Every now and then you might read a story about the effects on children from moms moving from the home to the workforce. Usually the news (or perception) is not positive. However, I think that entrepreneurial moms have a different story to tell.
From an expert perspective, I strongly believe that being expert problem solvers (notice I didn’t say expert multi-taskers!) gets passed on to our kids. This isn’t just hearsay, it appears to be neurological and something we can influence through upbringing. I reference Richard Nisbett in his book, Intelligence and How to Get It, in this excerpt from my book, The Pregnant Entrepreneur:
“It turns out that being read to and exposure to books are socio-economic indicators that are found with higher-IQ children according to Nisbett.[i] Earlier and more consistent access to schools and learning programs are also highly correlated with higher intelligence.[ii] Being exposed to the problem solving, like that required to run a successful business, must qualify as educational, rich, and diverse experiences. Entrepreneurial mothers were not highlighted as a group in Intelligence and How to Get It. Although not scientifically studied, it makes sense that if you are steeped in the entrepreneurial environment and, even better, expose your child to aspects of it, your child is likely to benefit cognitively from that experience.”
From the perspective of a services professional, I can tell you that one of target client sets is young adults who have not learned the skills or organizing because their parents never taught them. I believe that the entrepreneurial family is more likely to pass on skills that allow a person to be self-sustaining and more able to achieve their own goals.
From the perspective of a mom, I can tell you that my 4-year old helps me take care of the house because I expect that, and she’s learned to be part of the family team from an early age. She’s also learned that there are times when you work, and times when you play. She gets it now, and I expect that she’ll continue to grow into a person who can structure her own time to meet her goals. Prioritizing is a critical life skill, so you can enjoy life more.
I’ve talked to at least three people just this week who said to me that their inability to prioritize is their biggest problem. Successful business owners must prioritize, or they aren’t successful. If we pass this trait or skill alone onto our kids, we’ve done our jobs as entrepreneurs and moms at the same time. Ka-ching!