The Entrepreneurial Single Mom

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in Creativity

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about entrepreneurship and the challenges an entrepreneur faces in getting any project off the ground.  There is the typical stuff of figuring out what product or service you are going to sell, legal structures and accounting, marketing, and on and on. 

After listening to many successful entrepreneurs, I think I’ve discovered why they are able to make it.  Sure, there is the undying passion for the project and the hours of hard work. But they couldn’t do it without one key ingredient:  support.

These are some of the comments I’ve heard successful entrepreneurs make (I’m paraphrasing here):

  • I didn’t make any money the first 10 years but thankfully my husband was working so we had enough cash flow to live on and sustain the business.
  • My wife stayed home, did the back office operations, and looked after the kids so I could concentrate on building the business.
  • My family really pitched in and did all the building/remodeling in the store.

When I hear these kinds of comments, I’m often stricken with a momentary pang of envy. Well, perhaps I should say “pangs.”

As a truly single mother of a young child (no other parental back-up units) with multiple entrepreneurial projects in the hopper at any one time, what I wouldn’t give for the kind of support suggested by the above comments.

  • Freedom from worrying about cash flow – even a little bit – while I’m creating and building.
  • Someone else to take out the garbage, fix lunch, run to the post office, and mow the lawn, so I can answer emails, make calls, and review prototypes and pro formas.
  • The ability to leave the house when I just need to go for a quick head-clearing walk.
  • Knowing that my child is with someone who loves them when I have things I must do, not someone I must pay.  I know that paying someone to care for my child doesn’t necessarily exclude the possibility of someone loving my child but it isn’t quite the same. 
  • Willing and enthusiastic help from those who care about me.  My biggest fantasy is that someone will call one day and say, “hey, I know you’ve got this project cooking, let me come help you.”  A girl can dream….

I know these feelings are not unique to the single mom.  Almost everyone could use more support in one form or another; especially, during the throws of creation. 

I also know that my child is my priority.  I know she will only be young once and before I know it, I’ll be wishing for these crazy times again. 

In the meantime, I would love to hear from you about how you have created more support in your life.  If you know of any single mom entrepreneur success stories, I would love to hear those too.  There is much to be learned from those who have gone before us.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Angie Bryant February 8, 2011 at

I was a single mom with my 14 y/o daughter and getting ready to step into that role again- as an entrepreneur and now with a 3 y/o. I see the two roles as pretty similar: you have to step out in faith and determination to be effective. And never forget to have some fun. Sure, we WILL make mistakes in both roles (that is just about the only guarantee that we do have) but the grace that we handle them is what makes the real difference.

If you find yourself wanting more out of life, take a look at the quality of your support system and add a little more substance to it.

When it sucks, take a deep breathe, and then act like a three year old and have some fun with it.

*writing this for your benefit but mostly mine- to remind myself of all of this as I step out once more to be bigger than I know myself to be and have faith that the net will appear- as it always does.

*deep breathe* off to play

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Andrea February 8, 2011 at

Hey Angie, so love your perspective! What a great reminder to have some fun. It is so easy to forget in the midst of trying to do everything. Thank you!

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