It still amazes me how there’s so many parallels to growing a business & raising a child (or even a loved pet).
Here’s my take on it ….
Planned or Unplanned?
There’s often that exciting & somewhat nervous stage of getting everything ready until they are officially born.
For some, it’s part of their planned goals & journey in life. Many of my coaching clients have had the idea of starting their own business for many years but have been waiting for the ‘right time’ to actually do it or even full time!
For others, it can come as a bit of a surprise! Some of my clients & well known entrepreneurs in the world only truly embraced the opportunity to start their business, when they were unexpectedly made redundant from work.
Choosing that special name!
Then we get to the fun part of finding or choosing ‘the’ name! For some it’s done though lots of discussions, research, reading books or even passing down your family name.
For other’s it just comes to you when you least expect it & just fits like a glove!
After only having known each other for a matter of weeks, my wife Shareen mentioned how she loved the name Kaiyas as a boy’s name. We jokingly agreed that if we ended up together & had a boy, we’d name him Kaiyas. That was around 10 years before he actually arrived & the name still felt so right at the time!
I often tell my clients that instead of getting too obsessive or focused around choosing the perfect name, take the pressure off & let it come more naturally.
In the meantime, you can still get on with developing the ideas of your business instead of getting blocked!
The early days!
There’s no denying that during the early days, everything can feel so brand new!
Remember we don’t know what we don’t know!
I never knew about having to ‘burp’ a baby or that there was other parts to a business that other departments used to take care of for me when I worked in the corporate world!
We are the ones that are now fully responsible for this precious bundle of joy – whether that’s a living thing or your new business!
You need to & want to care for it, nurture it & protect it!
Whether that’s giving it your time, energy, focus, nourishment or even your sleep!
Even though it’s such a special time, it can often be a stressful one too.
I remember the nights of waking up & listening out for Kaiyas breathing in his crib next to us. Or thinking am I doing this ‘right’?
I also can also vividly remember those early days when I started my business waking up thinking, ‘Is this going to work out?’
The early days are so amazing & whizz by like a flash!
We need to really remember to enjoy these times when they’re happening – instead of getting too caught up in the future!
The infant years!
The tears … the laughs … the mess …. the celebrations …. the bumps & bruises …. yes I’m talking both about business & children again here!
Those amazing moments when you see things happening so naturally!
The ‘sad’ but proud moments when you realise they don’t want or need you to do everything for them, as they are now ‘big boys’ or ‘big girls’!
The moments when you know they need to do it on their own & it’ll all ‘click’ into place. From learning to crawl then walk; to saying their first few words; to feeding themselves & to potty training!
You can’t rush these moments either or be too overly protective!
Kaiyas has now finally cracked potty training! Where there mis-haps! Of course! But in the grand scale of things, he learnt really quickly, as most business owners do when things start to feel a bit messy or doesn’t go to plan!
In business again, this can be when you need to let go of some of the things you’ve been doing & get other people to help you! Yes it can be a challenge – I know that all too well & trusting them with your ‘baby’!
This again is also very real for us just now, as Kaiyas has just started nursery a couple of days a week. It’s the first time he’s away with ‘strangers’! Of course, we did our research & trust his nursery teachers! We also need to take a slight step back & let them add their value into the mix for him to grow in new ways too!
The constant change!
I’ve yet to know anyone who’s business is exactly the way they planned it right back at the start!
That’s like trying to imagine all the types of activities & hobbies your kids will do when they grow up, before they’ve even arrive. You just don’t know what they’ll love or their personalities!
Plus they’ll have a tendency to go through lots of phases … from loving Mickey Mouse to then saying ‘that’s for babies’ to now loving Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!
So in business it’s about embracing change & not getting too rigid! But also not being too scattered too!
If you’re constantly changing your mind about what you want to be doing, then you’ll be planting lots of seeds but not nurturing or reaping the rewards.
On the other hand, if you’re still doing what you think you should be doing because that was the plan! But it’s just not connecting with you or it feels like so much hard ‘work’ & not getting the tangible results, then it’s really ok to re-evaluate & either tweak it or overhaul things if they’re needed.
Think of your business as being organic! That’s why even saying or thinking that you’re growing a business rather than ‘building’ a business – can be a great mindset shift!
Also, if you’re new to the world of ‘entrepreneurship’ after having come from a more traditional or corporate world, it takes a different type of thinking, actions & feelings to really embrace things in a new way! Otherwise, you can often drag with you the ’employee’ ways & that will only hold you back!
There may be times when new ‘siblings’ join them – whether that be a brother or sister – or even a new product or service offering!
Then the fun begins all again. But guess what, you’re so much more developed & prepared for it now, as you’ve learnt from the things that went well & not so well!
Plus, you’re often so much more confident to be able to deal with whatever may come up along the exciting journey ahead!
Do you agree that it’s no wonder why for entrepreneurs, that your business can really feel like their ‘baby’?
I’m sure there’s so many more synergies between growing a business & a child, as the years go on & when they get to the ‘grown up’ years! (I have cold sweats running down my back already even thinking about that!)
But all we can do is focus on the here & now, enjoy it & do everything we can to help shape what happens in the future, in ways that we may not even be able to imagine or contemplate right now.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this!
What stage is your business at at the moment & how does it feel for you? Share a quick comment in the box below.
I look forward to sharing even more with you again next time.