I was in Barrhead yesterday for a personal consultation with an aspiring business owner and in the process of discussing the process of writing a comprehensive business plan to seek funding with – we wound up on the topic of birth and how much like birth bringing a business to life is. I suppose this might be a more difficult analogy for men to understand than women, but perhaps not – creating life is a spectacular (and often life-altering) process whether it be life or art or business.
Luckily, business comes with a lot more practical wisdom and advice than parenting does. It’s often said that children don’t come with a manual, but there are hundreds of manuals for business. We have many of them in our library at the Whitecourt office. I am working on getting the database updated so we can begin loaning them out to anyone still interested in old-fashioned reading materials. You’ll want to join the newsletter or keep coming back to this blog page if you want to know when that’s updated and materials are ready to borrow.
Unlike with parenting, there are very clear paths to success – and to failure.
While there are a few divergent paths of thought in the business building process – there are many things that are foundational, that no one (in their right mind) would argue with.
You know, things like – “There is no business without a sale!” (And not the dollars off type sale, but the actual cash register ringing (or invoice printing) sale. All the potential in the world doesn’t mean a thing unless there is a profit to be had. I mean, otherwise wouldn’t we all just stick with our day jobs?
Well, I wouldn’t have.
While you can’t exactly end up a business owner inadvertently and without meaning to in quite the same way you can become a parent. You can end up being a business owner because it seems like the only viable choice. That’s what happened to me.
I started my very first home business because I wanted to stay home with my children. My son was three days old when I made that choice. It wasn’t exactly a well thought out plan. I was 24 years old and a hormonal new mommy – it may not have been my sanest moment.
But it worked. It was only one child, when it all began with a home childcare. I had three by the time I figured out that what I really wanted to make money doing was writing. (Because I never could figure out how to make a living reading – not directly without additional work required.)
I started my first business because I needed an income, but not a job. They say this is very much a trend now. Some sort of stay at home revolution. At least according to Parent.com who called it the New Stay At Home Mom.
And I seriously thought it was the trend and the wave of the future back then.
But make no mistake, it wasn’t easy – business never, ever is – retail, food services, professional services, home based or storefront – all are like raising another child – demanding, time-consuming, heartbreaking and all mixed up with wonderful
So, if we buy the whole business and birth tie-in…does that mean I’m a business mid-wife? I’ve helped dozens of businesses through the “birth” stages before. 11 years now.
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