My mom wasn't exactly a business woman. Sure, she worked as a bookkeeper for a number of years. Yet, I'm not certain that she ever considered it a career. And, I can't say that I thought of her a role model as I carved out the beginnings of my company.
Still, as I reflect upon her now, I realize that there were several characteristics that she embodied that I see in myself. And, these very same characteristics are those that I include in much of my consulting and training. Here's what I learned from Mom:
Sweat the Small Stuff My mom was always a stickler for details, and she was sometimes a real pain in the butt as she nagged to get things done correctly. Now, I preach to folks that sometimes the dollars are in the details. Whether it's how you follow up, or your attention to returning calls and emails, these seemingly small things can make all of the difference.
Work Hard Energy was my mom's middle name. Up early, she multi-tasked her way through each and every day, tending to the myriad of details that tend to fall into a working woman's universe. And although she didn't view her "job" as a career, she was dedicated to getting everything done that had to get done even if it meant working harder or staying later. While I never consciously thought about my mom's energy and diligence, it sure as heck rubbed off on me evidenced each day by the amazing amount of things that I somehow get done.
First Impressions Count My mom was hyper-vigilant about how she looked. Her makeup was always applied correctly and never a hair out of place. I used to consider these superficial concerns.
Yes, she was on me constantly about grooming, and, for a while, I rebelled and provided pushback by concertedly not embracing her values. However, once I started my public speaking and training career and spending my days in front of an audience that was gazing at me for hours at a time, I realized just how critical my appearance actually was.
Don't get me wrong, I was never a total slob. But, that first impression when you stand in front of a room is a hard one to dispel if you don't nail it right from the beginning. And lately when I get dressed for a speaking engagement, I think back to my mother paying such very strict attention to every aspect of her clothes and makeup.
Mom is gone now and this week would have been her birthday. I miss her every day. I'm sorry that I never had the chance to tell her how much she taught me through the years but I hope that somehow she knows about my neat attire, crazy energy and attention to details. Wouldn't that be nice!