Have you ever noticed how some women get super excited about other women having a baby?
The minute they hear their friend is pregnant, they start planning the shower, thinking of colors and games, gathering all of the info they can so that the mommy to be knows that everyone is thrilled she is bringing a new little life into the world.
I get the same way whenever someone, especially a woman, tells me that she is planning to open a new business.
If she whispers to me "I've decided to start freelancing on the side", it's just like telling me, "We've decided to start trying!"
I love small business so much, I always want to burst open whenever anyone around me catches the fever.
I often go overboard with my ideas for them, their launch, their logos, their marketing plan, possible expansion strategies, how they organize their workflow … you name it. People have stopped me mid sentence lots of times. But I just get so darn excited. I can not help myself.
I tell you..it's a sickness!
I became a small business owner before I became a mother. After thinking about both babies and business, I realized that they are very much alike:
1) They both keep you up at night – Just like a little newborn that demands care and attention from it's exhausted, loving mother, a new business that inspires you from the gut will wake you up at two in the morning with ideas for any aspect of it. And it will not matter that you're tired!
It will demand that you care about it's every detail and push you to organize and plan all of them.
You will dream about the type of office bathroom experience you want your employees and customers to have. (yes … it is that serious!)
You will see your sign in your sleep. You will think of taglines and pitch ideas constantly. You will imagine what people will say about doing business with you.
You will be so in love and thrilled and full of passion, weeks will pass and it will only be then that you notice you have only slept three hours a night ten days straight. But you will not care!
That is what the initial drive feels like. Those special moments feeding your new little one in the still of the night are special for a reason. When babies and businesses are new, they pull forth an energy in us that is so seemingly endless, the likes of which we do not see in ourselves at any other time or for any other reason.
I love this aspect of the newness and I think that is why I prefer working with people in the start-up stage … I guess I become their 'entrepreneurial midwife'. I love the energy of the newness. The passion that people have, it just brings out something so beautiful and hopeful in them. You can see them in a pure way because you see their dreams. It's gorgeous and so, so special. And that drive to take care of everything in the beginning is just as special.
2) They change your life immediately, but it is for the best – No more staying out too late … less time to socialize with old friends (qualifier added: old). You've got someone to get home too!
I remember being an avid party rebel back in the day, before things all changed. It used to be very easy for me to go all day being as unproductive as I wanted to be and then top out the night with all kinds of distractions till dawn.
But things changed and it was definitely for the best.
Just like going out is harder because you just can not tear away from that beautiful new little face and those edible fingers and toes (and infant shenanigans are so much better than any TV I've ever seen), a new business will take over your social life. But usually, this is for the better.
You start to feel the feeling of fifteen minutes..in other words, time becomes super precious as you become more internally aware of it. You can sense it. Because of this, you will become a lot more productive and focused, because you do not want to waste a moment. Moments are now precious and then, you procrastinate a whole lot less.
And oh boy, when you see it take it's first steps (launch a new product) or say it's first words (marketing the first time where prospects actually connect), all of that productivity yields that you're changed your life in this way. (Let's not even talk about the first poop – or when the first client pays you money!)
But here is the main reason that this is better for your life: as soon as you see how productive you are becoming, you only want to enhance your productivity. You do not want anything to slow your roll. Do you know what this means? It means you start to protect not only your time, but also your 'bubble of influence'.
Your 'bubble of influence' or the people you tend to hang around, morph into a crowd that makes you better (parent and business owner). You will only want to be around people that encourage your new lifestyle and you will start to see and avoid those who discourage it or folks who are negative and always doubting you and your every move.
The 'old' friends start telling you how they do not see you anymore and how you've changed and that they do not know you anymore.
They are right … they do not. And, in the words of Martha Stewart, it's a good thing!
This is always a better way to live, for the sake of the babies and your business growth! Becoming more protective of your time and space allows all good things in your life to grow.
3) They both make you see the future in a way that you have never considered before – I enjoyed my life prior to becoming a mother and I had lots of fun and lived in quite a careful way before starting my first venture. I did not have a lot of worries about my actions affecting other lives or if I took a day off it was my prerogative, etc. My future was going to be just an extension of the present.
Maybe the backdrop or location would change. Maybe some new cast members would evolve in my life movie and its post-trauma sequels.
But my future, though I always had big dreams, was not really solid until I was, what they call in poker, 'all in'.
Now, it was not that it could not be. Lots of folks I know who have decided to not have children are choosing to live a life headed for a future of greatness and impact.
That will be their baby and only real plans and real goal achievement will get them there, along with support, focus and true productivity.
And that's the real truth of the matter – ideas and dreams are very different from real plans and real goals.
There are too many 'want to be's' and not enough brave people who execute and actually decide what their future will really include. There is an indescribable shift of commitment that can not be denied once a person is 'all in'.
Immediately following your admission into parenthood and entrepreneurship (the FOR REAL entrance – not the fake 'I want to someday' stuff) you will see your future differently.
Ideas and dreams become your coach, inner guidance and your project manager. Time is not just passing. Time becomes your supervisor, managing the checklist for all of the items you have laid out on your blueprint specifically for that year and that month and that week.
Things get done.
And when you keep accomplishing all you set out to do, whether big or small, you become convinced that anything you WANT is within your reach.
So you start wanting more … and dreaming more. You get around others to talk about ideas and more dreams, which become projects naturally … and then you realize:
'if I set the goal for (insert your personal' good money 'goal) in sales per year, I can do (fill in the blank) and (fill in another blank) and even (fill in a big blank here)! This can really happen! I better get myself ready, because the way I am rolling along, this is going to be real … wow. '
Now, just stop for a second and consider the gravity of this shift in thinking. From: 'that would be nice if it happened' to 'this is really GOING to happen and it looks like it is on it's way to me.'
When that baby starts understanding things, connecting things and really learning things for the first time in front of your very eyes, it's not just cute. It is a confirmation of levels of development. It is really important that you see your baby is connecting the dots … for it's future.
Their future will be your future.
That is why the things you see for your own future now HAVE to happen and you become so sure they will. Your future will include so much more than it did before the Big Change, things you never thought about for your life before the Big Change. You enjoy the present but you are aching to see the future unfold with all of the new ideas and dreams, developments, life just gets sweeter.
Harder but definitely sweeter!
Babies and businesses are creations that evolve anyone willing to commit to them.
But you have to be committed.
Want to know why? Reread this post ~ 🙂