So, it’s Saturday, and I’m busy working on features for an app we’re producing. The house is quiet, the kids all out of the house, and in the background, an episode of Shark Tank is keeping me company. But when I hear a question posed to mother, wife and founder of ShowNo, Shelly Ehler, by the potential investor, Mark Cuban, I stop working and replay the question – not once, but twice. And I can’t help but wonder if he’d ever have asked the question if the entrepreneur was a father instead of mother. (The question comes at :50 seconds into the video clip.)
At first, I’m defensive. The question seems patronizing. Would a father be asked about his commitment to his startup, whether he’d be not just willing but able to meet with an important CEO if the meeting fell on his kid’s birthday? Probably not. But the more I’ve replayed the segment, I’m no longer focused on the uneven playing field Cuban created but instead, I’m marveling at the excellent response of Ehler. By deflecting his concern with assurances that her family was completely behind her efforts, Ehler showed class and grace. And kudos to Ehler for landing more than the funding she sought and gaining what looks to be a supportive, integral partner for future growth – and for being a great role model, proving that attitude is half the battle to create a path to success for mompreneurs.