When was the last time you slept in on the weekend? When did you last manage to finish a conversation without being interrupted? If it has been a while, then you are probably either a parent or an entrepreneur (or both). Do you think that taking care of a baby is vastly different from running a business? Don’t be so sure. Here are some similarities that might surprise you:
You have sleepless nights. Parents of young babies are often up at 3 a.m. feeding them and rocking them to sleep. Entrepreneurs are up at the same time striving to meet deadlines for clients. Whether you’re being kept up by your children or your business, the result is the same; you’re not getting any sleep!
There is no joy like watching your child, or a business that you created grow and develop.
It makes you more vulnerable. Since parents and business owners have additional responsibilities, complications impact them more profoundly than they otherwise would. For example, a power outage is annoying to everyone, but to a mother who needs to boil water to make formula for her infant, or to a restaurant owner who is depending on the income from tonight’s sales, it could be disastrous.
Some days, you are so proud. When your business is expanding or your child does something amazing, you want to shout it from the rooftop. There is no joy like watching your child, or a business that you created grow and develop. Sometimes it can feel like both your business and your children are an extension of you, so when they are thriving it is also your success.
The biggest challenges are the ones you don’t anticipate. When you are making a big life change, everyone is full of advice. Unfortunately, the things that give you the most problems are usually the things that nobody warned you about. For example, you may have a flawless business plan, but imagine the challenges you would face if your roof caved in a week after you opened. You might be prepared in every possible way to have your baby, but what would happen if you fell down the stairs and broke your leg when your baby was only one week old? If you want to survive as a parent or an entrepreneur, you always need to expect the unexpected.
Close your eyes and imagine the moment that the nurse put your baby into your arms for the first time, or the moment your lawyer handed you the keys for your new business. Every decision that you have made since then has been impacted by that moment. There’s no going back now.