What You Can Learn from Being a Parent and an Entrepreneur
Kat / Vertical Axion
The New York Times had a very interesting article a few months ago about women who were raising children and running businesses at the same time. Believe it or not, the two tasks are not mutually exclusive, and all three women were raising fairly well-balanced children and running large companies at the same time. Though it was a careful balancing act, all three women believed themselves to be successful in both ventures of their lives – and none of them had even reported any hair loss.
All joking aside, all three women also said that both journeys were similar in a number of ways, and parenting was a lot like nurturing and building a company from the ground up. Here are a couple of valuable lessons you can learn from being a parent that you can apply to your business.
You figured out your baby’s feeding schedule, you’ve done all the laundry, and now you think this parenting thing is easier than everyone said it was. Then something weird happens. Your baby grows six inches, you find more laundry under the bed, your sister needs some marriage advice and sucks up your whole afternoon. Your schedule gets ruined and you have to adapt or die.
Things in business are similar. All of the leadership stuff that makes up owning a business can drive you completely mad, from complaining clients to employee feuds. Every time something changes, you have to flow with it, and sometimes it means making tough decisions and throwing your schedule. Life goes on – everyone has curveballs thrown at them, and everyone deals with it (as a parent, too).
What? Invest as a parent? Nonsense, all of your money is going to college funds. While your money may be going somewhere else, your time is staying right there with those rosy cheeks and scraped knees. From driving your children to karate to helping them with their homework, your time is devoted to them. And that time is an investment. Building a relationship with your child is part of what will make them strong people later.
The same is the truth with your clients, believe it or not. Just like you want to be a trusted friend later in your child’s life, you want to be a trusted adviser with your clients. Building meaningful, long-term relationships makes all the difference. Investing your time into your clients will mean your company gets to grow while others fade away.