#Asia Here’s how she does it: 6 tips to leverage motherhood to become a better businesswoman

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A kid being noisy during a meeting should not be an embarrassment, but rather embraced as a positive value for a company to promote

CEO MOMS

We know how important it is for women to have the support they need from a network. For moms especially, it is a different battlefield having responsibilities at home, at work and in other factors of her life. Having a team that provides various forms of support can help ease some load off.

CEO Moms is a community for startup moms in the Philippines. It aims to create a network for ladies to build support thru workshops, online courses and creating place where they can ask questions, share tips, validate business ideas, collaborate and support one another.

Founders Bianca Medina and Celine Villanueva started the journey by devising a content platform that provides tips for CEO Moms and and it has grown into an organisation that conducts workshops and networking events, helps improve soft and hard skills (such as finding one’s passion or pitching for funding).

Also Read: I am guilty of writing sexist ‘women in tech’ headlines

At a recent event on April 23 at the Mindchamps International PreSchool PH, Andrea Goseco, executive coach and co-founder of strengthscoach.ph, and Rina Neoh a Venture Capitalist and co-founder of Mercatus Captial in Singapore, shared some valuable advice for the pioneer members of CEO Moms. Here are some lessons learned from the event.

Know your values

Personal values will lead to a professional calling. Whether looking for a passion, or searching for the best startup to pursue, try to list down the most important values that guide life decisions.

Is it honesty? Excellence? Empowerment? What product or service can a company create that will have these values as its core?

Examine the list and see which ones match the best business fit.  As Andrea Goseco explains, this will guide and drive pursuits and passions.

Speaker and certified life coach, Andrea Goseco, conducted a workshop on finding one’s passion.

Look back on life and determine the happiest moments

Take a breath, close your eyes and think of the times memories that elicit feelings of ecstasy or victory. Was it winning a writing contest? Landing the first client? Or maybe the memory of a first trip to South Africa especially stand out?

Recall these joyous moments and try to tailor a business model to suit these experiences.

Like in marriage, find a co-founder that fits

In any partnership, it is very important to find a person that is the best fit.

Just imagine that, like marriage, the partnership means facing and working with the Co-founder(s) every single day.

And as with marriage, it is vital to carefully consider if the two people in the partnership share the same vision and values.

Neither party need to agree on everything or be similar people. Actually it is better if he/she offers a complimentary skill set and provides expertise in a personal weakness.

Finding the perfect co-founder might take some time, but when an excellent fit presents itself, take the leap and say, “Let’s DO it!”.

 Rina Neoh, VC and Co-founder of Mercatus Capital, shares some valuable tips to moms starting a startup.

Be proud of the crying baby at the background

As moms, working at home sometimes means dealing with an environment that includes a wailing baby, a screaming toddler or kids who just need constant attention.

Sometimes, moms think the best option is to hide in the closet during a phone or Skype call.  While there are tips and tricks on working at home in peace, babies and tots are unpredictable and, as is life, they seem to need attention the most when during an important business meeting.

Also Read: Why women entrepreneurs aren’t always honest

Know that it is perfectly normal and OK to be in this situation.

One of the goals of the CEO Moms community is to gain respect and change the mindset regarding values important to motherhood — like being able to work with a noisy kid in the background.

Respect should not just come from women communities but from clients, colleagues, investors and everyone that makes up the ecosystem.

Do not fall into false assumptions

Mothers are sometimes victims of their own false assumptions, especially when it involves performing a task outside of our comfort zone.

While it is ok to be cautious, having false assumptions paralyzes people before they even make an attempt.

Is there self-doubt that nobody will like your product? Does ‘reading the minds’ of potential customers and lead to the conclusion that they are not going to come back?

Instead, gather relevant data, do some validation research and don’t set up an environment for failure with false assumptions.

Choose the right investors/ startups

There is a reputation that startups gawk at investors at the mere sight of them (and their pockets full of cash). Plus, first meetings are alway seem like elevator pitches.

But, like finding a life-partner, investors also consider a very important factor in working with a startup:  Personality.

As Rina Neoh shared, “You don’t have to have a polished deck or robust business plan when pitching your startup.”

Also Read: Israeli embassy in Vietnam launches women-focused startup competition

The first thing that she looks at is the founder’s personality. Can the person trust their investor? Is the opposite also true? Do both parties have the same vision? Does working with this person evoke positive or negative thoughts?

Ask these questions before choosing an investor.

Like motherhood, entrepreneurship is an exhausting, challenging, stressful and beautiful journey but the skills and temperament of being a mother may bring significant advantages in the world of startups.

All photos courtesy of CEO Moms.

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