How a mother’s advice can propel your business to new heights

As we celebrate Mother’s Day, I look back at important business lessons I learnt from my mother

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Many of us entrepreneurs look to some of the biggest names in business for inspiration. While there’s nothing wrong with that, sometimes the biggest source of inspiration is right at home.

A while ago, I was facing a big challenge in one of my businesses and thought there was no option left for me but to end the venture. It was a conversation that I had with my mother then that helped me get back on track.

She reminded me why I started [the business], and why I should not quit. The conversation we had wasn’t filled with business advice. On the contrary, she invited me to look at matters from her perspective — an outsider. She pointed out where I had gone wrong, and how I could utilise my personal attributes to turn things to my advantage.

As we celebrate Mother’s Day across the Arab world, I look back at important lessons I learnt from my mother that helped push my businesses to new heights over the years.

Old school works best

I pride myself in being tech-savvy, especially when it comes to digital media, but my mother always reminds me that nothing works better than old school promotion.

Whenever I venture into something new, or launch a new product or service, she reminds me to pick up the phone and tell people about it. While she believes in the power of digital media, she tells me that no advertisement beats a personal touch.

Over the years, I’ve incorporated her advice into my business. Not only did it help me in promoting my business, it also opened new opportunities and allowed me to meet new clients who eventually became my friends.

As you embrace new avenues to promote your business, always make room for old school ideas.

Never forget those who helped you along the way

When you are building a business, you will come across people who’d help you meet new clients, and offer advice you could use to grow your business. There will also be those who will cheer you on because they believe in you.

My mother taught me to never forget those who helped me, no matter how small their contribution was. She reminds me to give them a call from time to time, and to include them in my celebrations; for they played a role in my success.

As you build your business, always be grateful to your team, to those who helped push your business to reach new heights, and to everyone who invested their precious time in you.

Take a break … your business will thank you for it

My mother notices how hard I work. Like all mothers, she keeps on reminding me to eat my vegetables, to not skip meals and to sleep early. But most importantly, she reminds me to shut off from work completely and immerse in things I enjoy doing.

She tells me that if I’m tired, then my businesses will be tired too, and a tired business will not have the energy to grow. It can be hard to incorporate time to rest and enjoy life when you are building a business you are passionate about or when you are trying to make ends meet, but schedule in rest time as you would schedule meetings. Your business will thank you for it in the long run.

As I reflect back on my career, I realise that my expertise is a compilation of knowledge I acquired, the conversations I had with inspiring business leaders and the projects I worked on. But I owe most of my expertise to my mother, for her wise guidance and her important lessons helped my businesses expand to a great extent.

Manar Al Hinai is an award-winning Emirati writer and communications consultant based in Abu Dhabi

Updated: March 21, 2022, 4:00 AM