My Mother, The Businesswoman
About 9 years ago, my mother died from a short but aggressive battle with cancer. When I was growing up, I used to take for granted that she ran a business from our backyard. Now as an entrepreneur myself, I’ve come to realize that my mother taught me some valuable lessons.
You’re Never Too Young or Old to Start a Business
My mother started her business when we got a farmhouse on the edge of Amherstburg and Harrow in 1997. She was 34 years old and married with a 2 year old daughter to take care of. She did it anyways. She ended up working in the business until a month before she died. By then, she was selling herbs to stores and restaurants across Essex County and even got the attention of Beach Grove County Club for her horticulture work.
I ended up starting my business at 22 after years of freelancing and realizing that I could make a better impact on Windsor if I had a business where I could hire people and grow the economy. This mindset led to being recognized across Windsor, multiple workshops and presentations, and grant money to help my business thrive.
It doesn’t matter if you’re 12 or 82 in my mind. If you have an idea for a business and the skills to make it happen, there’s theoretically no reason for you to not follow your dreams and strike out on your own.
Building Relationships is the Key to Success
I remember that the biggest client my mother had was Fred’s Fresh Farms in Windsor. She would show up every two weeks with a minivan full of basil, rosemary, thyme, and oregano so that it could be sold at Fred’s store. Everytime she went in, she would talk to Fred or his wife and ask them how they’re doing, if any events were coming up, etc.
In my line of business, the biggest connections people make are with networking. It’s not enough to talk about your business here. You have to build relationships, so that means taking an interest in the person behind the business as there’s no business without the person. These talks are what will get you the business in the long run.
Have a Contingency Plan That Makes Sense
When my mom got sick, she created a plan for how the business would be run in the event that she could no longer run the business. The plan was to have my father run the business. However, once my mom died and my dad took over, he really had no idea what he was doing as this was his first time running a business. After years of struggle and hiring co-op students to help with the planting, he finally shut down the business.
After seeing this happen, I didn’t want the same thing to happen to my business. I know that there’s always a chance that something will happen when I can’t work on my business. Therefore, I made sure that I trained my fiance in what KET Marketing does on a day-to-day basis in case something happens to me. At this point, Jared is well trained enough to take on clients of his own and do daily social media work.
Overall, my mother was a great businesswoman who taught me how to run my own business today. I’m so glad I had her in my life, no matter how short the time was.