Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Family and business

Family and business don't mix.... you wantta bet. Try it. I did.

I resisted for so long being a stay-at-home-mom until, with the birth of our third, I couldn't resist any longer. Now my husband and I are proud of starting our own business. Of course he still works his regular job until the business gets off the ground. While I'm the one doing most of the work marketing the business right now.

Last week I had to go out and personally make some sales calls to get some business happening here. I can't afford a baby sitter and my neighbor is neck deep in her lawn business right now. So I loaded up two of our three children and started my rounds for two days.

At first I was a little concerned as to how I would be accepted, but surprisingly I think it worked for me. It's not every day that a business owner or manager sees a woman walk through their door with her arm through a car seat handle with a baby in it, a portfolio in her other hand, and a three year old holding her pinky. Followed by "Maybe you could help me....... " as I hand them a business card.

In some cases the men (and it is always men I talk to in this truck accessories business, which further makes me odd) were fascinated by my children. It was a great way to catch them off guard and even break through to their human/fatherly side. I found it much easier to talk to most of the men then when I was selling printing last year and walked in in my suite, heels and portfolio. Maybe they found me less threatening as well, and more human.

Although I still ran into a couple old timers that took one look at me and weren't too interested. They wouldn't tell me no that they didn't want to do business or wouldn't refer us business, but you could tell by their complete lack of interest and occasional glance at the kids that they didn't have much faith in a mother doing business with her kids in toe. But these men were only about one out of ten.

Otherwise I enjoyed doing business with the rest of them. And the best part was I was able to do it with my children, a couple hours each day. Even my three year old thought it was great. Of course I think all the candy he got had a lot to do with it.

So who's to say you can't make your family a bigger part of your life and still do well in business. Not only will you be able to spend more valuable time with you children, but you will also be setting good examples for them. They will see how important family is to you, and they will also, hopefully, see how you do business and learn from it.

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