Ask any father, and he’ll tell you that parenthood is a full-time job — complete with meals, baths, pickups, drop-offs and everything else that goes into raising healthy and happy kids.
When you’re managing children at home, trying to hold a full-time job that pays the bills is difficult. And launching a business that can provide full-time jobs for others sounds next to impossible.
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right? Despite all of the challenges that go into both fatherhood and running a business, becoming a dad can actually make you a better entrepreneur.
Here are five ways how.
Very seldom do businesses or children move at the speed you want. They follow their own paces. To wit:
- Sales don’t trickle in simply because you want them to.
- A 3-year-old can walk only so fast with you down the street.
Of course, you can facilitate and guide this development, but you can’t magically speed up the process.
Instead of pulling out your hair, focus on the areas you can improve. Celebrate milestones along the way and try to correct those inevitable hiccups that you encounter (whether as a father or business owner).
It’s not a race; it’s a journey. Be patient and enjoy the ride.
According to some research, neither men or women are good at multitasking. But men may face more challenges with it.
Having kids doesn’t change this. However, it does teach you how to tune out unnecessary noise — whether you’re at home or in the office. In addition, you learn how to identify the truly important signals through all the chatter.
For example, your “daddy ears” quickly learn to distinguish whether your kid’s howl is a cry for attention or a genuine indication of pain. Even better, you can pick out your child’s voice — among hundreds of other kids at the park.
This filter proves invaluable in the business world as well, as you learn to sift through all the distractions and focus on those marketing opportunities, business deals, or unfilled niches that truly matter.
Benjamin Franklin once said, “(I)f you want something done, ask a busy person.” The thinking goes that busier people are better at time management and can complete tasks more effectively.
This might not immediately resonate with you, but as a dad do you spend nearly as much time binging Netflix or going out with the guys as you used to? Probably not.
Much of your free time is now consumed with bedtime stories, dentist appointments, and removing splinters. Simply out of necessity, fatherhood means prioritizing what’s important and delegating, delaying, or “deleting” everything else that isn’t.
What business owner couldn’t benefit from these powerful skills?
As an entrepreneur, it’s easy — and necessary — to hold your employees to a high standard. However, it’s also easy to become unsympathetic to their needs.
If a meeting starts at 8 a.m. sharp, for example, you might be unforgiving of those who get stuck in traffic while dropping off their children at school.
Having kids forces you to appreciate the importance of a healthy work/life balance. So, if one of your employees needs to miss a morning for a school recital or parent-teacher conference, you’re more likely to understand.
And it’s not just about giving employees a free pass.
Fatherhood can help you make their lives easier since you know what goes into raising kids. For example, you might now be more inclined to offer flextime or telecommuting, i.e., work arrangements that can boost your team’s productivity.
You are the most important person in the world — until you become a dad. Suddenly, your kid is the top priority in your life, consuming most of your time, money, and energy.
How does this help you with business? Although we measure an entrepreneur’s success by how much money or status he or she achieves, these are just external indicators of that business owner’s true achievement — i.e., how well he or she is able to solve other people’s problems.
In other words:
- Fatherhood isn’t about you, it’s about your child(ren).
- Business isn’t about you, it’s about your customers.
Has Parenthood Made You a Better Entrepreneur?
Being a father isn’t easy. Neither is running a business. The thought of combining both of these missions may seem like a Herculean task.
Not only is this combination possible, it can make you more effective, successful, and productive in the respective spheres. The list above is merely scratching the surface; there are countless other ways in which becoming a dad can make you a more successful entrepreneur.
Happy Father’s Day!