When Starting a Business, Mother Knows Best

Date posted: May 7, 2012

By Rieva Lesonsky

As Mother’s Day approaches, it’s time to reflect on the lessons our Moms taught us. Here are some business lessons from Mom that also apply to business people, whether you are starting a business or already running one.

  1. Clean up. Mom taught you to always wash your face, comb your hair and look presentable. It’s equally important for your business image to shine. You only get one chance to make a first impression, so whether it’s your storefront, your office lobby or your website’s home page, make sure your business looks inviting, up-to-date and appealing.
  2. Be friendly. Mom told you to smile, look people in the eye and be polite. The same rules apply in business. People want to do business with business people they like, so being considerate, polite and friendly matter, whether it’s you or your employees.
  3. Share. You didn’t always want to, but Mom made you share the last cookie with your sister and your toys with your friends. Whether you’re interacting offline or on social media world, an attitude of sharing—towards other business people, customers and prospects—will get you far, whether you are starting a business or already successful. Make it a point to be generous, and you’ll get back more than you give.
  4. Tell the truth. Whether you hit a baseball through the neighbor’s window or flunked a spelling test, honesty is the best policy (because Mom always finds out anyway). In business, too,  customers value honesty more than ever—and they’ll spread the word about your honest approach to their friends and other business people.
  5. Always do your best. Mom didn’t care if you were the best—she only cared if you tried your hardest. Customers, too, can tell when you’re not putting forth your best effort but only going through the motions. If they don’t get your full efforts, they won’t stick around.
  6. Appreciate your unique gifts. Maybe you weren’t the team captain or the head cheerleader, but Mom showed you how to appreciate what was special about you. Whether you’re starting a business or already in business, don’t make your company a copycat of your competitors—focus on what makes your business different and better.

What lessons did you learn from Mom that apply to your business?

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