3 Non-Sucky Tips on Being a Boss Mom from Paris Marketing VP, Lisa Woodford.

Recently I read an article published in Entrepreneur Magazine which reported that almost three-quarters of female business owners juggle entrepreneurship while being the primary childcare provider in their family. Now that’s a statistic I can get behind. As a single mom of two (now grown children), I was often the primary, secondary—and sometimes only caregiver available. Full transparency, I also had the support of my family, friends, and an incredible employer. So, while it wasn’t always ideal, it was doable; it had to be—I mean, what was the alternative?
What I didn’t realize at the time, however, was that this was also an incredibly valuable learning experience. I was developing a critical set of skills that would one day enable me to be a successful business owner (another thing I didn’t know was going to happen to my future self).

Life, and motherhood to an extent, share a certain irony. Typically, neither one turns out the way you expect it will, regardless of the best planning, preparation, or intention. This leads me to Mother’s Day. Recently, I’ve seen more than the usual amount of social posts, articles, tips, and Pinterest quotes written for and about women like me—mompreneurs. Maybe you’ve heard this term? It’s become part of our cultural lexicon and is defined by Wikipedia as: “a female business owner who is actively balancing the role of mom and the role of entrepreneur.” In other words, a Boss Mom. I prefer this term (with the obligatory capitalization), mainly because I can’t say the word mompreneur without stumbling over it.
But back to my point about all this content meant to help me live my best authentic Boss Mom life. Frankly, I think a lot of it sucks. Platitudes like “avoid mom guilt at all costs” and “cherish your alone time” make me cringe. How exactly, I wonder, am I supposed to find, then cherish, this alone time without feeling incredibly guilty?
Of course, being a Boss Mom is easy—said no Boss Mom ever. It’s freaking hard. But it’s also amazing, surprising, joyful, stressful, exhausting, scary, and fun. It’s a lifestyle, and those who share it can rarely see themselves doing or being anything else, regardless of how old their children get…
I am a proud member of the Boss Mom tribe. And for me, there’s no going back. And because I believe in karma and paying it forward, I want to share with my fellow Boss Moms what I’ve learned on my journey. Whether you’re an aspiring, struggling, or slaying Boss Mom, feel free to take what works, share what helps, and leave the rest behind.

 

Non-sucky Tips on How to Be a Boss Mom

1.) As Moms, we try to teach our children to be good humans, play fair, share, take turns, be kind, and follow the rules. This stuff all matters and should carry over into any good business mindset—EXCEPT THE LAST ONE – “follow the rules”. NO, NO, NO! Break the rules when you must or ignore them completely if they don’t help you get to the next level. Just repeat after me: “I will ask forgiveness, not permission”.

2.) Surround yourself with women who share your level of crazy and embrace them, hard. I have a tribe of women who form a sisterhood of crazy, adventurous, weird, creative, brave souls. Some are twenty years younger than me, some twenty years older. I love them all. This is a network that provides me with unlimited access to a depth of experience, resources, support, friendship, laughter, encouragement, acceptance, and inspiration that no professional association or networking organization can touch. Although, I guarantee you’ll meet many future tribe members at these places, so you should join a few of those as well.

3.) Finally, give yourself the same permission to fail that you would give your kids when they’re learning a new skill or trying to navigate a challenging situation. Honestly, I can’t stress this last one enough. You need to be (or pretend to be) undaunted by failure because ladies, let me break this down for you: you’re going to fail, more than once—and that’s okay. This last tip is a crucial one. Develop an ability to find alternative solutions, work with what you have, stay flexible and see setbacks as opportunities to learn. Want to know how you keep this last tip from becoming one of those “stay positive sunshine” platitudes? Go back and read Tip 2.

Of course, it takes more than 3 tips to rock being a Boss Mom, but embracing these fundamentals is a great place to start. Maybe they can even save you some time and frustration, (honestly, I wish I had learned Tip 1 way earlier in my career).

Ladies, you got this. And if you feel like you don’t have it just yet, or if you have some of your own tips to share, catch me on Instagram or LinkedIn. I’m always happy to add another Boss Mom to my tribe.

 

Lisa Woodford

CEO? More like Commander-in-Chief. Someone’s got to aim our team’s creativity at the right target, and Lisa’s the woman for the job.