When my husband and I got married, I was making twice as much money as he was, but when it came time to start a family, we both agreed my time was best spent taking care of our children. In our opinion, there was nothing more important than raising confident, self-reliant, self-sufficient, productive, financially independent and contributing members of our society. As such, I quit my job and spent the next 15 years being a stay-at-home mom.
While it was a difficult decision for us to make at the time, 33 years later, I can say with confidence it was one of the best decisions I ever made.
I am not advocating that all women should leave their jobs and become stay-at-home moms, but I want to show that deciding to focus on your family does not mean you can’t also succeed as a professional. In fact, now that my kids are all grown up and I reflect back on my last 10 years running KORE Accounting Solutions, it’s clear that the skills I gained during my time as a “domestic engineer” (as my kids like to say) prepared me for my life as a business owner:
- Negotiating – kids are master negotiators
- Problem Solving – managing limited resources and putting out fires is a daily occurrence in a family with four boys
- Prioritizing – managing everyone’s needs and desires when it’s impossible to do it all
- Leadership – empowering kids by example to be true to their values
- Multitasking – getting things done that you need to do while also getting things done that everyone else needs you to do
- Time Management – using time wisely and fitting the activities of six people into 24-hour days
- Budgeting – meeting the needs of a family of six on one salary
- Utilizing Technology – I was an early user of Quicken to track and manage our family finances
- Customer Service (aka Patience) – being patient while managing and resolving complaints, even when my kids weren’t being rational
My customers often hear me use analogies and examples from my stay-at-home days, and the skills I gained over my 15 years as a full-time parent are poignant and applicable to everything I do professionally today.
While being an entrepreneur and owning my own business has always been a dream of mine, there is no doubt that the most important job I’ve ever had or will have is being a mother to my four sons. Fortunately, my job as a stay-at-home mom was incredible preparation for my job as a business owner, and I am blessed to have the opportunity to do both!
Inna Korenzvit is founder and principal accountant at KORE Accounting Solutions, a future-focused management accounting firm specializing in providing legal professionals and business owners with the data and insights they need to stay compliant and run more profitable firms.