My Mom was definitely not an entrepreneur. During her long life she held only two jobs, and in both she worked as a bookkeeper. Her first employer was a slightly unscrupulous company with owners who dipped a little too often into petty cash; her second employer had bosses who were borderline abusive towards their staff. Neither job was particularly satisfying, but still she worked hard and put in her best effort. If things were not done to her high standards, she would quietly stew about it yet return the next day and start over.
She didn’t quite understand the upside of the entrepreneurial life. For her having a steady paycheck was the primary motivator with no insecurity as to whether her day would end at 5:00PM.
Despite her cool misunderstanding and indifference to the “rat race,” my mother supported me in my efforts from the beginning. She may not have understood the reasoning behind my decision, yet she was ultimately proud of my accomplishments and initiative. I think she was especially proud of my “Can-Do” attitude.
Never once did she imagine that my perseverance, tenacity, and, ultimately, success as an entrepreneur came directly from her.
My Mom was widowed when she was not even 40. Having solo responsibility for a rebellious 16 year old (me!) must have been difficult. Picking up with her life and persisting after her husband’s sudden death was no small task. She worked, tended to the house, fretted about money – my father died young and did not leave us financially secure –, and ensured I was “doing the right thing” even if she wasn’t 100% what that meant other than making good grades in school.
In retrospect I could have or should have been a better daughter and been there for my Mom as she was for me. I was simply too selfish and strong-willed. If I were her I would have been either angry, depressed, or most probably both – but she was neither. She always had my back.
My Mom was my role model, and today I recognize how much her own life experiences shaped my entrepreneurial spirit. Of the many admirable qualities she held and passed on, I can thank her for my:
1. Determined nature
2. Unwillingness to give up
3. Capacity to keep it all together even when the going gets tough
4. Ability to set priorities and stick to them
5. Strength and resolve to accomplish what I set out to do
These were the attributes that resonated quietly and indisputably throughout her life. Each day I acknowledge something that I do or say that could have been done or said by my Mom. For that I am grateful.