An Interview with Mom
On the eve of Mother’s Day 2012 I sat down with Kathleen Shafer – the mother of Owen and Malia – to ask her a few questions about motherhood and entrepreneurism. I was pleasantly surprised at a number of her responses and even got an inside peak at how she makes subtle reminders about important holidays without me even knowing.
An excerpt of that interview is as follows:
Paul: What does entrepreneurism mean to you and your family?
Kathleen: It means you and the kids get to be really creative trying to come up with things to sell.
Paul: (smiling) I like that. Anything else?
Kathleen: Yeah, it means the kids get to learn stuff while having fun. It’s probably the best way for them to learn at their current ages. Also, I can tell they’re enjoying it because they throw a lot of energy at it and at times can be very focused. It’s pretty cute.
Paul: Who do you think is having more fun, me or the kids?
Kathleen: (laughing) Probably you – but the kids are a close 2nd.
Paul: Where do you think this journey will take us?
Kathleen: (laughing again) Possibly the bank – to ask for a loan, of course.
Paul: Is that because you think we’ll come up with a great idea and will need cash to fund it?
Kathleen: Either that or because you’ll run out of the money you set aside for this project.
Paul: (sarcastically) Thanks for the vote of confidence.
Kathleen: (more serious tone) I think this journey will take you wherever you want it to as long as you don’t take it too seriously. The most important thing is for the kids to get creative, to have fun, to learn about some of the basics of business. That’s the goal, right? I think entrepreneurism has an application in every field, whether it’s being a police officer (Owen’s goal) or a ballerina teacher (Malia’s goal). Everyone can use creativity and problem solving skills regardless of their profession. So as long as the kids are having fun, I think it will be a very productive journey.
Paul: Have I told you about our next project?
Kathleen: Does it involve selling things to our neighbors?
Paul: (laughing) Not exactly. We’re going to make homemade chocolate bars to sell during the Jester Thrift Sale* next weekend. (*The Jester Thrift Sale is a community-wide event and is held twice per year in our subdivision.)
Kathleen: Have you ever made homemade chocolate bars before?
Paul: No. Is it difficult?
Kathleen: I guess you’ll find out soon enough.
Paul: Something tells me you might be helping us.
Kathleen: Something tells me you’re right. After all, it is a family’s journey of entrepreneurism, right?
Paul: Have I thanked you lately for being my wife?
Kathleen: Earlier today – so yes.
Paul: What’s the best thing about being a mother?
Kathleen: (thoughtful sigh) The Journey.
Paul: Are you surprised I remembered Mother’s Day so far in advance* this year? (*I actually remembered about two weeks in advance this year – much better than my average.)
Kathleen: You realize I sneak every major holiday into a conversation about 2-3 weeks before the event, right?
Paul (long pause followed by big smile) Have I thanked you lately for being my wife?
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