Having a baby is a lot like starting a small business. You might be surprised just how much these two life changing events have in common.
You don't sleep much. And you will might gain some weight.
It doesn’t matter if you’re the one sporting that mythical glow, or you're the one running out for watermelon at 2-am. Most people tend to accept that pregnancy brings weight gain. (Sympathy cravings are so real.)
What most people don’t expect, is that starting a small business can have the same effect. The long hours worked by small business owners often lead to food options that are not super healthy. During the summer when we moved into our bigger location, we caught ourselves working 14 hours a day. Every. Day. For a few weeks, we almost lived on burgers and fries. And our waistlines started to show it.
You find yourself creating routines and then changing them as your needs change.
On a perfect day at home with our new baby, it’s eat, play, sleep, repeat. Oh unless we’re teething. Or the dogs wake up the baby. Or the dryer breaks and we have to run to Target to buy a clean pack of onesies.
Starting a small business means you’ll need to find what works and stick to it. Except when it doesn’t work. Then you might need to try something else. Until that stops working and you can go back to what you were doing in the first place. I guess it’s lame if I don’t give you a real life example. We’ve been back and forth on how we manage our inventory. It’s currently my least favorite part of our operations.
Everyone wants to give you advice. Or sell you something.
The world of a new parent and a small business owner can be so confusing. Everyone has an opinion. Those who don’t have horror stories. It can be hard to know what advice to take and what to ignore.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, don't worry. There is always someone willing to sell you the solution to your problems. It’s a contraption that GUARANTEES YOUR BABY WILL SLEEP THROUGH THE NIGHT. Or it’s an online seminar promising to INCREASE ONLINE TRAFFIC AND TRIPLE YOUR SALES.
In either instance, it’s best to take a deep breath and think for yourself.
Here's our unsolicited advice. Life with a new baby is so much easier if you invest in paper plates and plastic silverware for awhile. And sales forecasting before you’ve made any sales is dumb.
You’ll do things you vowed you never do.
Fun fact: when we opened our retail space in 2014, we had no intention of doing services. But then this super nice fella asked us to change his brake pads and we couldn’t say no. Now we’ve built our reputation on being the most service-driven shops in our area. We gain the majority of our word-of-mouth business from our Service Department. And the guy who asked us to change his brake pads? He was one of the very first people to support us when we became dealers with ODES UTVS. Not only is he still a regular with us today, but he is one of our most valued customers and a good friend.
Flash forward to the summer of 2016. I was super pregnant with our son and we were still insistent that he would not be sleeping in the bed with us. I won’t tell you how long that lasted…
Life will never be the same.
Ok, so it shouldn't be surprising that having a baby will change your life. (Although in our case, I can say we are still surprised at HOW MUCH our life has changed.)
But we have spoke with many people who have been in the planning stages of starting a small business. Some people get it. But others don’t seem to have a clue how much life will change. Like with parenting, you are no longer the boss. Your life revolves around the people you have chosen to serve. There are no sick days. There aren’t any vacation days. And you will love every minute of it.