This Mother’s Day, as a tribute to my mother’s influence in my life, I wanted to share the story of my own entrepreneurial journey. While growing up, she gave me lots of advice and taught me so many valuable lessons. As I recall the values I learned from her, it explains a lot about who I am today.
“My family is from Norway and my parents married and my father was a ship captain on a crude oil tanker. So that they could be together, my mother worked onboard as the cleaning lady. They sailed for two years after my sister was born before settling in New York, where my father landed a job as a Port Captain. Following my sister, I was born a first-generation citizen to immigrant parents in Huntington, Long Island in New York. My mother learned English from watching Sesame Street with us. After seven years in New York, we moved to Houston, Texas for my father’s job with a different company. All along, he had an entrepreneurial dream to own his own business so they could retire.”
Values My Mom Taught Me
“My mother taught us how to make up our beds every day, wash dishes, and do a host of other chores by the time I was seven years old. She was big on having us respect our elders. And she never missed the chance to demonstrate her own grit and courage in front of us, so we’d know how to stand up for ourselves. She taught us responsibility and the value of earning our own money. As a teenager, I washed cars and mowed yards in the neighborhood for money – then bought my own car at 17. I’d saved $4,500 and purchased a used 1984 Toyota Celica.”
An Entrepreneurial Family
“My father was more the visionary, but it was my mother who was responsible for executing the plan. In their mid-40s, my parents were ready to take their own shot at the American dream and hopefully retire comfortably. They reviewed business opportunities, settled on franchising, and invested in a hair care franchise. They opened their first location in 1987 when I was 11. Mom was responsible for building the business while my dad continued his full-time job. I had a front row seat, and my own entrepreneurial education was about to begin.”
Dress Rehearsal for Business Ownership
“By the time I was 14, I worked as a receptionist on Saturdays and evenings at our first franchise store. As my mom grew the business, they eventually acquired several more locations throughout the Texas Gulf Coast. It was working in the salons that I soon learned how to manage people, improve customer service, do payroll, and other general management duties. After high school, I attended Texas A&M in Galveston, studying Maritime Administration. Shortly thereafter, my parents bought an underperforming salon for $40K, with the expectation that I run the business and turn it around. It was my chance – this was a dress rehearsal for business ownership of my own. There I was, just 18 years old, in charge of a struggling salon. All of my employees were much older adults and overnight, I had become their boss. Balancing the salon with full-time school wasn’t easy – and I don’t think my mother intended for it to be. But she had confidence and believed in me and my abilities. I poured myself into marketing my salon all over Galveston and eventually the business become the highest performing location in the greater Houston area. The salary I earned paid for my tuition, living expenses, and I always had money in my pocket.”
A Tribute to My Mother
“Though my mother is no longer with us, the lessons she taught me still resonate to this day. I’m good at what I do for my FranNet clients today because I’ve lived the entrepreneur life myself. Nothing was given to me without an expected return on investment – and I had to work for it. My mother’s influence on my upbringing is why I’m successful today. She taught me lessons I couldn’t understand at the time, but now see clearly. Family values. responsibility, grit, courage, and the value of a dollar. Now, as a mother with kids of my own, raising them with the same values is my hardest job. I can only hope I’ll be a fraction of the influence in their lives, that my mother was in mine.”
For those women out there considering entrepreneurship, this is a reminder to you too. You have what it takes. We have the courage, work ethic and resilience to make our dreams come true, so let’s connect! Message me to arrange an introductory chat and we can explore over 90 franchise option together. My services to you as a franchise consultant are free (my fee is commission-based) so take that leap of faith and let’s find an opportunity for you to become a business owner. For more information on how I can help you achieve your entrepreneurial dreams, please visit my FranNet of Houston website.