How Was Your Mom a Role Model for Your Career?

In honor of Mother’s Day, we asked our conference community

How was/is your mother a role model for your career?

Following are some of our favorite responses. Add yours in the comments!

Mother's Day quote

She taught me “Never say can’t. Tell me you don’t want to. Tell me you don’t know how and I’ll show you. But never say ‘can’t’.”

My mom’s mantra was “make yourself indispensable” (i.e. do whatever’s needed, not just what you think you should be doing).

My mom always told us to do what makes us happy.

My mom had her own alteration business in 1948 before (and after) she got married. She taught me to be independent and not to settle – whip up a dress and a fabulous meal too J.

My mom was a stay-at-home mom but also sold Tupperware and Avon. She had such a beautiful light about her, and people were drawn to her smile. I realized having positive energy and a good smile goes a long way.

Funny you should ask. I am a communications trainer and I reference her years in the banking industry all the time. I learned so much from her about how to treat people, how to be a true professional, and how to be a working mom. I am indebted to her entire generation of women who blazed a path for me and the women of my generation. I hope to do the same for my girls.

My mom didn’t have a high school diploma; she worked in sewing factories, long, hard hours for low wages, also waitressing. She inspired me to get an education so that I could earn a better life. I am grateful.

She told me to invent a product, I did, and millions of sales later I have her to thank!

Growing up, my sister and I witnessed my mother (a single parent) struggle and work long hours as a waitress. After many years she had enough and decided to better herself and her family by going back to school for nursing. While going to school full-time and working (and being a single parent was an even harder struggle), she graduated and has been a nurse for well over 10 years now. I am extremely proud of her hard work and dedication. Her persistence has taught me to succeed in everything I do. I would not be where I am in my career today if it were not for my mother.

My mom modeled communication, she took us to campaign, community, church…taught us to prioritize a balanced life…our God, our family, our community.

My mother started “take your daughter to work day” with two other women. She has paved the way for so many women scientists and inspired me to be a business owner. She’s my hero.

My mother owned a public relations company in the ’60s. She was very successful and always told me I had to find a career that I loved so that I would never have to depend on anyone else.

How was *your* mother a role model for you? 

  • Patrice Toles

    My mother taught me to give back and serve in the community. To extend myself to others and to look beyond the physical and reach out! I will always be grateful for the wisdom she passed on to me. I thank God for blessing me with such a marvelous gift!

  • My mom always told me to do what I love!

  • Dael Spillman

    My mother was a working mother when the majority of mothers stayed at home. She had an honest, dedicated work ethic that she passed on to me and that I have been able to pass on to my 5 children. She was the hostess that never sat down, she was always taking care of others. She had a graciousness and sincerity that attracted others to her. When she smiled her eyes just twinkled. Her mother was 40 when she was born. Her brother was 21. By the time my mother was 8 years old she could balance a checkbook, and clean a house from top to bottom without missing one bit of dust! Her mother was not well and didn’t want her to not know how to take care of a home and family should she be on her own. Her father worked on the railroad and was often gone. She was a very self-sufficient person, but she also cared deeply for her family and friends. My father called her “gentle, Jean” because she just didn’t want to ever “hurt” anything, including the jar of pickles she was trying to open. My life has been blessed by her presence in it. My hope is to be 1/2 the woman she was. I miss her deeply, but just know that she is up in the mansion in the sky with her apron on “serving”!

  • JoAnna

    My mother was a non-conformist & a bit of an embarrassment as a kid. She taught Montessori school and served us fish oils, fresh foods, and ‘watermelon’ birthday cakes to reduce refined sugar in our house in the 70’s before ‘healthfood’ was cool. Although we had a tumultuous relationship i did learn from her. Two important gems she taught me are 1) dont follow the herd just because they’re walking by-Carve out your own life 2) no-one started out good at anything so be willing to fail. Her favorite saying ‘you can’t succeed if you don’t try’Persistence is more important than skill.