It is not uncommon to hear the words “your baby” in connection with your business or career. As you’re handed a project or take on a new challenge, something you’re exceedingly passionate about and determined to make work, it is not difficult to see how the task can be likened to a baby; your baby.
Although some may disagree, unable to comprehend a business being at all like a baby of your own, the two have very much in common especially in relation to your emotional attachment, your levels of protectiveness, your desire to see it succeed and even the way you manage it at a practical level.
As you invest a lot of blood, sweat and tears into a baby, so you will do in getting your business off the ground. Just like raising a child, you will be faced with many, similar challenges when raising your business.
First and foremost, you’ll be subject to comments, criticisms and the inability for others to comprehend what you have chosen to do. Some people just don’t understand or will offer unsolicited and often irrelevant advice on what you ‘should’ be doing. It is important to be able to ignore what’s not useful, but also be open to taking on constructive criticism and ideas. There may be some gold nuggets in among all the rhetoric of others. It is just as important to close yourself off to the comments and advice that cause you confusion, upset or distress.
Women generally have a high level of intuition, and an innate, insatiable desire to protect and ensure the growth and development of their business. Intuition in business is important, and it is vital to ‘listen to your gut’. If a relationship or a direction does not feel right, then there’s a good chance it will result in disaster. The survival of your business could depend on your listening to your inner voice and gut feels.
Conversely, the desire to protect and ensure growth can cloud judgement and affect decision making. It is easy to see both your child and your business in the best of lights, and remain unable to see or admit to the flaws and possible failings. Recognising these things is a great first step. Accepting and working on them is part of your leadership growth.
They often say that babies don’t come with a manual, and neither do businesses. Raising a business is hard work. Building and leading a team within your business is even harder.
Be prepared for anything and everything as your business adapts and grows – broken arms or broken websites, gastro or computer viruses. Congratulations – your successful business is born.