Yes, you read it correct. Entrepreneurship is Parenting.
Entrepreneurship is similar to parenting in many aspects. Your start-up is like your child. Its the most important thing in your life. You’ll do anything to make it successful, just like any parent does his/her best to make sure their child gets the best of everything. I have listed below a few aspects which highlight the similarity.
Giving Valuable Inputs:
Every child needs valuable inputs, right from the day the he/she is born. The parents help the newborn to grow up with good manners. Parents show them what is right or wrong and how things are supposed to be done. The same thing applies with Entrepreneurship. Your start-up is new to this world and has no idea about the tits and tats of this world. Like a parent guides his/her child, you have to lead your company with right kind of inputs, nurture it and make sure it doesn’t fail.
Yes, Belief. As a parent, one should always believe in their child. Have faith in them. Remember, believing in someone can be a huge reason behind his/her success. Who doesn’t want his/her child to have a successful life? Similarly, Entrepreneurs should BELIEVE in their company. Because sometimes, all you need is a small dosage of care and a strong belief in what you are doing which makes you different than others.
Encouragement is an art. It’s an art of keeping your belief alive. Encouragement is the most valuable input you can give to your child. If a child fails in a an exam or falls off while learning to cycle, the parent never says “You can’t do it”. Instead, he/she encourages the child to try again. Similarly, when your venture isn’t doing good or not growing the way you had expected, you should avoid criticising and blaming. Instead, you should spend time encouraging yourself and your team.
Strictness is something every parent has to follow. The parent has to be strict to make sure that his/her child doesn’t get into any trouble. And being strict involves making tough decisions for the child’s future. Similarly, an Entrepreneur needs to be capable and courageous enough to make tough decisions. The decisions which are not easy to take, but ensures that your company is going to have a secure and a happy future.
What would a parent do when his/her child is being stubborn or wants to till late night? Of the parents set some strict rules to follow, but what if your child insists to go and enjoy a late night party? Would you allow him/her this one time? Or would you just make clear that there are rules to be followed? You may or may not. But as an Entrepreneur, you need to understand your own flexibility. It can be in regards with your marketing strategy, your overall approach towards handling day to day activities related to your company. You should be flexible enough to dodge those strong winds, but also strong enough to be the last man standing.
As a parent, one needs to have a great deal of patience with the child. I remember when I was a kid, I used to walk holding my father’s hand. There were times when I fell, but my father picked me up, blew the dust off my clothes, I again grabbed his fingers and started walking. Soon, I learnt to walk on my own. An Entrepreneur is a father whose fingers are in hands of his/her start-up . There will be times when the start-up is going through a tough phase, at that time, he/she will have to have patience with it, maybe today it fell down and finding it hard to stand or walk, but one day, it will be able to do well. And that day, all the patience will pay off.
Appetite to digest the Failures:
Yes, to have an appetite to digest failures is a quality which only a few posses. Do You? When I was in high school, I used to be very bad with maths. I never passed maths in internal examinations our school used to conduct. I remember my maths teacher saying one day “You are not going to pass in finals.” I went home that day, told my dad about it. He said “Don’t worry, you gonna do good in finals.” And well, I passed the final, that too, with remarkably nice grades. In fact I had the second highest marks in my class room. That was because I could digest the failure, so could my parents. The journey of an Entrepreneur is full of failures and rejections. But as an Entrepreneur you should be able to digest your failures and move ahead. Remember, Failures make Success taste sweeter.
Yes, Never Ever forget to celebrate the Child’s success. Celebrations make the child realize what he/she has achieved. And there is nothing wrong in celebrating right? As an Entrepreneur, You should celebrate the success of your company. Give away some nice gifts to your employees. Make them feel special; make them realize what they have achieved, what your company has achieved. Celebration makes you and your company realize that all the hard work has finally paid off. And it will definitely push everyone to work hard, no, not hard (everyone else is working hard) it will push everyone to work harder.