A year ago we celebrated the birth of our son Yonatan. Though it was a very joyful and exciting event for the entire family, the 9 months pregnancy was a very difficult and challenging journey especially for my wife. Even after delivering the baby, this year has been challenging -having to get up in the middle of the night to feed him and change diapers and then get up to deal with our business in the morning. Now that the baby is a little more grown up and a little more independent, it’s less work. He still needs a lot of attention, feeding, and changing diapers on top of that he gets sick every now and then, just like any normal toddler in his age.
This is not to complain, on the contrary! We feel very blessed and we embrace these difficulties and challenges. We are very well aware of the fact that so many people would wish to be parents but can’t, so in that respect we feel lucky abundance. You probably want to think of your business and treat it the way you do with your baby.
The reason why I’m writing this article is because I see a lot of similarities between bringing a baby to this world and starting a business. It takes so much energy, time, patience, perseverance, positive attitude and money to start and maintain any business thus like raising a kid.
If you’re already a parent you probably understand and feel exactly what I’m describing here.
But even if you’re are not, chances are you know what I’m talking about from watching other parents raising their kids. If you’re already a business owner or have owned a business in the past, you are also very familiar with this parallel. Even if you’re are not, chances are you know what I’m talking about from watching other business owners.
I’m lucky enough to experience both having kids and owning my own business and have found that you grow when your children grow and your business grows.
What else is in common between the two?
Being creative and imaginative, having vision and thinking ahead, investing, educating, and even being emotionally and physically fit.
Nurturing & Providing
When dealing with your kids, they have a lot of needs that you constantly have to nurture and provide. It’s not only food and diapers, it’s also dealing with crying when you’re not sure what’s the source of the problem. It’s about thinking about alternatives to satisfy your kid’s needs.
It could be that he/she wants a certain toy that you can’t afford right now and finding a cheaper toy that will make him/her happy.
So in your business, you have to be creative all of the time. It could be the heavy cost of marketing of some sort that could be replaced with a much cheaper but still very effective type of marketing. When it comes to educating your kid, it could be that the cost of private school is a way more from your current budget, so you might consider a good public school or even home school. It could be that you can’t afford leasing the best lucrative store in town but you might consider selling online and using a home office in the meantime.
Being Physically Fit
In order to raise a kid, it’s good to be physically fit to carry a heavy baby who can’t walk yet. For some people it means training in the gym regularly, for others it could be Yoga, hiking, biking, swimming or simply a daily walk around the neighborhood. Same thing when handling your business, it's very important to stay fit and keep your body in shape in order to stay alert and focused, to be able to function well and take care of the demanding daily tasks with your customers, suppliers, banks, accounting and bookkeeping etc.
In time your baby’s needs may change and you’d need to be dynamic and creative enough to accommodate those needs. He/She will change schools, teachers, friends, hobbies and more.
Therefore, you’d need to find the time, energy and the financing sources to take care of those needs. For example, it could be that your child would like to play tennis and you might want to equip him/her with the best equipment and guidance in order to establish a career in this field.
Same goes with business. The business environment is very dynamic and constantly changing. Therefore you have to be aware of those changes. It could be that your competition is offering a new product or service that you’re not offering, or it could be that marketing methods in your field are changing. If you are fast enough to spot these changes you might find yourself in a big debt or even going out of business.
I’ve been in the real estate business for nearly 30 years now, and what made me successful was the fact that I have been dynamic to the changes in my field. I had to change products, target markets, target clients, financing strategies, vendors, concepts and methods.
Having a baby at the age of 54 has just made me more aware of myself and the social and business environment so I won’t get caught in surprise and will be able to keep my family wealthy and my business strong, successful and profitable.