A vivid memory I have from grade one is me sitting at the dinner table drawing circles for a school project. My mom turned to me and said, make sure you draw those properly, otherwise how will you become an artist? I remember thinking to myself, how does my mom know I'll be an artist. Low and behold she must have been on to something at that moment - moms always just know, right?
Through my entrepreneurial journey, my mom has dropped life lessons like this that have influenced me in how I operate my business and personal brand. Today I want to share with you some of these lessons from the first feminist I ever met.
Be Supportive - Always
My business is all about supporting entrepreneurs - a large part of this mindset comes from my mother. She is someone who ALWAYS shows up for people with full support. When running a business, this trait is very important, because karma always has a funny way of returning right back to you! The more you give (to those who value you) the more that truly comes back to you in various ways.
Be Confident In Knowing Your Worth...
Speaking of value - no one will know what you're worth until you do. As a new immigrant in the late 80s, I felt like my mom was consistently proving herself to the world, but strangely when I asked her about this, she simply replied "I know my worth and not to bother with those who don't understand it." This is so important as a business owner, especially a creative business owner. Spending countless hours with someone who doesn't value your opinion is never worth it - rather try spending countless hours with someone who values your work and I promise you, it is always worth it. That said, no one knows your worth until you know it, so take time to build this confidence in yourself.
Actions Speak Louder Than Words ...
Don't just talk the talk but walk the walk. This was something I learned at a young age.
Let's face facts, growing up in a household of all girls, surrounded by South Asian family and friends had some downsides - especially back when I was a kid. Having a son was "important" to many who had a very 1900s way of thinking. This never bothered my mom (or dad) though. They, themselves, never treated us differently because we were girls. Maybe it’s because of that, it never phased me until one day someone asked my mom in front of me, "who is going to carry out your family name if you don't have a son..." I was furious. How could someone think this way?! So I stormed and yelled at this elder, only to find myself getting in trouble.
Later that day she sat me down, and said, there are some people you can't change through words, but rather through action. Prove yourself through your education and work, then no one will be able to say what they said today. I made it my life's mission to ensure this and worked hard to be who I am. Today whenever I'm featured in articles, blogs or podcasts, my mom always smiles and says - look you're carrying the family name.
Earn Your Rewards...
If you know my mom you know she has a closet full of designer bags - it's her thing. At 22, fresh out of university and jobless, I asked if I could borrow her Fendi clutch. She simply replied, "no, I earned this you haven't."
At that moment my mom made me realize the importance of earning luxury. She worked hard for those pieces and earned them. She never borrowed or let someone else buy them for her. They were her prized possessions because each of them represented a milestone in her life.
As women often when we are young we hear the phrase "marry rich" but for me, it was more so, be the rich (wo)man. This simple rejection from my mom taught me how to be financially secure before searching for a reward or treat.
Presentation Is Key...
My mom's favourite phrase to say is "presentation is key." We could be talking about outfits, meetings or even food - to this woman, it is all about the visuals. Now hold up, it's not in a vain way. It's about building an experience for your audience. Are you thinking about your brand experience? Because I sure am. This lesson is embedded in everything I do with my business, after all, it's all about the audience's interactions. Although this does make her very "particular" about things I respect this lesson because it can truly help you stand out as a professional.
Have fun and be silly...
Because life is too short not to have fun...so go on and be silly!
There you have it six life lessons from my mom that have made me who I am today and impacted how I run my business.