This year we launched a business when I was eight months pregnant with my third child and, at the time, it seemed like a good idea. I’m now realising that maybe it wasn’t the best timing, but hey, we’re making it work. Three children and multiple businesses on and I’ve realised that there are many similarities between starting a business and having a baby.
Here’s just a few…
1. The anticipation and the unknown.
You can read as many books on parenting and business as you like, and get as much advice from others as possible yet still, there is no amount of advice or books that will prepare you for the realities of having a baby and running a business. Our latest business, Think BOLD, is a mentoring platform for startups and entrepreneurs so I shouldn’t downplay the importance of wisdom and advice from others but honestly, there’s nothing like experiencing it yourself and learning from your own mistakes. I think I was in shock for the first three months with my first child and it’s the same for business; you have to give yourself a certain amount of grace. It’s all new territory, and things do go wrong, but you never give up on this thing you’ve created.
2. The long nights.
Oh, the long nights. As a mum of three including a three-month-old I can certainly tell you that I don’t get much sleep … but in all honesty, if I wasn’t a mum I’d probably still be up working. If it’s not the stress of it all, launching a business takes a lot of work, especially in the first few months, pre and post-launch.
3. The excitement.
When you become a parent for the first time, that child is your world. You are proud as punch of what you’ve created, and you want the world to know. Yes, you become one of those mums who you swore you wouldn’t be, posting photos every 5 minutes of all the different expressions your baby makes. It’s the same in business, you’ve worked so hard to create this brand, and it’s all you talk about… to EVERYONE.
4. The constant need for attention.
Babies need 110% of your attention, all day, every day. As does your business. You are constantly checking your emails to make sure that order went out correctly and on time, you have to have a constant eye on how things are developing, and you are always checking to see how you are going towards hitting those sales targets for next month.
5. The cost.
Babies can cost you a fair bit. There is so much to buy from cots to highchairs to changing tables to baby baths. The list is endless, and if you’re a new parent, chances are you’ll want to buy the very best and the newest products on the market. Business is a huge investment too; the majority of the time from your pocket so while you’re still looking to budget where you can, you want the best gadgets and programs to give your business the best fighting chance.
6. The quiet times.
Baby’s sleep… a LOT. To the point that in the first few weeks you secretly want them to wake up so you can play. In business, the first few weeks of sales can start off slow. You’re desperately wanting to see that fast growth you predicted in those not-so-conservative figures in your business plan. But growth takes time, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Slow growth can give you time to iron out any kinks in your business, test the product, get feedback and make adjustments where needed.
7. The reward.
Being a parent is THE most rewarding thing you’ll ever do, but the reward for all those long hours on the business is great too. It might be painful, exhausting and draining at times but nothing (except having a baby) beats seeing all that effort and hard work pay off. Hang in there, the reward is great!
Emma Stewart is a Premium member and the co-founder of Think Bold,
CONNECT WITH EMMA HERE.