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Blog: Blog2
  • Writer's pictureDebbie Goldfarb

Things I Learned from my Mom about Business

"Sometimes I open my mouth and my mother comes out."

It has been close to a year since my mom passed away. She died from COVID in a nursing home. It’s ironic how her passing happened as the US (and the world) celebrated Mother’s Day, as it also happened to be her favorite holiday. So, this blog is an homage to my Mom.

That’s right — my mom loved this holiday… the flowers, chocolates and greeting cards she got from family and friends. Ya know…a big deal…and clearly Woodrow Wilson thought so as well by declaring Mother’s Day a national holiday on May 10, 1914. However, Mother’s Day (along with Father’s Day) is seen yet as another “Hallmark holiday” — an ostensible occasion created primarily for profit.

From a business perspective, I think that the creation of this holiday is commercial genius. Check out these interesting stats for the day we show love to mothers.

  • It is estimated that US consumers will spend $28.1 billion celebrating Mother’s Day.

  • It is the second most popular holiday for gift-giving, following Christmas.

  • Most consumers will give cards (72%) and flowers (68%) to their mothers or take her out to eat (49%). And jewelry and electronics are seeing record levels of spending this year.

  • Mother’s Day is the third highest selling holiday for flowers and plants. (also, one quarter of all flowers purchased throughout the year are bought for Mother’s Day).

  • Shoppers buy for their mothers and stepmothers, but almost a half of them are buying for grandmothers, sisters, friends and even daughters.

  • More calls are made on Mother’s Day than any other day of the year. Approximately 122 million calls are made on the second Sunday of May.

  • It is the third-largest card-sending holiday in the United States, with 113M cards exchanged annually.

I pride myself on finding and sending the funniest and most irreverent greeting cards to my mom. Definitely not the sappy cards with overstated sentiments… not for my mom, with her quirky sense of humor (which of course I inherited and put my own twist on). Eventually what started as a one-card holiday quickly turned into a 5–10 cards holiday to the delight of Hallmark and other greeting cards maker.

The greeting card industry has faced hurdles due to the internet. Adopting new ways like E-cards while still preserving the more traditional paper cards has seen them through this social media age. After all, a personalized greeting card creates more impact and gets opened more than the digital version.

Hmmm… now I wonder what my silent generation, technophobic Mom would have thought of e-cards? For sure she would have hated it. For her, nothing was better than receiving her Mother’s Day cards and she cared not about the fact that natural resources are dwindling, and printing/postage costs are rising. Nope…she just loved what she loved.

My mom though, despite coming from an entirely different industry — (entertainment), has taught me a few things about business (and life in general). Here’s what I learned:

  1. Care… a whole lot. Really listen closely and take the time to understand your customers and employees needs.

  2. Be transparent. Communicate what you’re going through no matter how hard the conversation may be. It will serve you well in business especially in times of uncertainty and makes for more brand trust.

  3. Trust your gut. Oftentimes, there is no roadmap in entrepreneurship, and you have to make decisions as and when the opportunity arises.

  4. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Focus on the things that really matter, like revenue generating activities, and delegate as needed.

  5. Know your business really well. These are your children.

  6. And, involve yourself in a community. After all, it takes a village to raise a child. The same thing goes for business.

And because as business owners we like to put a value on everything we do, according to the 2021 Mother’s Day Index, the home-related tasks moms perform are worth well over $116,022 per year in the professional world. Wow!!!

With that said, take the time to appreciate your mother, mother-figure, and anyone who has mentored you in one way or another. Happy Mother’s Day!

For more business tips, check out my other blogs on Medium. And email for help with marketing and branding for your small business.

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