How Being a Mom was the #1 Mistake I made in my Business

~2 min read
Learn from failure

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

When I started my business 23 years ago it was because my VP Marketing job didn’t allow me the flexibility to be a mom to my toddler. I purposefully created a family-oriented culture in our small marketing firm. The problem was, I also acted as a mom towards my employees.

The lesson I learned: treating my employees as family COST ME DEARLY.

This behaviour burdened me with unnecessary worry and blindsided me when they lied, stole or sued – all of which happened. Never mind the stress: acting as a mom in my business cost $25,000 to settle a wrongful dismissal suit I should have seen coming.

You don’t have to be a heartless, calculating boss. All you need are boundaries and strategies to stick with them. Here are 3 simple steps:

1) Clarify your values

What is truly important to you? What does that look like? For example, reciprocity is a fundamental value for me. That means I need to see a genuine “give & take” in a relationship.

2) Know your deal breakers and how to spot them

Think of past instances when you felt a value was disrespected. What were the signs? Building on my example of reciprocity, if I give someone unexpected time off, in return I expect the person to volunteer an update. If that doesn’t happen, it’s a red flag.

3) Communicate early, often & be ready to act

Ask about values in the interview. Reiterate them during onboarding. Monitor how values are enacted during the employee’s probationary period.

Now if I notice a pattern – someone’s being sketchy with details or inconsistent in their stories, I ask not to pry but for clarity. If the reciprocity isn’t there, I act earlier.

I realized a little late that I had no business acting like a mom to my employees. Learn from my mistakes and save yourself stress!

What Do You Think?

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Thanks for reading!

Community Manager | Gestionnaire de la communauté
Community Manager | Gestionnaire de la communauté
Community Manager | Gestionnaire de la communauté

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