21 Jul Mother & Daughter, Inc. – Reminders for the most complicated of relationships
All relationships come with their own unique merits and challenges. But is there any more supercharged than between a mother and daughter? It’s a bond that can be frustrating or fulfilling, tumultuous or tranquil, sometimes all in the same day. But the intense connection that sparks complicated emotions can be a powerful force in a partnership. Perhaps that’s one reason why successful mother and daughter business teams are becoming more prevalent.
The increase in women-owned businesses is a trend that has paved the way. According to the 2013 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report, between 1997 and 2013, the number of women-owned businesses in the U.S. increased by 59% – a rate 1.5 times the national average. During that period, Maryland ranked in the top five fastest growing metro areas for women-owned companies.
Which is all very encouraging. But if you’re a mother and daughter in business, you’re probably more concerned about how well your business is doing. And that may be largely dependent on how well the two of you are doing. Here are three simple reminders for a successful mother-daughter partnership.
Put Up a Mending Wall
Setting clear boundaries may be the most important step a mother-daughter team can take. On the one hand, you may want to be strongly connected; on the other, you may want to be separate and autonomous. These needs are not incompatible. Agreeing on boundaries – between work and home, personal and professional – is as important to your success as having a business plan.
Banish the “Bad Mommy” Taboo
Our society has a tendency to glorify the mother-daughter relationship. A daughter may be conditioned from an early age to censor any negative feelings about her mother. In business, however, partners must be free to give and receive feedback without repercussion. Mother doesn’t always know best. Daughter doesn’t either. Give each other permission to see each other objectively, and provide constructive feedback on business issues.
Stop Talking to Keep Communicating
For many women, talking is the glue that holds relationships together. Conversations between mothers and daughters can be complicated. There can be layers of meaning and history in what’s said. If you find old issues and conflicts creeping into your business conversations, agree to take a break. The remedy for conversational conflict isn’t usually to keep on talking.
The dynamic between mothers and daughters can be complex. But when love and loyalty come together with talent and opportunity, it can be a winning business formula. Just remember to keep it simple, sister.