“An entrepreneurial adventure is just like having a baby. Much like parenting where challenges seem endless, you end up doing whatever it takes to succeed.” – Anonymous
Therefore, having kids can prove to be the most important startup initiative of your life. In fact it prepares you for entrepreneurial journey by sharpening some of the skills needed for it.
1. Makes you comfortable with your own level of preparedness.
It’s way beyond middle of the night and your wife wakes you up. Good portion of her side of the bed seems wet. You are not in your sense to comprehend anything, nevertheless you make an effort, but last night binge drinking is making a complete mockery of your effort.
“OMG, it seems a water break,” screams your wife.
You are still puzzled, because the due date was supposed to be full fifteen days ahead. “And how the hell your wife can be so sure if it’s her first time.”
“These doctors are nothing but a bunch of jokers, can’t even make an accurate prediction, such a waste”, you seem to be yelling in frustration.
No amount of preparation can make you well and truly prepared for the BIG event. You will always get the feeling that you are still under prepared…the same feeling that you might have had while preparing yourself for an important examination.
The courage to accept your limitations and eventually becoming much more comfortable in the presence of its expression is something that will help you immensely in redefining your limited perspective.
2. Making others to understand your perspective is such a waste.
The other day you were discussing this nagging and persistent issue of interrupted sleep of your three year old kid with bunch of your friends. Although most of them were parents of small kid, yet you find them difficult appreciating this particular predicament of yours.
Often their million dollar advice is to just be more flexible and adjust according to the sleep pattern of your kid. No need to lose sleep over these trivial issues. “And you are like…since I am the one to lose my sleep on regular basis, it’s nothing less than an atrocity to term it as trivial.”
Your eagerness to try and make someone understand your perspective, especially the ones who have never undergone the experience themselves is nothing but an enervating exercise.
You learn from your own mistake and refrain from indulging in any such activity where you are expecting others to appreciate your perspective.
3. Makes you believe in building your parachute mid flight.
You have planned an elaborate vacation with your wife and kids. Everything is going as per your planning. But midway through your vacation your little kid loses his appetite and develops some intermittent rashes over his body.
You are not sure about the medication, therefore can’t rely on any doctor other than your regular paediatric. But unfortunately she couldn’t be contacted ‘cause her phone is out of reach.
You become a bit restless, as you never anticipated this. You try to contact a friend whose wife is a doctor. As per her expert diagnosis the kid seems to have developed some kind of food allergy, accordingly she advises some medications. You are not sure, but left with no choice but to continue with the recommended medication.
Whatever the level of your planning, be prepared to embrace unforeseen situations.
Issues are bound to crop up uninvited. And you can never be fully prepared for them.
The best course of action can never be anticipated. The more you find yourself at home while braving the unexpected events, the better you would be at finding the most workable solutions.
4. Makes you appreciate all the virtues of patience.
You feel so helpless when it comes to frequent attack of cold and flu to your little one. For you, every possible medicine recommended by your paediatrician feels like that ever elusive final cure for that incurable and recurring irritation in your life.
But it only succeeds in altering the frequency of its occurrence. Any assurance from doctor hardly helps you in keeping you sane. Everything just seems to be nothing more than an illusion.
During your entrepreneurial pursuit you are bound to get across some irritating issues every now and then.
Every possible solution might not get you the desired results, but you can’t afford to give up your struggle till you find your perfect fit. You got to be ready for the long haul.
5. You start appreciating the importance of asking for help.
You have an important meeting scheduled for tomorrow morning. But your 2 year old little monster is no mood to hit the bed. With every passing minute, much to your chagrin, he seemed to be gaining fresh lease of energy.
You are feeling helpless. None of your trick is working tonight. One of those DARK nights, you wish all these little brats had an inbuilt shut off button.
Suddenly you remember that the most trusted friend of yours, who lives right across the street, is back in town after her vacations and you could always count on her.
There you are…asking for help when you really need it solves the impending problem.
You are not super man/woman. Period.
So Stop trying to be one.
There is no shame in asking for help when you need it most. Once you shed this initial inhibition you can find yourself more comfortable in asking for it.
6. You end up learning more about yourself.
You are in an ice cream parlor, your four year kid is asking your preference and by default you nod for your regular one. But wait a minute, when you have the option of trying so many different flavor, why do you have to settle for your regular one. You never really gave it a thought. What would you call it; Your own inhibition of trying new things.
The other day you were stumped by an innocuous question thrown at you from your four year old, “why do our shadow leaves us in the dark”.
You managed to give an answer which had something to do with the role of light in formation of shadow.
But that query made you revisit your own concept of financial security for your family along with your own financial freedom. Something you never bothered to revisit on your own.
There are numerous things you take for granted. You never question them, not even out of curiosity. Your entire perception becomes very straitjacketed for your own comfort.
The responsibility of being a parent makes you question quite a lot about yourself. And it’s definitely not once in a while affair.
7. You stop judging people before hearing their side of story.
It’s late in the evening and you are on a conference call with your client. Your wife has gone out to fetch some grocery items. Your four year old little angel is busy playing with her friend who was dropped by your neighbor for an hour. You made every toy in the house available to both of them and keeping a close watch on them while attending to the conference call. You seem to be managing the show quite well.
You hardly realize the passage of hour and a half. when you hear the call bell from your wife, you are relieved. You feel very proud of your multitasking talent. You go inside your study and plan to complete your report before midnight. After few minutes you look for your chart paper on which you had got your blueprint ready. It was not be found anywhere. You now start a frantic search for it in other rooms. You ask your wife, but she had absolutely no clue about it.
You go and check the the room where you left the two little girls to play. There are busy making paper boats. Then you start searching other places…suddenly you get the flashes of paper boat and you dash towards the room in which kids were playing.
You are just hoping against hope, but luck doesn’t seem to be in your favor. Your worst fear gets validated once you have the look at backside of those boats. You almost seem to lost both the plot and your temper.
Just because they happen to be tiny tots doesn’t mean that they don’t have any feeling and voice.
You learn to listen them with undivided attention and without any pre-judgement. You become good at lending your ear. An attribute much appreciated during your entrepreneurial adventures.
8. Realization that all your knowledge is nothing but a drop in the ocean.
You have taken every effort to master the requisite skills needed to become a responsible parent. Best of recommended books, blogs and podcast has become your staple diet. But still, as soon as you are faced with a seemingly challenging situation, all your acquired knowledge seems so inadequate.
In your search to replicate the existing best practices, more often than not you end up chasing a lot of success stories. As a consequence your true and unique identity takes some serious beating, which is definitely not good for your long term entrepreneurial growth.
You need to appreciate the inherent limitations of time and relevance when it comes to replicating success stories. Once you are successful in doing this, you become pro at learning completely new set of instructions.
The alacrity with which you dig deeper to reach the core of an issue ends up giving that extra edge to your personality.
9. You Start appreciating the value of non monetary things.
All those aspects of life that were often taken for granted has now got premium attached to it.
At the very top of this heap is SLEEP. You are now more prepared to trade your most valuable materialistic possessions for an uninterrupted quality sleep.
The most creative aspect of your personality, where you used to spend some quality time with yourself (alone) without any human interruptions, has taken some serious hit after you became a parent.
Even your most reliable possession – memory seems to have deserted you due to unmanageable stress in your daily life.
Your entrepreneurial aspiration demands so much out of your life, especially in terms of your sleep, and relationship that it ends up disorienting your present existence.
How you brave this disorientation ends up shaping your future journey.
10. You Learn not to beat yourself for all your mistakes.
You wish to extend your intractable character of being an uncompromising perfectionist to being a perfect parent. As a consequence you can’t resist the temptation of taking every mistake of parenthood to your heart.
Since you have taken so much of effort to learn every tricks of the parenting rope that it becomes difficult to gloss over your own mistakes.
But in due course of time you realise the futility of cribbing about your own mistakes. Rather you start taking them as an opportunity to learn and improve further.
By the same analogy, your tendency to get very strict with your mistakes is not going to help you in long run.
Your own flexibility to take them as a learning opportunity will definitely serve you well in pursuing your long term entrepreneurial goal.
11. You Start appreciating the significance of ‘baby steps’.
The amount of time required to achieve different milestones during the life of your kid is something that is simply beyond your logical comprehension. Although you do possess a detailed chart provided by paediatrician of your choice; inadvertent comparisons with other kids make that chart totally irrelevant for you.
Your impetuousness often does get reflected through your behaviour. It gets difficult for you to digest the fact that when it comes to milestones, there isn’t any way to hack the process.
Once you are on an entrepreneurial journey, the fact that few things do take its own time stop bothering you anymore. You try your best to refrain from getting too obsessed with the grandeur of your own vision.
In the process you learn to concentrate all your energy and efforts on principles rather than on measuring the outcomes.
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