Are you a stay-at-home parent who is looking for a way to earn income from home? Or are you looking to make a career change and enter the world of entrepreneurship? If you answered yes, then here are five things you need to consider before taking the leap into the startup world.
There Will Be A Newborn Stage
Yes, it is true. Much like having a new baby at home simultaneously fills your life with purpose and drains you to the core, starting a new business is also filled with excitement and overwhelming difficulties.
When you bring a baby home, you find yourself sitting on the couch with your newborn wondering what you have just gotten yourself into. You have no clue how to change diapers or how to distinguish a hunger cry from a tired cry.
Your startup will feel overwhelming, and you are very likely to be kept up at night solving problems, or you will simply be too excited about a new idea to get any sleep. Take heart that after a few months of hard work, you will find a rhythm, and the nights once filled with mental exhaustion and frustration will once again be peaceful.
More Free Time?
Despite your good intentions, owning a business sadly does not necessarily mean that you will have more time on hand to spend with your kids.
The long hours required to make a successful business may be flexible, but you will be mentally and emotionally absorbed until you get things running smoothly. And even then it is very difficult to allow yourself to take a mental break.
During an interview with The Business Insider, Lori Greiner states, “Entrepreneurs are the only people who will work 80 hours a week to avoid working 40 hours a week.”
To combat the burnout, carve out a few hours a week for devoted family time and self-care so you can be 100% present with no business worries weighing you down. Be honest with your partner and children when you are feeling overwhelmed so they can have the opportunity to understand your needs and serve you as best as they can.
Create A Plan For Your Kids
As your free time begins to fill with planning, keep in mind that your children may begin to act out in whininess as they notice your attention has been otherwise diverted.
Instead of allowing yourself to be frustrated at their responses, spend a weekend making special baskets for each child in your home that is filled with their favorite snacks, a movie, and special activities such as Lego sets, dress-up, or puzzle books. When you need an hour to focus on working, hand them their baskets, kiss the tops of their heads, and let them enjoy their new things!
You can also create a list of self-entertaining activities such as a sandbox or sidewalk chalk that can be set up quickly and used independently while you sit close by working on your laptop.
If you feel that you are not able to spend as much time assisting your kids with their homework as you would like, consider using an educational resource such as Hooked On Phonics that will provide your child with a platform to improve their skills in phonics and reading. Hiring an in-home tutor is another good option.
Involve Your Children Whenever Possible
If your kids are old enough to understand that you are starting a business, then don’t shy away from talking about your plans and goals with them. They will feel included and important by learning what ambitions their parents have, and if you let them in on updates and what goals are being met, then they are more likely to be compliant when you need some quiet moments to work diligently.
When it comes to designing your logo or marketing products, have your children contribute to your process by using art supplies to create some unique color combinations and shapes. Who knows, you may end up being inspired by their artwork! Keep their concept art on your desk as a reminder that you have the greatest cheer team on earth.
Before the time comes for you to launch your startup, decide when you want to work and who will care for your children. Are your kids in school, and can you be productive during the daytime hours? Is your business in an office away from home? Will you need to hire a nanny for the summer days? Discuss these plans and be ready to implement them when your start up takes off.
Consider throwing a family party to celebrate your success on launch day, complete with pizza, cake, and decorations galore! This may indeed be your day to celebrate, but without your family as your motivation and support, it is unlikely that your start up would have risen off the idea page and turned into reality. Let your kids know how much you appreciate the sacrifices they made.
There will be hard times, uncertain times, and times when you second guess your passions and wonder why you started the business in the first place. Keep note cards posted around your office that have quotes or pictures that will keep you focused and motivated and will remind you of why you started on this worthwhile journey.
Starting a business requires bravery and sacrifice. Consider the points listed in this article and determine if you are ready to take the plunge. Are you willing to risk the comfort of your 9-5 job to make your dreams come true?
Your family will be ready to applaud your efforts whether they be failures or successes, and your children will have a rockstar parent to look up to.
Have any more tips for parents launching their own startup? Let us know down in the comments.
This article originally published on GREY Journal.