So, Parent-preneurs you say? Yup, its obvious who I mean right? Entrepreneurs (or those with dreams of being so…) who are also parents.
Having a baby myself has given me an entirely new appreciation for what it takes to operate, no less grow, an entrepreneurial business in tandem with growing a family. Either one is a definitive challenge, but put the two together and you have a recipe for late nights, early mornings and triple latte vs exhaustion on a grand scale.
There are actually some amazing advantages to being an entrepreneur when you welcome a baby into the world.
Calendar Control: Usually you have a bit more ‘control’ over your calendar than the average person with a 9-5. Granted, you DON’T usually get a real maternity leave, at least not a paid one. But boy did it help that I could dial waaaaaaaaayyyyy back when Aria arrived! Put a voicemail greeting on my phone that said I wasn’t going to be ‘timely’ about returning calls…etc. But when we say ‘control’ over our calendars, as entrepreneurs we usually mean that we make sure we work MORE than 9-5…very rarely less. Quandry.
You are not the Titanic. As entrepreneurs, and now parent-preneurs, we are much more adaptable and accommodating when our interests, past-times and passions shift and change and we can often incorporate something larger, like a baby or two (lol) into our larger goals and mission. For instance, in my entrepreneurial coaching, prior to the stork’s visit, I was pretty much solely attracted to working with straight up driven entrepreneurs. Now that I’m a mom, my sights have shifted greatly to wanting to especially work with parent-preneurs! Not only do I feel like we can tackle a lot of ‘stuff’ together, but I happen to be super interested and inspired by all the topics and challenges that these fellows face!
Unfortuantely, there are also some potential downsides…
The sun never sets…not anymore. What I mean is that if you were able to fill up your to do list ad infinitum BEFORE…you aint seen nuthin yet. Adding a baby into your life, even when you have a ton of help and support, carries with it an entirely new set of to-do’s…and these aren’t ‘to-do someday’ type of things, these are ‘do RIGHT NOW, actually you already waited too long’ types of things. Some people do silly things like ‘nap when the baby naps’. As a parent-preneur…yeah…probably not. You’re going to be trying to make those way overdue return phone calls and emails, and maybe even showering.
‘Arrive at 5? I’m already asleep…’ Yup, one of the major pre-baby routines that suffered for me after delivery was all my networking! And as an entrepreneur, that stuff is kinda sorta important. It’s where you stay top of mind and present and interactive with all those potential referral sources. Missing several months worth of ‘touches’ with all these folks invites them to forget you…and your business.
One of the things that has kept me going is to keep reminding myself that Aria is growing soooooooo fast and all of this is so temporary. As a matter of fact, every month that goes by, she grows into more of an amazing and entertaining and independent person of her own, and mommy gets better and better at mommy-ing — thank goddess.
It’s kind of cliche but honestly bears repeating that you cannot offer a drink to another from an empty cup…so whatever it needs to look like, we need to make self-care a priority as an entrepreneur. Certain ‘bizness’ really can wait or at least make room temporarily.
What did you struggle most with when you became a parent and how did you overcome it?