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#BusinessTipTuesday – A Perspective on #Momleaders & #MothersDay

A Perspective on #Momleaders & #MothersDay #May14

Growing up, I busied myself in a #smallbusiness, much like my children will soon do through the summer. I watched my mother sit across from my father, punching away at a big “adding machine”. I’d line up the “deposits” and stamp them “To the order of”. I was expected to stay quiet, so I organized desk drawers, cleaned a bathroom or two, and made pricing posters whenever I was handed a marker and a piece of cardboard. After a diner lunch, I’d resume my duties, waiting for my mom to get off the spiral-cord phone, placing an order with a brewery.

On crazier days, my mom juggled my younger siblings, my expected playdate plans, 2 dentist appointments and what was for dinner… all in between running a fast-growing business. In reflection, I realize spent a lot of time listening and observing how the business ran. How decisions were made and who made them. How my parents came to important agreements, as President and Vice President of a tiny, rural business. And while Dad was certainly the rock foundation, I also clearly learned who served as the cement that held our family together. Mom. This week, we remember #MothersDay and #Momleaders at the #ScrantonSBDC!

Fast-forward to today, when many of us believe we can do it all – be a dynamo professional and a dynamo mom. Whether you’re a woman who owns and runs a company, or a woman who leads, but doesn’t own, you’re still trying to manage everything well –and you probably have the same challenges. I asked Karen Russell, owner of Keystone North Inc., a welding and fabrication mainstay in #MansfieldPA, #Tiogacounty, her view on being a business leader and a mother of many years. Here are some resonating highlights for the #Momleaders and the great foundations (family and/or colleagues) who support them:

  1. In reference to perspective: “Our roles as a business owner, community leader, and a mom do not occur in separate silos.  We are constantly juggling multiple responsibilities and obligations.  …by keeping things in perspective–dismissing the things that I can’t control in order to focus on those I can—relieves undue stress and saves a lot of wasted time…”
  2. In reference to family first: “Every time I’ve kept my focus on family first, all other business and community responsibilities have fallen into place.”
  3. In reference to children understanding leadership & hard work: “As adults, they [my grown sons] now have an appreciation for the commitment and hard work it takes to be at your best.  But as children, I don’t think they thought much about what it takes to manage work and family to the fullest.  Personally, I think the real reward is when your children don’t even notice you are doing anything special.  That’s when you know they are the priority.”
  4. In reference to using time wisely for one another: “…involve your children in family obligations—help with laundry, dishes, vacuuming—so you are all free to attend their activities together.  Nobody wants to be the one to stay home to do work and miss our kids’ activities.  When we all play together as a family, the business owner, community leader, or mom will have no regrets.”

and Karen’s final thought… “Keep it all in perspective!”

Thanks, Mom, for those years of perspective. And a #HappyMothersDay to Karen, my mom, Nancy, and all the #Momleaders we serve at #scrantonsbdc! 

Gretchen Kukuchka
Business Consultant
The University of Scranton SBDC

Artwork adapted from

#MothersDay #Mom #smallbiz #opportunity  #nepa #May14 #scranton #sbdc #smallbiz #volunteer #entrepreneur #organize #asbdc #business #boss #impact #goals #businessplanning #management #momknowsbest




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