Have you ever noticed the similarities between running a business and having a baby? Even if you don’t have children it might have occurred to you that one is much like the other: both are a lot of fun to start and both require constant nurture and attention. Both of them are easier to handle if you plan ahead and consider their needs in advance. Both cause unexpected drama and require quick thinking. And both of them are (even) more rewarding when you are present to the little changes and learnings they bring.
Here are some other things that parents and business owners-to-be have to keep in mind:
Being a parent is 24/7, same as running a business, so you need to have an effective support structure around you. They say that it takes a village to raise a child: who are the people helping you raise your business? Are they supportive of you and your goals, in the way that you need them to be? Do they have skills and knowledge you can call on? An effective people structure will be a source of strength and encourage you to be persistent.
A support structure is also financial. Starting a business requires money, whether it’s in the form of investment or in the financial stability that allows you to pursue your dream. Over and over again I hear of people taking huge leaps of faith and quitting jobs to start businesses, with little savings to draw on. Down the track, these people often burn out. It is wonderful to get excited about a new business and have that “entrepreneurial seizure”, as Michael Gerber called it, but that alone will not sustain you. Making sure your financial support structure is strong will prevent one of the biggest causes of stress and adrenal depletion.
Finally, you need to settle in for the long term.
I don’t believe in “getting rich quick”. I don’t know anyone who got rich quick and has been able to sustain it. Give yourself at least two years of strong and solid working on and in your business. By the two years mark, you should begin to see more dependable and consistent outcomes, from your customers, your products and your team.
Babies and Businesses need a lot of work, focus and dedication, and both are extremely rewarding.
Look at your business as your baby and put strong support structures in place that allow you to focus on what’s important in the long run.