Raising Your Business from Infancy

Nine months ago I was fortunate enough to become a dad. I’ve learned a lot in that time through taking care of and watching my son grow. It hasn’t been much longer that Keith and I decided to start our entrepreneurial venture. I’ve noticed a lot of similarities in the growth of my child and the growth of our business. I’m not claiming to be an expert in either one and neither are self sufficient yet but I wanted to share what I’ve noticed.

Both need constant attention. Not when it’s convenient mind you, I’m talking about working until 2am to finish a project that needs to be finished. Or waking up in the middle of the night to prepare a bottle for a crying baby. Working with people in different time zones you might get phone calls while you’re trying to prepare dinner or need to respond to an email at 7am.

It’s all yours! This is something that no matter how it turns out, good or bad, the responsibility is all yours. For some people that’s terrifying. What if I’m a bad parent? What if my business isn’t as successful as I want it to be? For me, it’s exciting. I want an opportunity to show others I can do well. It might not be perfect but it’ll be mine, either way. Plus, I have two pretty outstanding partners, in my wife and my business partner to help share the responsibility and bring balance to the equation.  

You will have blow outs. And they won’t be pretty. It’s not “if,” it’s “when” something doesn’t go exactly the way you want it to and how you respond to it. For a child, that’s a dirty diaper that goes up to his armpits. For a business, that could be any unforeseen circumstance from a miscommunication on timing to getting the wrong number written down for an order to not understanding context in an email. Regardless of the situation, I’ve found people are much more likely to work with you if you take an empathetic tone instead of one that implies blame.
It’s so much fun to celebrate the little things!While walking and talking become natural for a child at some point the first time is so exciting. The same is true for business, at some point the things we are doing now will feel routine, but our first shipment, our first event, our first sale, all feel exciting at this point. I long for the day when we need bigger things to celebrate but I don’t want to miss the excitement of these little victories now. 

Finally, not all answers are in the back of the book.I remember very distinctly one of my friends telling me that you can’t read a book to know how to raise a child. His point was, you figure out through trial and error that your kid likes to be swaddled or held a certain way. You figure out if they are crying out of hunger, or needing a diaper change. You can learn as much as you can about children, even watch other people’s children for a test run but until you are a parent yourself you won’t know how to best fill your child’s needs. The same is true for a business. You can learn about business, you can work for other businesses, but until you are running your own, you might not know the best way for it to work. But everyday is something new and exciting and that what makes it all so much fun.

Until next time,

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