Being a parent has given you everything you need to run a business.
Have you ever asked yourself, “Why is my kid acting this way?!” You’re a parent… of course, you have.
Have you ever asked yourself, “Why isn’t my business growing faster?!” You’re an entrepreneur… of course, you have.
I’m going to show you how you can put the solutions to those two questions (and many more) together to create power and success, and avoid the #1 mistake parents make when dreaming of entrepreneurial success. But first, I need to share something.
My son is going through puberty. If you don’t have a pre-teen, remember back when you were 12. If you can’t remember that far–because your kids have sucked all the memories out of you–just Google the word, “Puberty” and you will see an interesting definition as the first listing talking all about hormones, gonads, ovaries, testes and sex.
Now imagine a 12-year-old, and I wonder if you are as freaked out as I am… My anxiety is nothing to his.
The car ride home from school is full of moody silence, or excited conversation. Sometimes within about a minute of each other. Then, he disappears into his room, I hear his backpack and Trombone drop to the ground (thank God his Trombone case is nice and sturdy), and he doesn’t emerge until he realizes he is hungry.
Unfortunately, by that time, his brain has already progressed from the simple, “I’m Hungry” message, to the much more difficult, “I’m Mad, because I’ve been Hungry for half an hour!”
I have learned through experience that if I react to this anger with my frustration at his lack of common sense, the evening spirals out of control into angry chaos.
Almost every day, as we walk in the door after I pick him up from school, I have now developed the habit of asking my youngest, “What would you like as a snack?”
This usually prevents the family from taking that staircase into the emotional dungeons each night, and we make it to bed time relatively unscathed.
My little man just turned 13 last weekend, and we were reliving his birth, and my fun time with a pink cast up to the knee on one leg, and a blue cast up to the knee on the other, and all the nurses laughing at the crazy lady with two broken legs in casts, breathing through a fast and furious four-hour labor.
At least four times throughout his birthday, my boy came up to me, gave me a hug and a huge smile (dimples and all), and said, “Mom, this day is the BEST! I don’t want it to end.”
I haven’t heard those words come out of his mouth since he was eight, and we went on an actual Dino-Dig in Utah, where he discovered a Dinosaur Fossil!
I couldn’t believe a day filled with video game play, followed by a dinner of Sloppy Joe’s with Chocolate Cream Pie would produce the same response as a Fossil discovery, but I guess that’s puberty.
Parenting is all about reacting to the current phase in which your child lives, or anticipating and planning for the next phase.
Entrepreneurship is no different.
I’ll go one step further, and say that each stage in parenting is mirrored by the same stage in business:
- Pregnancy = Business Research
- Newborn = Startup
- Toddler/Potty Training = Business Growth Spurt
- School Age = Steady Business Growth
- Puberty = Out of Control Business Growth
- Teenager = A Business Striving for Independence
- Young Adult = An Independent Business (residual income, anyone?)
- Get them out of the House! = Exit Strategy
Use this knowledge to avoid the #1 mistake I see parents make when dreaming of their entrepreneurial journey… They think they need more tools or skills to be successful in business!
Whether your business is in its newborn stage, toddler stage or going through puberty, you can use the same skills that got you through parenting to help you grow your business.
No more consuming new information or content in order to feel ready to start a business!
New software tools, or email marketing strategies are just like a new stroller, car seat or summer camp… just quickly and efficiently find the ones that are right for your business, just like you found that stroller that was the perfect fit for your family.
It’s really that simple.
Mom and Dad, If you have helped a toddler through Potty Training, you got this business thing!
Now it’s your turn. What stage is your business in right now? What skills and tools were most effective when your child was in that phase? How can you apply those tools to the success of your business in the same phase?
Please share…I would love to hear what you think!
This article originally appeared on Parent Entrepreneurs HQ.