what mompreneurs can learn from a few teenagers?

On most days I am a mompreneur until 4 p.m., and then I am a basketball mom until bedtime when I become a mompreneur again.  Sort of like Cinderella changes at midnight, I turn into a basketball mom as soon as my boys finish school.  I do not want to change this – I love hanging at the gym, watching the boys practice, and I even love that I do nothing else than watch basketball on the weekends – usually 6 games/weekend.  These are memories and time with my boys that will be with me long after I am no longer needed in the role of basketball mom.

The other night, we were at a championship game (which is funny – an 11 & 12-year-old championship game, but very serious).  My son’s team started the game off faced with a big challenge.  What was the challenge? Their team only had a total of 6 players with one on crutches with a broken foot, and then a 2nd player showed up on crutches to the game.  Now, they were down to 4 active players.  The refs made the decision for the two teams to play 4 on 4 (whew).  With two of the team’s strongest rebounders on the bench, the team still managed to gain a little lead and stay there the whole game.  With a few minutes left, a player on my son’s team fouled out AND now they had to play 3 on 4 with a narrow lead.  The exciting news is that my son’s team WON even under crazy reconfiguring and challenges.

What is the overall point of this story?  While my son and his teammates are all good little players, the two teenager coaches really led the team to their victory. Over a celebratory ice cream, my son recounted to me all the little details that his coaches filtered to the team.  The coaches had a game plan mapped out as to how they were going to face the challenges.  Again, what is the point?  The point is that being a mompreneur has many similarities to this situation of these teenage coaches and their dwindling team of active players and very narrow lead.

CRAZY – right?  Mompreneur, Entrepreneur, Solopreneur – whatever you want to call yourself – requires management in the face of adversity & challenges AND the ability to differentiate yourself sometimes with a very narrow margin.  I have talked about the mom side before: sick days, snow days, winter vacation, family emergencies, and homework.  There is also the start-up biz side: zero or little capital, other work commitments, lacking office support, finding mentorship, gaining approval, and seeking clients.  These are all factors that we as start-up biz peeps have to navigate carefully and skillfully.   Usually with a limited time frame, as mompreneurs we have to map out our course avoiding big hurdles.  We DO IT because we love the challenge of it just like the teenage coaches.

This is a challenge for me on a daily basis.  Making decisions about what I should and should not spend my tiny amount of set-up money on, finding appropriate mentors, and managing my team of helpers often in a narrow timeframe is a delicate balance.  I tell you – I could learn a lot from those teenage coaches.  Their parents and teachers can certainly be proud of them because these two “kids” could teach momma-preneurs a great deal.

After this game was over, I realized that I now have a month off of games and only basketball practices to attend.  I will certainly enjoy a bit of laid back time with my boys, but will also revisit this game often for inspiration.

Do you find it funny that we can draw similarities & inspiration from younger generations?  What are the most unlikely places that YOU have found inspiration?

{ 3 comments… add one }

  • Haralee March 4, 2011, 6:16 PM

    Inspiration is everywhere. Good for you to be open to hear it from your kids and observe from the teens!
    I have got inspirations from my cats. Sitting for a long time, they get up and stretch every time and take a moment. Success can happen if we all take a moment and stretch too.

  • Donna March 5, 2011, 9:27 AM

    Oh, I so miss those days of watching my sons. Thanks for the reminder.

    And love how you used the game plan perspective to help demonstrate that with a plan we can work thru challenges that will appear in our business. Nice job!

  • Nicole March 7, 2011, 12:34 PM

    Inspiration is everywhere. I love that you get it from your boys. Even though my daughter is only 2.5, she inspires me to stop and really pay attention. That moment of stillness lets you refocus yourself, your energy, and yes your business.


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