Here is an interview I should do every Mother’s Day. I can safely say many small business owners credit our mother’s with inspiring us. For me, my mother, Carole inspired me to always do my best at work and be kind to people.
On The Small Business Show this week, I talked with Mike McDerment (and his 80+ year old mother, Claire) who is the co-founder of FreshBooks, a cloud-based accounting software, designed exclusively for freelancers and growing service business owners.
Almost 10 years ago, Mike built FreshBooks for his design firm, then moved into his parent’s basement for over three years to get the new company off the ground. Since then, over 30 million people have used FreshBooks for their businesses.
Mike’s mother, Claire inspired him to found and scale FreshBooks into the billion-dollar value company it is today. She launched several not-for-profit projects while balancing life as a mother of four.
In my interview with Mike and Claire, we discussed:
How Mike’s mom supported him and helped get FreshBooks launched. Claire guaranteed a loan in her name to help fund her son’s startup and allowed Mike to grow the business from her home.
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As a not-for-profit entrepreneur and lifelong community volunteer, Claire instilled a “giving spirit” in Mike that was realized in FreshBooks’ mission to help small businesses growth and through employee programs such as volunteer days.
Claire also identified the importance of stress management in children and founded the organization, Transitions, the first program to help school kids cope with stress which now has deployed in school districts across Canada.
Mike also credits Claire with how to network for resources and how to hustle to build a business. He remembers his mom constantly being on the phone to form corporate partnerships as a kid.
Listen to Mike and Claire on their interview on The Small Business Radio Show.
Image: Mike McDerment