It seems like every second person has a start up idea these days, but let’s face it - getting a business idea off the ground is hard work.
Starting a business as a single person without children is one thing, but being a parent and an entrepreneur brings the challenge to a whole new level. Some even say the two don’t mix - we disagree.
In fact, we think that parenting can actually make you a better entrepreneur - here’s how:
1. You can adapt to chaos, no sweat.
The bills are piling up, you’re behind on production and your contact at the supplier has gone AWOL. People are amazed by how relaxed you seem. They have obviously never tried breastfeeding a newborn while your toddler empties the fish tank, the dishwasher floods and the postman knocks at the door with a long overdue parcel. Parents can handle chaos like nobody on earth.
2. You know how to fake it ‘til you make it.
No matter how much you know, read or plan - there is no doubt that you occasionally think to yourself, “I have no idea what I’m doing.” That's parenting. But you’ve got a healthy and happy baby so you must be doing something right, right? Sometimes getting a business off the ground feels the same way. It just seems like yesterday that you first came up with your idea, and suddenly you’re moving into a bigger premises. Fake it ‘til you make it, baby. You’ve got this.
3. You have the patience of a saint.
If parenting teaches you anything, it’s superhuman patience. From breastfeeding and sleeping troubles, to the inevitable ‘why?’ phase, you’ve come to learn that sometimes you just have to sit back and let time do it's thing. Same goes with a start up. Sometimes businesses need time to develop and you know you’d be crazy to rush them. After all, some of the best moments happen when you least expect them.
4. You have awesome interpersonal skills.
You’re exhausted, your baby is being fussy and you just want a moment to yourself. You’ve also made a loss this month. It takes a rock solid relationship with your loved ones to be a parentpreneur - but harnessing the interpersonal skills you practice at home in your working life will make for awesome relationships with your stakeholders as well.
5. You’re a multitasking machine.
You’ve got multitasking downpat - that's pretty much the definition of 'mother'. You can jam the daycare drop off, forty cold calls, a meeting with a loan manager across town, a baby wind down routine, a technology meltdown and a bit of chat with your better half into one day without even breaking a sweat. Now where is that breast pump?
6. You’re super responsible.
You’re taking a big risk with this business idea, but you'll keep your wits about you. After all, your business decisions will directly impact your child’s future. Nothing grounds you quite like being responsible for a tiny human being.
7. Things don’t turn out how you expect, and that’s okay.
When you were pregnant, you were probably 99% sure you’d pull off this mothering thing without a hiccup. The odds are that labour, breastfeeding, pooping, bathing, sleeping - none of it was what you were expecting. But eventually you made it work. Sometimes things don’t go to plan, but you know that the secret to success is knowing how to adapt and adapt again. Great entrepreneurs wipe the slate clean every day and keep on evolving - and you're now a master at that.
8. You can get a grip.
You might have had a crappy day at the office, but when you get home and see your bub’s happy little face, those business antics tend to melt away. At least for a few hours, you know how to get some perspective about what really matters. The ability to take a bird-eye view of the situation and act with context is crucial in start-up business mode - and mama's are masters and keeping a steady head.
9. You know the sky’s the limit.
It’s cute when your child tells you with so much certainty that they’re going to become a time-travelling space princess who also happens to be a firefighter - but the reality is that childlike imagination is the trademark of start up legends. Listen to your kid with respect, consider their creative brain and bring play back into your business - not only will you have more fun, you might just crack the big idea you've been waiting for.