The choice of words is so important in communication, don’t you think? I have learned a few valuable lessons about picking the ‘right words’ over the last few years.

Life Lesson 1. Which one are you? – a Freelancer or a Consultant

When I quit my corporate job and started doing commissioned projects, I used to call myself a ‘freelancer’. A few months into ‘freelance’ work, I was told by a dear friend and well-wisher that I should call myself a ‘consultant’. I did not overthink this part, but I did see a change in the way people interacted with me after I started calling myself the latter. FREELANCER signalled that I was looking for SMALL projects and did not know how to deal with big/significant stuff while CONSULTANT inherently meant that I was meant for serious brand work and bigger projects.

Life Lesson 2. The difference between an Entrepreneur and a Mompreneur

When I look up for synonyms for the word entrepreneur, I get tycoon, industrialist, impresario- all of which give me a feeling of largeness and scale. I also had those LARGE thoughts and LARGE ambitions for what I was going to be doing. Since I was a lady who was taking a break from her corporate job and taking on something that I was passionate about, with being a MOM as my primary role, I started calling myself a MOMPRENEUR. Little did I know that I was restricting myself; limiting my potential.

Don’t get me wrong here, I am a proud MOTHER, and my daughter takes precedence over everything I do (at home), but this wasn’t the place that I needed to display that. With the passing months, I felt that people (men and women) were not taking me ‘seriously’. 

The word MOM attached to entrepreneur wasn’t signalling the things I wanted to put out there. It meant that I am doing this business to make good use of the time my child wasn’t home; that I wasn’t available for meetings beyond 3.30 pm ( that’s when my daughter comes back from school), that I wasn’t surely available on weekends ( family time) and wasn’t ready to burn the midnight oil. It means I would work on stuff only on my terms. To some, it also meant that I was involved in this because it is a life stage decision, and I would grow out of it as my kid grows up.

I am sure at this point; you are beginning to feel that I am overthinking things and how do these things even matter what you call yourself as long as you are doing what you love doing. I am a classical overthinker and a massive fan of symbolism. More than anything else, I am an individual who wants to enjoy healthy self-worth; my gender absolutely shouldn’t come in the way of that. 

To make my point stronger, which Dad (new dad, stay-at-home dad, or any other kind of Dad) calls himself a Dadpreneur. I suspect he will call himself an entrepreneur even if he was selling spices from home or home-made cupcakes. Men tend to see largeness in anything they do, and that’s the only trait that I would like to borrow from them.

The Universe really does manifest our thoughts into reality, and if that is the case, I wouldn’t want to settle for lesser than I am capable of, would you? You can be a fantastic mother AND a successful entrepreneur, and it doesn’t need to come together.

About the author:

Meenakshi Viswanath
Adjunct Faculty – Advertising & Integrated Marketing Communication at Whistling Woods School of Media & Co-founder – Iwoomoney, India’s first diverse and dynamic end-to-end platform for financial empowerment of women.