Here at SBE Australia we are constantly in awe of our amazing community of women leaders, many of whom are working mothers; somehow cramming the responsibilities of parenthood and the running of a successful business into one very busy life. Whilst celebrating Mother’s Day last week we were lucky enough to have a chat with a handful of these women and gain an insight into what being both a mother and a business-woman really involves.
One common feeling among the women was that there is just not enough time in a day. Being a mother and an entrepreneur is basically one big juggling act, and the only way all the balls stay in the air is with some great time-management skills. Dr Michelle Perugini, co-founder and CEO of Presagen and Life Whisperer, explained that in order for this to work you need to know where your priorities lie ‘always keep the mantra of family comes first, and then work around meeting the needs of the children first’. This sentiment was shared by Catriona Wallace, founder and CEO of FlamingoAI, who believes that when time is scarce it’s important to make sure that the time you do have with your kids is always quality time. Jennifer Barnes, co-founder and CEO of Spot Check Technologies, explained this ‘time-juggling’ perfectly when saying ‘we all drop the ball sometimes, but as an entrepreneur and a mother you simply take a deep breath, pick it up, and keep juggling’.
When we asked our women-leaders how on earth they manage their time so effectively and squeeze so much into each day their answers had a similar theme throughout - they learnt it all from their own mothers. Mary Minas, entrepreneur and behind-the-scenes team member at SBEaustralia, told us that the women in her family are all hard as oxes, and that she owes ‘lessons of hard work, grit, stoicism, not settling, and ambition’ to all the powerful women in her life. SBE chair Kerri-Lee Sinclair told us that her mother was also a full time businesswoman, and that she taught her everything, in particular the importance of flexibility and control.
Working as a constant driving force to each of the mothers we spoke to is the hope that they will inspire their own children in the same way. To be a role-model to your children and teach key life-lessons through doing rather than just saying is a massive motivator. Jennifer Barnes told us that through her own entrepreneurship she hopes to teach her children ‘to be brave, believe in yourself, follow your passions and be resilient’. Dr Michelle Perugini had a similar hope that her being an entrepreneur will give her children ‘an incredible opportunity to see first hand how to innovate, create and build something successful’. As Georgie Drury, co-founder and CEO of Springday Pty Ltd) told us, it’s not just the ways in which your entrepreneurship can benefit your children, but the other way around; ‘being a mother makes me a better entrepreneur … my children ground me and enable me to find perspective in business’.
With schedules already as jam-packed as theirs evidently are, we’d like to give a massive thanks for each of these mothers and business-women for chatting to us and sharing an insight into your amazingly hectic lives.