8 Ways Having a Baby is Like Expanding Your Business
Having a baby is like launching a new product line for your business.
When this thought first occurred to me, I was surprised that I hadn’t seen this talked about more. There are some amazing resources out there for women who are raising families while developing their businesses, but you rarely see this direct comparison drawn between having a baby and business.
Of course, one is not EXACTLY like the other, but I’m convinced there are enough similarities that strategies and tactics that you might consider for your business may also have a place in your family life, especially in preparations for having a baby.
#1: Your Family Make-Up
Some business owners decide to go it alone; others have a business partner. Your partner or spouse is almost like a business partner. You are creating a home (or business) together, with the goal of success and happiness. Having a partner around opens access to different skill-sets, creates a support network, and relieves some of the pressure of ‘going it alone.’
#2 Relationships, Like Businesses, Have Ups and Downs
Surviving the dating phase (exploring a new business idea), getting engaged (deciding to ‘take the leap’ and launch a business), getting married (business launch), the honeymoon period (energy and excitement!), the post-honeymoon period (potential challenges, conflict or struggle). It’s best to expand your business when things are healthy and stable, and the same applies to welcoming a baby.
#3: You Need a Launch Plan to Set Yourself Up For Success
A new product line released without a launch strategy can’t be expected to succeed. Babies, like new produce lines, require some preparation, planning, and research for the big day. Sometimes things don’t go quite according to plan, but the failing to have any plan is planning to fail. [See my post “Preparing for Labor – Natural Birth Tactics” for information I’ve learned for ‘launch day’ during my baby planning].
#4: Community is Important
In business, we seek mentors to provide support, share advice and help our business grow. When it comes to children, the saying “it takes a village to raise a child” holds true. Finding a community, whether that’s family, old friends, or new friends, is important to empower you as a mother.
#5: Learn From Your Competitors’ Mistakes.
In business, we look at what our competition is doing well, or poorly, to help guide our strategy. As a mother, you don’t have “competition,” but you can learn from what others close to you are doing as parents and use that as inspiration to guide your parenting decisions. I’ve recently started reading “How to Have Your Second Child First” – my way of learning from experienced parents what is and is not worth worrying about, and “Bringing Up Bebe” to learn what exactly it is the French are doing right when having children.
#6: You Need a Place of Business
There’s not a one-size-fits-all as far as what works for every person. Some businesses need an official, fully decked out office (just as some parents want a fully decked out nursery). Others may be happy with a desk in the corner of the living room (or a crib in your bedroom). Some just pick up the essentials (laptop, notebook = diaper bag & car seat) and can get things done from any location. Regardless, some planning needs to go into your setup, and what you need within arm’s reach to be able to conduct your business/care for a baby. [See my post “First Time Mom’s Nursery Set Up Guide to read about how I picked nursery furniture and strategically designed my nursery layout].
#7: You Need a Brand.
Businesses that have a clear mission, vision and goals are going to be more focused and successful than businesses without. As a parent, you need to identify the values you wish to pass on to your children and have those values reflected in your parenting decisions. Also on my reading list at the moment is “The Intentional Bookshelf,” author Samantha Munoz explains how you can help instill your core values in your children through a carefully curated bookshelf.
#8: You Should Have a Worst-Case Scenario Plan.
We protect our businesses with disclaimers, insurance, and patents. Of course, we hope never to have to deal with lawsuits, but it’s wise to plan ahead and reduce risk. As a new parent, you need to make some ‘worst-case’ scenario plans; Set up a will, power of attorney and a life insurance policy.
Share Your Experiences
I had to limit myself to 8 comparisons because I honestly think there are so many ways that Moms use the organizational, strategy and execution skills learned from work and business to enhance their home life and prepare for having a baby. What business skills do you use in your family life? I’d love to hear. Add your experiences in the comments.