On this Mother’s Day, I wanted to give a nod to a new kind of mother that I’ve become this year: an entrepreneur growing my start-up baby.
I had heard that starting a company is akin to having a baby (also akin to getting an MBA, but that’s for another time), and I can see a few parallels already. One is the part where the days are long but the weeks are short. We’ve been in a whirlwind of building, iterating, meeting, speaking, writing, testing, and listening. The time warp is real!
There’s also the analogy that giving birth is just the beginning. You spend so much time preparing to have your baby (or launch your company), that it starts to feel like an end state. But in reality, the adventure starts once your baby is out in the world. We’ve been navigating the metaphorical sleepless nights, clogged ducts and poopy diapers. But also the miraculous awe and excitement of observing — and growing — our creation.
Just like I would not have felt prepared to take on motherhood without all of the strong, supportive mothers that came before me, I do not think I would have had the courage or confidence to start a company without the many inspiring women entrepreneurs that have been part of my community. Seeing these people who share many of my same identities and experiences that are building impactful, successful companies has helped me believe that I can do that too. Some of these women also have human babies, and some do not, but they are all truly the mothers of invention!
I also want to give a nod to the fact that mother’s day originally started as a feminist movement (as described by historian Heather Cox Richardson), not a hallmark holiday. And so I wish a Happy Mother’s Day to all of the women creating powerful movements that advance gender equity. Thank you for carrying that true meaning forward.
To my fellow mothers of companies, movements and humans: Keep creating, nurturing and pushing through the challenges. The world needs you now more than ever!