In today’s fast paced world where we’re we fulfill many roles in our day to day lives, OVERWHELM can consume you us and cause an array of physical and emotional symptoms from brain fog, irritability, and decision-making paralysis. Life Coach, Karen Greenstreet shares 44 Tips for Dealing With Overwhelm on her blog. Enjoy! READ MORE HERE
Recently, while indulging in my guilty pleasure – Bravo TV – I watched the show Tabatha’s Salon Takeover. It’s not one of the shows I usually watch, but this episode took place at Salon Bridgette in Swedesboro, NJ, where the mother and daughter of the salon owner, Bridgette Orcutt, also worked. The dynamics between these women and the impact they had on the salon’s employees, customers, and overall experience was enough to keep me glued to the set past my bedtime!
After watching the show, I realized there were valuable lessons to be learned from Tabatha’s Salon Takeover of Salon Bridgette; lessons I thought would be helpful for the National Association of Mothers & Daughters in Business members.
Lesson 1: In a mother-daughter working relationship you need to hold each other to the same standards and expectations as everyone else on your staff. No “special” treatment.
The dynamic with Bridgette’s daughter, Chelsea, was a lesson in what to avoid when working with your daughter. Chelsea had worked at the salon as a receptionist for five years and seemed to enjoy working for her mother. While pleasant, Chelsea did not exactly have the best work habits – sitting behind the desk most of the day, showing up late, not taking things seriously – and most definitely was cognizant of the fact that her mother was the owner of the salon. Bridgette, as her mother, saw nothing wrong with Chelsea’s behavior or attitude and did not welcome comments from her other employees about her daughter’s actions. The staff knew that the topic of Chelsea was off limits.
Bridgette did not see how not holding her daughter to higher work standards impacted the entire morale and tone of the business. The daughter had no respect for Bridgette, so neither did the staff. “If Chelsea can break the rules, so can we” was the attitude and message. Eventually, Bridgette lost all control over the salon, her employees and, ultimately, her own behavior.
Tabatha was spot on when she said if anyone in the salon should have “led by example” it should have been Chelsea. As Bridgette’s daughter, Chelsea does have influence with the employees and should support her mother (and the business) by stepping up to plate and following the rules.
Lesson 2: If Lesson 1 does not work, then the daughter (or mother) needs to find a different place of employment. My guess is they’ll eventually come around and find the balance, respect and boundaries necessary to make it a great working relationship, though.
At one point Tabatha suggested that maybe Chelsea should work some place other than the salon so that she could learn the responsibilities of being an employee. Fortunately, however, at the end of the day Chelsea got it and realized how much she wanted (and liked) her job and would make the changes needed to continue her employment. And Bridgette understood she needed to hold Chelsea to the same standards and expectations she had for the rest of her staff.
Lesson 3: If you borrow money from a family member, honor them and yourself by setting up a formal repayment plan and stick to it. Empowerment for all parties involvement.
Bridgette’s mother, Peggy, was not a “paid” employee, but she spent most of her days at the salon, cleaning and supporting her daughter in any way she could. Peggy was also a source of financing for her daughter’s business. Everyone loved Peggy but it became obvious she enabled her daughter’s management style and did not treat their financial dealings in a business-like manner: meaning no repayment plan. Tabatha was eventually able to convince Peggy to retire, spend more time at the beach, and hold her daughter accountable for paying back the money she’d borrowed over the years.
Lesson 4: There’s a difference between being nice and being commanding in an authoritative and positive way. The latter is much more effective, especially in a professional setting.
People like rules; they like encouragement and they need to know what’s expected of them.
Bridgette had owned the salon for seven years but was not able to take her business to where she had hoped or envisioned. Like most business owners there were several indicators, obvious only to an outsider, as to why that was the case. Bridgette was a super nice woman who asked her employees to do the things they should be doing (as opposed to telling them). She was often openly critical of her employees (even in front of customers). She had an overall negative attitude, and a passive-aggressive nature (Tabatha’s words…not mine). By the end of Tabatha’s Salon Takeover, Bridgette learned to lead from a place of positivity, professionalism, and commanding in a constructive manner.
Are there any lessons you’ve learned from your mother-daughter working relationship? How did you establish boundaries and respect with one another?
On a daily basis, as business owners, it is necessary for us to keep our eyes on many different balls at one time: sales, marketing, budgets, employees, trends, and host of other variables that can impact our businesses and bottom lines.
However, as women business owners, we can add several more variables into the mix as we try to balance our roles – actually, it’s more like inter-weaving our roles – as wife, mother, friend, community leader, etc., while at the same time trying to eat well, if we remember to eat at all, manage emotions (and hormones), stay physically fit, spiritually balanced, well groomed, and create some sense of order (and cleanliness) in our personal and work environments.
Now, add into the mix the fact we are mothers and daughters in business together, and there’s a whole other set of unique variables that can (and will) impact more than just our businesses.
Recognizing, honoring, and managing all of these different variables and roles that make up our reality is crucial to building successful businesses, healthy relationships, self-actualization and, of course, our legacies.
Our primary purpose here at the National Association of Mothers & Daughters in Business is to provide support, encouragement, community and tools that will help you create and sustain balance in your business, personal life and mother-daughter(s) relationship. The programs, workshops, stories, seminars and articles will be holistic in nature and design. There will be a balance in the topics we cover, ranging from the best marketing tips for your business to how to manage family conflict to establishing boundaries.
The first step in honoring and managing all the parts of ourselves is to first recognize and acknowledge that we are in fact 1) Business owners; 2) Women; and 3) Women Business Owners in business with members of our family, specifically mother-daughter (s). We are the sum of these three parts and success will come only when we learn to manage and juggle them equally.
How do you manage and juggle these three roles in your life, business and relationships?
This past weekend, as I sat on the beach in beautiful Naples, FL, I was so grateful for an afternoon of solitude, quiet, sunshine and catching up on my reading. Thinking about it, however, I realized that that’s pretty much my reality every day, both by design and default. At this point in my life – I’m just a smidgen over 50 – I have chosen to not be on 24/7, and have created and built my recent companies around that consciousness.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I love being around other people and consider myself to be social by nature, but it’s become increasingly challenging for me to be on around the clock. I’m not sure if it’s the aging process or just a natural part of personal/professional evolution.
Either way, this preference is a far cry from the days when my daughter and I were in retail and owned a clothing consignment store. Every day we looked forward to meeting new people, seeing familiar faces, helping people find the “exact” item they were looking for, and never knowing who (or what) was going to walk through the door on a particular day. It was an exciting and invigorating time, as it is now, but in a different way.
Working with the public, as we did, required we remain as healthy, flexible and friendly as we possibly could and avoid letting any of our personal issues carry over onto how we dealt with our customers or each other. Fortunately, one of the benefits of being a mother-daughter team is if one is having a seriously off day the other can step in and derail a potential train wreck.
Have you ever walked into a store where you could feel the negative energy or tension in the air? Or, walk in and get a sense that the person behind the counter did not want to be there and wished you’d just go away? It’s very uncomfortable for the customer and very bad for business.
Although not everyone can be on or cheery all day, every day, there are several things you can do to keep yourself in optimal shape and greet your customers with open arms and a smile.
- Get a good night’s sleep. To me this is the most crucial thing you can do for yourself and your health. Being cranky and tired is not a good way to start the day.
- Take things in stride. In other words, BREATHE and maintain a sense of humor. Yes, business is serious stuff, but you cannot let it eat away at or destroy you or your relationships. If you’re having a tough day or you have an irate customer, breathe through it; know that in the spectrum of life, it’s a passing moment.
- Eat a healthy breakfast and lunch. I know sometimes the days are so hectic you can forget to eat lunch or just scarf down a handful of candy thinking it’ll hold you over, but sitting still, even for 15 minutes to digest a little bit of protein – even some cheese and a handful of nuts – will sustain you until dinner time. Jordan and I regularly packed our lunches and threw in a few snack bags of veggies, fruits and nuts to get us through those hectic days.
- Leave work at work. I know it’s easier said than done. As an entrepreneur, and particularly if you work with your family members, it’s extremely hard not to blur the lines and live your business 24/7 … but you MUST allow for some downtime. You MUST make the time to do things and think about things other than work, work and more work.
- Exercise. Another tough one … but necessary. Even if you go for a walk around the block or put on a stretching DVD in the mornings or late afternoons. You’ve got to keep moving! Put on some of your favorite music and dance around the room (or office). Keeping the blood flowing makes such a difference in your mood and energy level.
We’d love to hear your suggestions on how to maintain your energy level, especially when you are in a business where you need to be on 24/7.