Running a business is tough. It really is probably one of the hardest jobs to deal with. And for you parents out there, and single mothers, you have the toughest job on the planet. So I guess the best advice for any potential business owner is to raise your business like a child.
When a child is first born, you must take all the time to nurture and take care of him or her. I can make the comparisons between business and child because I started my first business back when my daughter was a toddler. I have watched both grow up, and now my daughter and business are both teenagers. My daughter is now 14 years old, and though we spend a lot of time together, I am now more of an observer in her life and the thought that she doesn’t really “need me” to take care of her is kind of how I also think about my businesses – they don’t “need me” now as much as when they were fledglings. I did a good job raising both.
For another comparison, if you are interested in buying an existing business, I would compare it to having a step child, which I also have. Elyssa has been in my life since she was 6 years old. It had a lot of tough moments, however, as even when her mother and I separated I still stayed in Elyssa’s life. Now she is in her 20s and living on her own. If you are stepping into a new role of taking over a business, you have to realize that someone else has put in the groundwork before you. You will not have all the answers; you just have to be willing to listen.
I am not the same person I was when I first met my children and I will continue to grow. I don’t think anyone would raise a child without first getting some sort of advice. So don’t just jump into a business idea without seeking the advice of those who came before you. For those of you who have children, think about those times when you had no clue about what to do with you child. I didn’t realize until I became a parent that “parents don’t have all the answers.” Well, let me tell you something: “Bosses don’t have all the answers either.” Nurture your business like a child and watch it grow.