Have you ever noticed that being an entrepreneur and being a parent are pretty much exactly the same thing? Both take a whole lot of guts, and both sometimes feel the toughest job in the world!
At the end of the day, both jobs are pretty amazing. And if you do both, well, you must be some kind of saint.
Here are 17 ways running a business is a lot like being a mom or dad.
- It’s your job to take care of everyone else
Whether you’re an entrepreneur or a parent, everyone else’s needs come first. If you have kids, it’s up to you to make sure they’re fed and clothed. If you have employees (and let’s be real, they can feel a lot like your kids) it’s on your shoulders to see that their paychecks go out each week.
- Both test your patience on a daily—no, hourly—basis
Patience is one of the greatest virtues of being a parent. As an entrepreneur, it comes in pretty handy, too. If you can keep your cool under the many moments of pressure, you’ll be able to do your job much better.
- Sometimes you have to explain the same thing over and over and over
And sometimes, the best answer is because I said so.
- Encouragement and consistency are key to both
Both kids and employees thrive with a solid routine and regular encouragement. You have to celebrate their wins and consistently coach them to be their best.
- You sometimes have to manage people who have no interest being managed
No two employees are alike, just as two kids from the same family might be complete opposites! Sometimes, you get one that marches to the beat of their own drum and has no interest in being wrangled.
Instead of fighting this, you’ll get the best results when you embrace their individuality and try to use a management style tailored to their needs.
- It’s best to lead by example
It’s amazing how kids pick up on your tiniest behaviors. It’s like they’re always watching. And believe it or not, your employees are too! Both look to you for guidance on how to behave, whether it’s on the playground or in the conference room.
- You don’t truly know what to expect until you do it
No one ever goes into parenthood being like, “I’ve got this all figured out.” Entrepreneurship is much the same way, although there will always be those overachievers who make you feel like you have no idea what you’re doing.
- You’ll try crazy things to motivate them
Whether it’s a bonus for a successful project or a sticker for using the potty, you’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do to get the job done!
- Sometimes it feels like you’re surrounded by crazies
Never underestimate the power of a two year old covered in fingerpaint or a curmudgeonly co-worker who hasn’t had his morning coffee yet.
- People who aren’t one just don’t understand
Being a business owner can be one of the loneliest jobs. Sometimes it feels like no one understands what you’re going through. Most parents can easily say the same thing.
The key is seeking out a network of people who are in your same boat so you can seek advice and share experiences, ultimately knowing you’re not really alone.
- Your door is ALWAYS open
…Even when it’s closed. It can feel impossible to get a moment of alone time. Seriously, can someone teach these people how to knock?!
- Relying on your support system is critical to success
You can’t succeed as a parent or an entrepreneur if you neglect the people who know and love you best. Maintain strong relationships with your parents, siblings, spouses, friends and mentors and lean on them when things get challenging. It’s a whole lot easier than going it alone!
- You can try all you want, but you won’t make everyone happy
One kid wants chicken nuggets, the other is screaming for macaroni. This department needs funds for marketing, while that department wants to buy new computers.
Entrepreneurship and parenthood are the ultimate exercises in compromise, and trying to please everyone is a recipe for failure. You have to figure out the best option for the most people and roll with it.
- It’s never healthy to do it all yourself
Both of these life paths require us to delegate in order to be successful, whether that’s tacking a chore sheet up on the fridge or bringing on an assistant to help you juggle your calendar. Try to do it all yourself for too long, and you’ll quickly reach your wit’s end.
- At some point you have to trust that you’ve taught them enough
It never feels like they’re 100% ready, but at some point you have to take off the training wheels and let them pedal on their own (literally or metaphorically speaking!).
This comes down to trusting your own capabilities—you’ve done your best to teach them what they need to know. Now their success lies in their own hands.
- Sometimes it flat out stinks
Dirty diapers. Lost clients. There are parts of being a parent and being an entrepreneur that flat out stink. The good news is, these times will pass.
- It’s the best job in the world
Nothing is as rewarding as looking at the successful company you built from the ground up, and it’s hard to describe the pride of knowing you nurtured and raised another human being. They’re the most challenging jobs out there, but when it comes down, to it they’re the best jobs in the world!
Got something to add to this list? Share it with us in the comments section!
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