No matter your age, mom always has advice. You may have rolled your eyes at her tips and suggestions, but in honor of Mother’s Day this month it is time to stop and recognize all those times mom was actually right…and how you can apply her wisdom to your business:
Always say thank you: Remember all the thank you notes mom had you write after each birthday party? Turns out, that is good practice for your professional life. Sending personal thank you cards is a must after any job interview and thanking those mentors and partners that have helped guide you along the way builds bridges that may help you over challenges down the road.
Sometimes the hard truth is the best truth: Let’s face it — moms are not known for their sugar-coating of harsh realities. Need to get off your duff and get a job? Mom will tell you. Slacking on taking care of yourself or eating right? Mom’s right there with a plate of vegetables. Sometimes your business seems like it is going off the rails or wandering in the wrong direction. Be ready to face the hard truth head on and tackle it with a practical solution. This might mean needing to cut staff or change business models, but in the end, the hard truth can lead to a better overall business.
Don’t follow the pack: It is super cliché — “If all your friends jumped off a bridge, would you??” — While that question is a bit extreme, mom’s logic is right on. Just because others in your industry are all doing things the same way, that doesn’t mean you need to do the same. Innovative thinking has lead to some of the biggest business innovations in the past few years, including the creation and growth of the sharing and gig economy models.
Put on sunscreen: Well, maybe not literally — but the idea of protecting yourself from future damage is a core mom principle. The same holds true for your business when it comes to insurance — Making sure you have a policy that adequately protects your business assets and operations can help ensure that you aren’t hurting down the road.
Don’t run with scissors! Again, not literally (well maybe, after all this wouldn’t be safe in any office environment). Mom’s point here is don’t put yourself even more in harm’s way when undertaking a task that requires focus. The same holds true in business — If you need to focus on crunching budget numbers, do it in a concentrated session with your accountant; don’t try to bundle it with a lunch meeting. Attempting to combine two dissimilar tasks can lead to a fall – where the outcome is painful!
Be kind to others: One of the first things mom often teaches is the concept of kindness — Whether to a younger sibling or pet, everyone needs to be reminded from time to time to have patience and give others a break. You may find yourself in the same situation at work, frustrated by a difficult vendor or client. Listen to mom and practice a bit of kindness — You may not know their whole story or reasoning why they behave a certain way.
Stand up straight: First impressions matter. Think about when you first meet a colleague or potential employee: Those who come forward with a strong, confident stance appear confident, even if they aren’t confident inside. As mom would say, “fake it till you make it,” and this holds true when you project confidence with excellent posture.
Don’t be afraid to fail: One of mom’s primary jobs is cheerleader — encouraging you to try new activities and picking you up when you fail. You won’t break through in business without trying something with a risk element attached to it. Think of mom in the back of your head waving a banner or pom pom as you branch out to something new!