Raising the Next Generation of Fempreneurs
My mother used to say, “Someone is always watching.” And for many different reasons and in many different contexts, you’ve likely heard this too. It wasn’t until I had my daughter that I really gave it much thought, but, now more than ever, I am seeing how true it really is. Let me tell you what I mean:
I have always been a workaholic. My children, ages 6 and 2, have always seen Mama work. Whether my workaholism is a good or bad thing is a discussion for another day.
About a year ago, my view on my work/life balance changed, and I ended up going into business for myself. As a result of circumstances beyond my control, I decided that my time away from my kiddos had to be spent doing things that made my heart sing. Things that got me pumped to get out of bed in the morning (literally). It was the best decision for me, and I’ve never looked back. With the support and love of my spouse and children, I’ve been having a blast!
Unbeknownst to me, it was a great decision for someone else. My 6 year-old daughter, Penny. Over the past year, she must have been watching me…and she must have liked what she saw. For the past 6-8 weeks, she has been showing an increasing interest in the world of entrepreneurship. My first clue was when she asked me to help her make a poster.
As a kid who’s cup is filled by spending time with me, the request wasn’t surprising. It started with her subtly asking me how to spell certain words. Unsure of where she was going with it, I absentmindedly told her how to spell words like dog, chicken, spider, horse…and even peacock. The she disappeared for a bit. When she returned, she needed me to help her with the bubble letters she wanted to include. As I was writing out the words for her, it finally hit me. She was making a poster that was meant to serve as an advertisement for her new pet washing service. For $5, she was offering to wash ‘all the animals.’ Yup, $5 to wash an entire horse! Not sure how she was going to wash the spider though….
This opened up the doors for our first conversation about earning money. It turned out that she had her eye on a stroller for her dolls, and, after getting sick of waiting for Mama and Daddy to get around to buying it, she was taking matters into her own hands and earning the money herself. The sign was a great start, but she couldn’t figure out how to take action on it. At least I’m assuming she couldn’t because I didn’t hear anything more about it. It’s still hanging in our front door way. Maybe that was the marketing strategy…but we don’t get a lot of visitors…
A couple of weeks later, I found her sitting at the end our driveway with a bucket full of things she had found around the yard. A stick, a pine cone, some pennies, and needles from some of the local pine trees. It wasn’t until Papa came over and she went into her sales pitch that I realized that she was at it again. She did a good job because she got him to pay $5 for a piece of bark. Sure, it was a nice sized piece of bark…but it was still a piece of bark. That initial sale was exciting for her, and it pushed her to keep at it for a few more days. There she was sitting at the end of our rural driveway (we literally live in the middle of nowhere) with her bucket, only taking breaks to ride her bike. On the third or fourth day, she came in to me with the assertion that she needed a sign to let people know about her sale. And while she didn’t end up making the sign, she’s still collecting items. More importantly, Mama heard the message LOUD AND CLEAR.
Here was my 6 year old little girl, who had watched her Mama have a blast building a business for the past year, getting the entrepreneurial bug….and running with it!! I couldn’t have been prouder to watch her have the courage to put herself out there, take a chance on herself and her ideas, learn from them and try her new learnings out as she kept going.
I was recently at a conference where it was said that only 17% of leadership positions in Canada are held by women. While an alarming fact in 2017, stories like Penny’s inspire me to keep pushing forward to change that statistic. So what did I do?
I found a business opportunity in the direct sales world that Penny and I can do together! We are pumped to be starting our very own Jamberry business (Shop our biz here)!! Not only am I excited to learn some new skills myself (direct sales is quite different than my business coaching practice for sure!), I am REALLY excited to have found an opportunity that will let Penny spread her wings and build on her interest! Now we’re going into business together as a team AND that’s PRETTY EXCITING!
But what’s just as exciting is that by giving Penny this opportunity to explore her passion (and herself), when she reaches my age, that 17% may have turned into 50% because I firmly believe that the more we show our girls empowered women leading with their hearts and empower them to take chances on themselves and do the same, the better chances we have of changing that number – together.
And if my two year-old, Max, is lucky we might let him join us 😉 Who am I kidding? It’s a family business. Of course we’re going to put him to work!
With Penny starting her first business, I am reminded of when I went out on my own and have been flooded with advice that I wish I had known before I opened my coaching business’ doors. SO HERE’S MY QUESTION…If you could go back and give your younger entrepreneur self some advice, what would you tell her?