Like new parents, we entrepreneurs are nurturers. We thrive in positive environments AND we rely on having an excellent support network around us to help us grow our business.
Watching my son and my daughter-in-law with their new son has really got me thinking about the similarities between entrepreneurs and new parents.
Here are four ways that a newborn can help you grow as an entrepreneur:
Hooked on a feeling
Parents are very responsive to their newborns feelings. If their tiny baby is licking his lips – he gets fed. If he’s yawning and rubbing his eyes, his parents will rock him to sleep. If he smiles one of those heart-melting smiles his parents will smile and laugh with him. Even though he is yet to master the English language, my Grandson never fails to tell his parents what he needs.
As entrepreneurs we are often guilty of overlooking the “feelings” of a project. With a fixed vision in our heads it is easy to keep pushing on towards that, even if our venture has its own ideas. But what if we took the time to stop for a moment and assess:
Is our project “hungry”? Do we need to draw on new or different resources?
Is our project “tired”? Do we need to lay it to rest for a moment and re-evaluate our journey to successful completion?
Is our project “happy”? It is important to acknowledge a venture that is developing successfully and give ourselves a pat on the back.
My daughter-in-law said something very interesting a few weeks ago – she was starting to feel like all her days were blurring together and that she wasn’t achieving anything. Not that a new mother should expect to be scaling mountains or cooking a five-star meal every day, but I certainly understood where she was coming from – she was craving a bit of structure.
Over the past few weeks she has been following a schedule and is now able to cook a meal, meet with friends and do a load or two of laundry without feeling overwhelmed. Even my grandson is enjoying the routine and has started to sleep nice, long stretches through the night!
Creating a daily routine for yourself and your business will help you to become a successful entrepreneur. My daughter-in-law created a daily routine by listening to the needs of her son and her family, and we can do the same for ourselves. Take a day to evaluate the daily, weekly and monthly needs of your business and create a daily structure that will help to keep you and your business on track.
My son and daughter-in-law will be the first to tell you that some days the baby will just do as he pleases and the schedule goes out of the window. As entrepreneurs we know all too well about surprise meetings, projects that take longer-than-expected to complete and entrepreneurial distractions that can divert us from our schedule. But, as my daughter-in-law says, “if today goes off track, that’s ok – we’ll start again tomorrow”.
She knows that her son likes to take a longer nap in the middle of the day – sometimes he goes down at 11am, sometimes he’ll hold out until 3pm. Being flexible is key to a happy schedule. It is easy to become frustrated if things aren’t happening at exactly the time and pace you anticipated and this can be almost as detrimental as not having a schedule at all.
All schedules should have a fixed point – for example, my grandson wakes up at around 7am every day and takes a bath at around 5:45pm every day. All the other stuff fits in between these points.
When you create your daily schedule, use one or two fixed points that will keep you on track. Then put together your entrepreneurial list and add these activities in between.
Work hard, Play Hard
It’s no secret, newborns love play time. My grandson loves to lay on his play mat and kick his little feet around. As much as his parents work hard to feed him and make sure he’s getting enough sleep they also spend valuable time just enjoying his company. As important as it is to work hard (and sometimes all hours of the day and night) it is essential that we take time to play, to enjoy life. After all, that is one of the reasons we became entrepreneurs, right?
My daughter-in-law has included play time in her daily schedule where she and my grandson will look at books and toys together or go out into the garden to watch the hummingbirds and look at the spring flowers.
Ensure that your schedule includes “play time”, this might be a time to go for a walk outside, cook a healthy meal or go to the gym. Pick one thing that you enjoy and make it an essential part of your daily routine.
Like these new parents, we as entrepreneurs can feel like our business is ‘Our Baby.’ May these lessons from a new born give you a fresh perspective on nurturing and growing your business.