1) Set a strict deadline.
When parents find out they’re going to have a baby, they have nine months to prepare. At the end of that nine months, that baby will come and there is absolutely nothing the parents can do or say to try and convince the child to just incubate for a little bit longer.
The same should be true of your business. When you decide to start a business, you should set a deadline. A date where that business will go live, no matter what. You can’t stick the baby back inside the mother, and you can’t stop the metaphorical “open” sign that will light up when your deadline hits. So get started preparing right now and don’t procrastinate.
Think of what you’re going to need once your business goes live. What will your budget be? Are you going to keep your day job, or stay home full time? What big decisions do you need to make? What’s your product going to be? Will you have a website? Will your business exist solely as eCommerce, or do you want a store?
Because no matter what, your baby is on its way. You should have already decided that. Your business will launch in x amount of time and you have to be ready for it. When the baby comes, you can’t push it back in, shouting, “Wait no! It’s not ready yet!”
That’s ridiculous. It’s not the business that’s not ready, it’s you. But don’t worry. Most parents feel that way.
2) Force yourself to keep a budget
This is obvious. I’m sure you’re looking at this and rolling your eyes. Of course you should keep a budget. Anyone who’s going into business knows that. But that doesn’t make it any less important. In fact, keeping a good budget might be the most important thing you do. Making money costs money. We all know this.
Kids cost money. Businesses cost money. The difference is that Businesses will hopefully someday make you money, but hey, that’s the goal of every parent-child relationship eventually right?
Knowing and understanding something that you love will cost you money is a good place to be. You need to figure out how far your money will stretch and how much will be needed to save up for future growth. You don’t want to spend all of your money right at the beginning, you want to save and work on making money as well.
Just like you don’t want to spoil your child, you don’t want to spoil your business. Invest what you can, make sure they have the best opportunities available to them, and then cut them off. Your business will hopefully grow a lot faster than a child would, and it needs to start supporting you pretty quickly. “You have to spend money to make money.” The key is spending responsibly.
Estimate about how much money your business will cost you. Leave room for surprises and start building and getting ready. The return will be worth the investment.
3) You invest all your time, effort, and money into them, and they still might fail.
Ah, the unavoidable challenges of parenthood! No matter how much time, energy and effort you put into your business, there is still the chance that it will fail. And that’s utterly terrifying.
While there’s always the chance for failure, but you also have to remember that the more time, effort, love, and devotion you give to your business, the less likely they are to fail. It doesn’t mean they won’t, but it’ll greatly improve the odds in your favor. So instead of agonizing over the potential of failure, do everything you can to try and avoid that fate. Read books about your niche, study what other people are saying and be ready for the unexpected. Unlike children, businesses don’t have a mind of their own, so the more of yourself you feed them, the more they’ll grow and develop the way you want.
There’s always the chance of failure, but that’s what makes it all so exciting to begin with. Of course, if your business fails it hopefully won’t end up in jail. But I’m not here to solve your parenting problems.
4) They keep you up all night worrying.
Laying in bed, staring at the ceiling and being unable to sleep because you’re worried about your business. Thinking, “What went wrong with that last investment? What could I have done better to reach better leads? Why didn’t I listen to that partner who told me that was a bad idea?”
It’s enough to drive you crazy.
The key is to relax. Of course you have to think of these problems because you have to solve them. It’s your job. You’re the owner, the parent, whatever. You need to think calmly and rationally about every bit of business that you embark on. But, you also need to sleep and relax. You can’t always figure out everything in one night.
So, set aside time during the day to think about the things that are keeping you up at night. Write them down, talk about them with other people, and come up with solutions. As you start to clear the clutter from your mind, you’ll find out that not only are you able to sleep at night, but you’re also running a more efficient business. So win-win!
5) Eventually they grow up and take care of you - hopefully
Every moment of the growing process will take effort on your part. There’s a saying that goes, “When you work for yourself, you only have to work half the day! And YOU get to decide which 12 hours that is.” I think that’s pretty applicable. But when the end comes, when you’re tired of working and you’ve led a great, well-respected life, your business will turn around and start to take care of you.
This could mean they stick you in an old person’s home, but hopefully that won’t be the case. Your business will either be sold or maybe passed down to another member of your family. Either way it should be generating enough revenue by that point that it will safely allow you to go into retirement. All of the effort and endless hours will be repaid and you’ll finally be able to let some of that responsibility roll off your shoulders. Now wouldn’t that be something?
And then you’ll be able to leave feeling like a proud parent indeed.