Have you noticed all the chatter about the word “mompreneur” lately? Well in case you missed it, let me fill you in. There seems to be a tad bit of controversy about the word and what it means. To be honest, it’s gotten to the point of a heated debate.
In fact, readers of the New York Times (who are never shy when it comes to expressing their opinions) recently attacked fellow mompreneur champion Jill Salzman when she posted an article entitled “Proud to Be a ‘Mompreneur.’” Jill, a serial entrepreneur and graduate of Brown University, has earned national praise for her business success and passion for empowering the mom entrepreneur. Watch her in action here on TEDx where she reveals Why Moms Make the Best Entrepreneurs.
Jill’s article spurred a flurry of comments, evoking emotions from all camps; the corporate ladder climbers called the word “belittling,” “silly” and “offensive” while the mompreneurs stood their ground defending their rationale, and others basically told us all to “get a life” because the entire conversation was ridiculous. They argued that the word was a meaningless label and it didn’t accurately describe anyone’s profession.
That’s an awful lot of attention for a word that isn’t even in the dictionary. But attention is exactly what happens just before strange words magically appear in dictionary. New words are added to every edition; the eleventh edition of the Merriam-Webster Dictionary contains some innovative terms such as “ginormous,” “smackdown” and “Sudoku.”
Mom entrepreneurs in the U.K. tell us that “mumpreneur” is officially recognized in the Collins English Dictionary and defined as: A woman nurturing an entrepreneurial streak whilst simultaneously juggling home and family life. Hmmmm…nothing belittling, silly or offensive about that. I’d say it’s pretty impressive!
For me, the word “mompreneur” is not about my profession. It’s about my priorities. It accurately describes the kind of life I am creating – one in which my family comes first and I have the flexibility and financial freedom I desire to do what I love and live a family centered life. I don’t profess that all moms with a J-O-B have chosen a career over their families. On the contrary, I know many women who chose a specific job because it supports their family needs. But being a “mompreneur” is my choice and it works for me and for my family. I embrace the meaning behind it – and I inspire others to do the same.
While I don’t introduce myself to strangers as a “mompreneur,” I do wear the label with pride because I am 100% comfortable with the choices I’ve made for my career and my family. And most of my clients feel the same way – whether they run a seven-figure company or a solo-based home business.
Are they successful? Depends on your definition of success. There are millionaire mompreneurs and there are those whose passion is greater than their profit. Some are mompreneurs who work from home with a baby on one hip and a laptop on the other. Others deliver products and services from offices, cars, shops and warehouses with an army of team members to support them. Their professions are as diverse as their names. But their priorities are the same: they take their businesses seriously, but family comes first. And they’re not afraid to own up to their values. They don’t want to work in a world where women pretend they don’t have children so they can be viewed as professionals. They don’t accept that you have to hide your feminine and maternal energy if you want to be taken seriously. And they don’t believe that you have to choose between business and family; they know it’s possible to succeed at both.
What does it mean to you to be a mompreneur? Tell us if you embrace the word, despise the word or could care less about the word itself!