Moms are often the heart, soul and backbone of a family.
Through their words, actions and accomplishments, they can motivate and inspire those around them — including the women entrepreneurs in their lives. At least, that’s what we found when we surveyed 1,000 women business owners through our 1,000 Stories research project. Nearly a quarter of the women who participated named their moms and grandmas as their biggest role models.
In honor of them — and because Mother’s Day is celebrated this Sunday — we’re sharing the sage advice that influenced the work and lives of five women business owners.
[Related: 8 Great Gifts for Moms, Made by Mompreneurs]
1. “The glass is always half full.”
Lisa Price of beauty business Carol’s Daughter was clearly inspired by her mom, given the name of her company. “My mom taught me that the glass is always half full. She taught me that, no matter what adversity you face, you are blessed because God only gives you what you can handle,” she told us of her beloved mother, Carol, who died in 2003. “I had to learn these things for myself when she passed, because she was no longer with me to remind me in a physical way. But the lesson has been learned.”
2. “Roll up your sleeves and be ready to work.”
Dominique Reighard-Brooks became an owner of moving company E.E. Ward after a career as a model. Both careers required hard work, but “one of the things my mother always taught me was that if you see something that needs to be done, do it. Always roll up your sleeves and be ready to work,” Reighard-Brooks says of her multi-talented mother, Dellon Reighard. And, she adds, “My mother’s strength and confidence in her ability to do the job well — and at times better than her male counterparts — definitely impacted me as a young girl.”
3. “You don’t have to do everything all at once.”
JJ Ramberg of socially conscious coupon site Goodshop told us that she was most influenced by her late mother, Connie, who had been a stay-at-home parent until her mid-40s. That was when “my brother [Ken] came home from college, and he had an idea for a company,” she says. The brother-and-mother team bootstrapped JobTRAK, a successful career site for college students they eventually sold 13 years later to Monster.com. Ramberg says “all women should listen to this story, because it shows you that life comes in stages, and you don’t have to do everything all at once.”
4. “Create something to call your own.”
Carina Chaz of perfume maker Dedcool says she grew up around “very strong women,” including her mom, Sabina Chazanas — a female entrepreneur herself who runs beauty venture LaNatura. She recalls hearing Chazanas’ stories about starting up her Culver City, Calif., venture “from nothing” in 1987. Because of that, “I wanted to create something to call my own.” Her mom didn’t just inspire by example, either — Chazanas “pushed me to take a role in the LaNatura business after seeing my success at such a young age” with dreaming up new product ideas, Chaz recalls.
5. “If you don’t do it, who will?”
In January of 2010, an earthquake rocked the small Caribbean nation of Haiti. The disaster struck less than a year after Yve-Car Momperousse, who is Haitian-American, began planning to start her beauty products business, Kreyol Essence, which would use organic black castor oil from the island nation. She wasn’t sure how to proceed — until her mother gave her the encouragement she needed to press on with starting her company. “Now more than ever, our people will need jobs and a way to be self-sufficient,” her mom told Momperousse at that critical time. “When the donations stop, how will the country survive?”