Three Important Business Lessons I Learned from my Mom

My Mom is an incredible woman. Not only did she raise four amazing girls (if I do say so myself), but she also helped my Dad on the farm and ran her own business.

For much of my childhood, my Mom created cornhusk dolls and floral arrangements and sold them all over the country. When we would come home from school, we would often find her in her workroom putting together her latest creations.

I credit her for every creative bone I have in my body. And, I’m pretty certain I get my marketing chops from her.

But, besides all of that, she has taught me invaluable skills that have helped me in business:

Be Flexible or Break

I am a planner. Always have been. And while that has incredible value for my line of work, there are some things in business (and in life) that cannot be planned.

My Mom has always reminded me to “be flexible or break”. That advice is certainly relevant as a business owner. While it’s good to have a plan, sometimes, the best things in life come from recognizing and taking opportunities that come your way.

I think this advice also has incredible relevance for the dramatically shifting landscape of marketing and social media. Just think – a year ago, Pinterest was relatively obscure and Google Plus didn’t even exist.

While marketing and social media strategies are important, your business needs to be nimble enough to adjust to the rapidly changing marketplace and tools available.

Challenges (and Chores) Build Character

Growing up on a farm, my three sisters and I often had to do things we didn’t particularly enjoy. Every time we had to load out pigs, move cattle or walk beans, my mom would cheerily remind us that these were “character building experiences.”

I have to admit, that line wasn’t a great motivator for a kid. In fact, I would often retort, “I have enough character already!”

Oh, but my Mom was right.

Life presents us with plenty of challenges, chores and tasks that we really don’t want to tackle. But, each time we face them head-on, we become stronger, wiser and much more capable to handle the next hurdle that comes our way.

Building my company while holding down a demanding day job was certainly a challenge. I just wanted to quit my job and take my marketing business full time. But, going through that experience taught me patience and helped prepare me for the long hours ahead of working on my own.

Next time you face a challenge or task you don’t enjoy, view it as an opportunity to learn. It will help you appreciate the experience that much more.

Treat People Better Than You Want to Be Treated

Yes, I’m sure every mother teaches the Golden Rule. But, my Mom lives it. She is the master of relationships.

She taught us that listening is more important than talking. And, that making others feel special is one of the hallmarks of successful people.

In high school, she had me read How to Win Friends and Influence People. I’ve read it several times since and I think it’s one of the most important books a businessperson can read.

No matter what kind of business you’re in, relationships matter. When you treat people with respect and integrity, you’ll go far!

Happy Mother’s Day!

Thank you, Mom, for being such a remarkable role model and cheerleader for me! I’m blessed to have you as a mother. Happy Mother’s Day!

What business lessons have you learned from your Mom?

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  • http://www.allisondevelopmentgroup.com Erica Allison

    What an awesome tribute, Laura! I grew up on a farm, too- one of the original entrepreneurs if you ask me! Walking the beans, weeding the garden, picking up trash – all of it was character building and contributed to the person I am today. I hear myself saying the same things to my kids that my mom used to say to me – ESP my son, who is a LOT like me! LOL!

    • http://www.flybluekite.com Laura Click

      I remember you telling me that you grew up on a farm, but I didn’t realize you walked beans! Every time I bring it up on the site, someone asks me what it is. I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who did it! 

      And yes, it’s hard to admit that our parents were right all along, isn’t it?! I bet it’s even funnier when you hear yourself say the same thing to YOUR kids! ;)