I was skimming through Twitter this am and spotted a little thread that had begun with someone stating their dislike of the term ‘Mompreneur.’ Like the term ‘Mommy Blogger,’ this expression is probably starting to outlive it uses and the positive effect may be getting overshadowed with the negative, which is what happened with the whole mom blogger debacle. Catchy cutesy titles do lose their luster fast.
Which is a shame, because they do start (mostly) with the best of intentions.
In my years of blogging and networking, first to find other moms and potential friends and then for more work related issues, having an identifier is what put in in the club so to speak. You were one of a group. You fit in.
I have found that women in business do things very differently from men. The image of a male entrepreneur is of some sort of pioneer heading valiantly out into unknown territory, unsupported and alone. Women are social creatures. We seek like minded individuals. Which is why organizations like Momcafe and Enterprising Moms are such huge successes. We build confidence, support and buzz about our ventures with other ‘pioneering’ types. Women are love networking. This is also why social media has been the perfect medium for women and moms.
Unfortunately the ‘mom’ tagline has also been frowned upon. For bloggers it meant you were family obsessed and had no sense of self other than in marketing your children to the world. Other niche bloggers would turn their backs upon you for your frivolous focus and marketers looked at you as fresh meat.
Now for the mompreneur, while the term has created great opportunities for women to connect and support each other in their ventures, it can be a tad limiting and can (for some) promote a non professional image.
The twitter buzz was about how the women appear to not have a sense of self without the mom tagline. I don’t think this is true at all. Moms are moms…no matter what. Mompreneurs are moms who have stepped slightly out of that role and taken on something new.
Moms who are in business or are creating their own businesses generate a lot of flack for this….why are they neglecting their children over something else?
Being a mom…stay at home, working mom, career track mom or entrepreneurial mom is really a no win situation. You can’t impress everyone.
Picking the name SAMedia (Stay At Home Media) was probably a HUGE mistake for me. The implication is that a stay at home mom would have no other background, education or knowledge beyond mommyhood. People forget that you were a person before you were a mom. I worked in various businesses since high school. I have a university degree. I have professional interests. I have knowledge and experience behind my blogging and social media abilities. Yes, my family does shape those interests. And that might be the key difference between a ‘mompreneur’ and an entrepreneur. Many women create their own businesses out of pure necessity because working for someone else is not going to fit their families needs. Commitment to family, childcare costs, building a better lifestyle are all key to what makes a mere mom take the leap into business ownership.
Mompreneurship can be more complicated then. We are the ULTIMATE multitaskers. We juggle many balls at the same time. It does not make us any less professional, any less capable.
It does not necessarily mean that all we can handle is mom related issues. The majority of the freelancers I know who are also moms (including myself) can write on any topic we are presented with. Hence my social media project for a gold mining company. A project I have enjoyed.
Women who are moms who are also entrepreneurs identify themselves as such because then they are able to networking and communicate with other women who struggle with the same issues. Who perhaps will be a tad more sympathetic to dealing with the stereotypes and the obstacles in front of them.
Sadly, that identifier seems to be one of the key obstacles now.