Work-life balance. Lean in. Work-from-home. Dropping Out. Sabbatical. Childcare.
If you’re a mother who has had a thriving career at any point of time in your life, at least one of the phrases mentioned above will resonate with you.
It is the 21st century but we are still fighting hard to bring up our babies while continuing to flourish in our careers. And stay sane and smiling through it all. Enough studies out there point to how more and more women are dropping out of the corporate workforce. While that is true, and definitely a huge issue that needs to be addressed, I’d like to point to another, not entirely unconnected, trend.
The Rise Of The Mompreneurs!
Yes, it is true that a huge number of women are dropping out of the workforce, but there’s also an increasing number of women doing what few women dared to do a few decades ago – turning into entrepreneurs. Not just any entrepreneur, but those who are using the very essence of ‘motherhood’ and its challenges and turning it into a lucrative business idea.
It’s said that necessity is the mother of invention. Now it’s time to put the spotlight on how being a mother makes it necessary to keep inventing.
This is why if you do an audit of all the mompreneurs out there, you’ll find that most are running successful companies based on a baby’s needs. In fact, I’m pretty confident that ‘the idea’ for their invention or start-up came right in the middle of feeding, burping or a diaper change.
Take for instance, the mother who wanted some creative stimulation for her growing child and came up with the fantastic Baby Einstein series.
Or the mother who realised how accident prone her toddler was, and set up her own baby-proofing consulting services.
How about the mother who was so tired of her toddler dropping his snacks all over, that she took a glue gun, some vinyl and a bowl and created the first ever Snack Trap.
Our children inspire us.
Bringing them up keeps us on our toes and teaches us something new every day. Sometimes we learn from what others before us have done, and sometimes we just have to roll up our sleeves and come up with our own hacks to tackle the problem.
And eventually, some of us use this inspiration and knowledge to start off on the rocky road to being an entrepreneur.
No idea is too small or silly.
A mother who wanted to stop her child wasting toilet paper went on to create a simple device that earned her $2 million in two years.
Another mother who was toilet training her boys, discovered that a simple paper with the design of a car or football thrown into a pot helped her son aim better. Today Tinkle Target retails on the biggest ecommerce websites in the US and Canada.
Closer to home there are mothers who have started companies that range from selling healthier Indian snacks to children (I admit, that was an idea I had toyed with long and hard) to custom-made hobby activity boxes to keep the brats busy.
Why, what else was Tura Turi, but a burning need for me to introduce my son to Indian art and stories?
The other day I was at a work meeting to discuss new collaborations for Tura Turi. I went in without any previous information except that the founder wanted to start a new online space for mothers. Barely 10 minutes into the conversation, the conversation took a familiar turn.
“You know, I was bringing up my baby in New York when I realised there was such a gap in the market for a service like this”
Here was a total stranger speaking out my own words to me.
That’s when it really hit home. This is how all inventors and entrepreneurs start off – by trying to fill in a gap, first for themselves and then for the larger community out there. And when it’s an idea inspired by their own baby, they’ll leave no stone unturned until they perfect it and make it succeed.