I know when most people talk about their Mothers they only speak with adoration and respect. I’m no different.
To understand how amazing she really is you have to know her background first. My mom is from a small town in Arkansas. She had me when she was 18 years old, was in college and even managed to stay on the deans list throughout it all so that she could keep her academic scholarship. She worked full time while being a student so that she could provide for me. After college, she began her career in the business world. She raised me as a single mother all while kicking ass at her job. She finally got married 6 years ago, and they started a restaurant. I figured I would interview her on her experiences with being a small business owner. Here’s how it went:
How has your experience in running the business been different from what you expected?
“I actually enjoyed it more than I imagined I would. I knew it would be an adventure, but the community we have built around the business is incredible and much more rewarding and fulfilling than anything I have ever experienced in my careers with really great companies.”
Is there anything you wish you had done differently?
“Started the business with less debt. I believe we paid too much for our business. I will look much more critically at documents I receive from a business I am purchasing to verify and find any discrepancy. The value was definitely oversold to us.
What advice would you give someone interested in being a business owner?
“Be willing to give your all and enjoy the experience. It is like no other and you will grow in ways you simply cannot when you work for someone else. Research and plan but don’t get stuck in that phase, action is key! The best growth comes from mistakes.”
You ran the business with your husband, what were some challenges and benefits with that aspect?
“Some of the benefits where that we could use each other’s unique strengths and talents. The challenges where that business and home life are the same, there is no coming home from work. Overall it was nice to talk to someone and bounce ideas off of each other when we had challenges. Your partner is truly the only other person who understand the unique challenges and frustrations of your business. It was also nice to have someone to offload the hard final decision on things when something was best suited to their specific strength.”
What is the best and worst part of owning the business?
“The community and the experience with the team. I really enjoyed leading and am very passionate about it and continued to grow in that area. The worst part is public opinion, and how one misconception can lead to an online storm.”
Have you had any challenges in particular regarding being a woman business owner that you don’t think would have been a challenge for a male business owner?
“Actually, I have not if anything I think it allowed me to be viewed as a strong woman in the community. I have a lot of respect from the community. I was involved with several organizations and also the face of the business. I took pride in knowing my customers and community and cared a great deal.”
What are some life lessons you’ve learned and that you’ll carry with you because of owning the business?
“Remember that employees are employees. As much as they care (some more than others) It’s never going to be their business. Don’t get too frustrated just manage it. It is your job to keep the vision in front of them and make them excited. On the good days celebrate and on the bad days look for the lesson and grow!”
My mom motivates me every day. She’s the strongest, most ambitious person I’ve ever known and it would be a feat to be even half the woman she is. Owning a business is just one of the accomplishments she’s made out of a hundred and a great way to document the impacts she’s had (and have always and always will have) on those around her. I’ve been there through the whole experience of her owning the business and there have been some really HARD times. Through it all, she’s carried herself with grace and has never lost her ability to be kind and patient. There’s truly no other woman like her and it’s a privilege to be awestruck by her every day.