Just Like Mom—Following in the Footsteps of an Entrepreneur

With Mother’s Day upon us, I started thinking about my mom and all the great life lessons she’s taught me over the years. Probably some of the most important lessons she didn’t set out to teach—but I learned by watching her.

For example, my mom was an entrepreneur. Since I was very young, I can remember her loving antiques. She would haul me and her friend and her daughter (who, by the way, became my best friend) around in the back of the station wagon, going to hole-in-the-wall antique shops, auctions and estate sales looking for hidden treasures. I used to say jokingly, to her delight, “Is it old? Is it dusty? Then my mom will love it.”

Later, my mom turned that antiquing hobby into a business. She opened a shop with her friend where they sold antiques, as well as new jewelry and craft items. It was called, “The Now and Then Shop.” I remember going to work with her, spending time helping out in the shop and just hanging out in the office area. Those were good times.

But, what I didn’t realize then was the lessons I was learning. Unconsciously, I watched as my mom successfully launched and ran a business. In fact, my mom never went to work for anyone else the entire time I was growing up. She always did her own thing.

It’s no wonder that observing my entrepreneurial mom inspired the entrepreneur in me.

Ever since I can remember, I’d always wanted to work for myself. If she did it, then so could I. I did my “time” working for others, always planning to go out on my own. And when the time was right, I did it. I, too, launched my own business—just like mom.

Now, my kids are learning a lot from watching me in action. They know mom works for herself and understand how excited I get about certain things that happen during the work day. They even cheer for my “wins.” They are somewhat immersed in the whole idea of working for yourself, as it’s all I’ve ever done since before they were born. In addition to the entrepreneurial lessons they learn, I think they really appreciate the fact that mom can be home more for them because she does work for herself.

Who knows, maybe one day, they’ll want to go into business for themselves, too. My daughter, who’s now 9, has been talking about starting her own business since kindergarten. Funny how history repeats itself.

So, happy Mother’s Day, mom—and thank you for the inspiration to do my own thing.

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