The Truth About Running a Business as a Parent
There are lots of reasons why people decide to run a business once their children are born. For others, it happens the other way round, and their children come along after establishing their business. No matter which comes first, you will find that running a business as a parent certainly changes things, and it comes with highs and lows.
You Learn to Multitask
This is a positive thing, but honestly, sometimes it may not feel like it. For example, trying to combine a to-do list for your business with doctors’ appointments, school runs, play dates, and more can sometimes seem Mission impossible. However, what it does do is teach you how to prioritise. You also learn how to keep your multitasking organised; whether you are a paper-based list writer or prefer an online app, there are plenty of tools to help you keep everything running smoothly.
You Doubt Yourself
For many people, earning money while their children are small is not negotiable. Stay-at-home parents may simply not be able to afford to make ends meet without adding extra income, and running your own business does give you that freedom. There will be days when you doubt yourself. If your child is home from school sick and demanding attention, just as you have a crucial business meeting, you will probably feel like you cannot do both. However, when you manage to juggle, perhaps by asking grandparents to step in for an hour and you seal the deal with a new client, that feeling of doubt transforms into feeling good and boosted, and rightly so.
Your Hours Seem Long
One complaint I often hear from parentpreneurs is the hours they have to put in seem excessively long. However, a better way to look at it you are creating a fluidity between quality family time and work. Okay, you may be working at 8 p.m., but what would you be doing if you had a conventional 9-to-5 job and no childcare responsibilities? There is something deeply satisfying about creating a successful business from scratch, and when looked at in that light sitting mindlessly in front of soaps doesn’t offer a better experience!
You Lead by Example
Parents that run a business are demonstrating to their children many life lessons. From the basics of cause and effect, you work hard, you succeed in overcoming challenges as, and when they happen, much of your work as a business owner takes place in front of your children at home. Entrepreneurial parents find they have a stronger family bond. Children feel included and important while learning what it takes to provide for a family and achieve the personal satisfaction of using your talents.
The Bottom Line
Running a business and bringing up children is far from easy. However, many parentpreneurs will attest that it is the most rewarding thing they have ever done, even with the lows, because the highs are so worth it.