. For every mum entrepreneur who has found a way to monetize their hobby or interest, there is another who is working their trade but in a more innovative fashion. For every mum entrepreneur who started a business for a bit of extra cashflow, there is another who is the primary earner within a household. The range is huge, despite the label being narrow.

I know so many business mums whose toes curl up when they hear "mumpreneur." I was recently speaking with one in particular who confessed that she doesn't tell people she has children for fear of not being taken seriously. Ouch.

For me, while I welcome any adjective that highlights the fact that my life is busy and credits the fact that I have infinite stuff on my plate, I reject any label which typecasts me and what I do. I made this very clear recently when I wrote about common mumpreneur myths.

So, next time you hear the word mumpreneur and find that you are suddenly imagining the traditional stereotype, I encourage you to stop and consider some of the following names; Janine Ellis, Naomi Simpson, Lindy Klim, Emma Isaacs, Tammy May, Megan Quinn. The list goes on and on.

But enough about me. I want to hear from you. Do you embrace the title of mumpreneur or do you do find it dismissive and belittling? Send me an email and share your views or post a comment below. I'm looking forward to hearing from you. Until then,

Be Brave, Live Fierce


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