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wdlove
May 9, 2004, 05:10 PM
Mothers of invention

Hokey but true: Six entrepreneurs learn life lessons from their moms. Be daring, have fun, stubborn is OK, creativity is good.

By Kimberly Blanton, Globe Staff *|* May 9, 2004

When our lives take a wrong turn, we often blame our mother. Not today.

The Boston Globe interviewed six entrepreneurs and their moms about their positive influences on them. Many of the entrepreneurs were featured in a new documentary, ''Lemonade Stories: Inspiring Entrepreneurs and the Mothers Who Made Them," by Boston filmmaker Mary Mazzio. There were traits common among the entepreneurs. All were type-A personalities, including when they were children. When they knew what they wanted, they single-mindedly pursued it, often by enlisting their mother's help.

Although their mothers belong to a generation that did not expect women to have professional lives, ''they all had that sense of adventure and really instilled that in their children. You ought to try new things, and if you fail, 'so what,' " said Mazzio, whose movie was commissioned by Babson College.

Arthur Blank, a founder of Home Depot, learned from his mother to be fearless. Kay Koplovitz, founder of USA Networks, picked up her stubbornness from mom. For Virgin Atlantic Airways founder Richard Branson, flamboyance was a key trait. Nantucket Nectars' Tom Scott learned fun can be put to use.

http://www.boston.com/business/articles/2004/05/09/mothers_of_invention/