The Biggest Challenge Starting My New Business So Far
In this episode of Startup Daddy, I talk about one of the challenges I have been facing getting my new business going. Starting a business with young children in your life is hard. Period. Hopefully, by talking about some of my challenges, I can encourage some of you, to push through your challenges, and not give up.
I get more personal than I usually do, and talking about something that is holding you back is always a little scary. It is also cathartic. Just putting this out there has already helped refocus my energy on my goals.
I want to hear from you, so I leave you with a question. What are you struggling with right now? Whether it falls under balancing family life with getting things done for your business, or something with the business itself, let me know.
Trust me, it does help to talk about this stuff, so let’s talk about it in the comments.
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Startup Daddy is a Business Startup Podcast hosted by Ian Gordon. We discuss the issues surrounding getting a business started, and growing that business once you get it off the ground.
I have to tell you man, you are not alone. My oldest is 14 now and sleeps like the average teenager, a lot. The first year of her life was very different. Nobody understands a colicky baby until they have one, and she had a nasty case. She outgrew it. My son has had breathing issues since birth, this has meant many nights in a hospital with him under an oxygen tent. He's outgrown that.
My 4 year old daughter was almost to her fourth birthday before she started sleeping through the night. It was just before she was born that I started my part-time business. I also worked 12 hour shifts in a factory. She woke up 2-3 times a night which isn't bad, except that she always wanted Daddy. Mommy could never get her back to sleep. Imagine the nights when I had to work the next morning, those were bad. Now imagine the nights when I was working the overnight shift. I would come home after 12 hours at work to find that my wife was exhausted because of all the crying. Let's just say that a lot of those early morning conversations lacked the pleasantries of a married couple. Throw in three other kids that still needed to get ready for school, eat breakfast, and have lunches made, on top of regular household maintenance. What you get is a recipe for stress, and we've eaten our share. Perhaps even a little more.
The upside, all of our kids now sleep through the night and are very independent. It's the downside, they were forced to be out of necessity. Sometimes I regret what they've seen, what we've done as parents, but they are all good kids and I think they understand why.
Being a parent isn't easy, there is no handbook, no guide, no map. Only experience. All we can do is the best we can do for us and our kids, learn as we go, and try to what's right in our hearts and heads.
Starting a business can be the same way. There are bound to be growing pains, stress, and unforeseen obstacles. Sure we can learn from those who have been there, but every business, like child, is different. There will be different challenges, we just have to face them head on and do the best we can.
Sometimes it's not just about being strong sometimes being strong is asking for help. My mother taught me that.
Weird, Disqus didn't post my reply from earlier. Anyway,
You're one hard core dad, Chris. Of course I knew that already ;) I guess we all have things we wish we did differently. Parents have many of the same challenges and so do business owners. I guess that's the point I was hoping to make. Talking about it helps us let each other know we are not alone in our struggle. Sometimes knowing that makes it easier.
Thanks so much for sharing your story. I'm glad you're here.
Thanks Ian. It really does help to know that we're not alone. Somehow, it is comforting to know that if others can survive it, we can muster the strength to do so as well.
Running a business and raising a family really are not that different. If you ever want to talk family, business, or get a cup of coffee, you know where to find me.
You're one hard core dad, Chris. Of course I knew that already ;) I
guess we all have things we wish we did differently. Parents have
many of the same challenges and so do business owners. I guess that's
the point I was hoping to make. Talking about it helps us let each
other know we are not alone in our struggle. Sometimes knowing that
makes it easier.
Thanks so much for sharing your story. I'm glad you're here.
Hey, I am currently working to develop my business plan. I have three kids a 10yr old girl and two boys 2yrs and 6mths. It is always soothing to know you are not the only one going through something. I struggle keeping focus as my business will probably take me away from them and I battle with settling for a nine to five and just being a provider. But like every entrepreneur I have a burning within my gut that I can do this thing. Just wanted to share gratitude for taking the time to remind me that anything worth something takes real, hard work and sacrifice.
The thing about a “9 to 5”, is first, they don't exist anymore. Most good jobs are more like, from 8-9 until 6 or 7, right? Also, you usually don't have the same flexibility. So in the end, the straight job takes you away just as much or more.
Keep fighting the good fight. It's worth it.
I started my online business a couple of years ago when my kids were 5 and 8. I had some free time and thought I could make things go sooner than later. But like you said in the podcast, things always take longer than we plan and just as I was ready to do a big PR launch this year we found out that my spouse had a recurrence of cancer and my site was hacked several times. While she is recovering well and my kids, now 7 and 10, keep me busy, I found that I know how to secure my site and improve my on line presence but have not been able to find the time necessary to make the changes.
I'm very happy to hear your wife is doing well. I can only imagine how stressful that time must have been. It seems that the universe does throw things at us in waves ( good and bad). The skills you gained securing your sites will no doubt come in handy as you build your online portfolio. Hopefully some of the things you learned will make your efforts more successful when you do find the time for the marketing and PR blitz. Hopefully being able to leverage that challenge will make it worth it in the end. Above all, I hope everyone stays healthy moving forward. Thanks for sharing your story!!
I'm very happy to hear your wife is doing well. I can only imagine how
stressful that time must have been. It seems that the universe does
throw things at us in waves ( good and bad). The skills you gained
securing your sites will no doubt come in handy as you build your
online portfolio. Hopefully some of the things you learned will make
your efforts more successful when you do find the time for the
marketing and PR blitz. Hopefully being able to leverage that
challenge will make it worth it in the end. Above all, I hope everyone
stays healthy moving forward. Thanks for sharing your story!!
Thanks for the words of encouragement Ian.
Thank you for stopping by John.
I'm totally feeling it for ya. I have a two year old girl, and my second is due this July. I found finding time to focus on a start up business on the side while attending full time day job is just extremely difficult. If I could get 30 min a day after work to work on something, I would feel thankful.
Lately, I am trying to get up early, like real early, 4,5ish, before everyone woke up, so that I could put my head in and hopefully get something done quickly. I found out I could have time this way even it means losing a little bit sleep. Needless to say, the 2 year old won't always cooperate who woke up 2, 3 times a night, crying for comfort. My wife with 8 months in pregnancy had to get up, walk to the room, and calm her down. Our love mojo just took a nose dive because my wife thinks I'm a selfish lazy ass who wouldn't help her out. I tried, but it totally screws my bio clock, and just wont' be able to go back to sleep afterwards.
With the second one coming up, I'm already feeling stressed out. My parents are here to help out fortunately, that really make a huge different, especially during the day. I'm considering hring a stay-home nanny for a short period of time during the transition till the soon new-born a little older. Well, with that we will be really tight with our finance situation. It might worth it since I will have to more time and energy to focus on my business. Still considering it…
Thanks for your comment, Richard. First, Congratulations!!
I can relate to your schedule. I try to work early, or late, but as Ole'
Murphy knew all too well, whatever time you set aside, will be when the
interruptions come. I guess it comes down to giving it all we have, and
trying to maintain realistic expectations. Things will just take longer.
Period. Oh, and if you have the money, get the help. You can never have too
much help with kids. Well you can, but that's a whole other thing ;)
I think the best advice I can give you is to talk about it with your wife. A
lot. You're going to need your A game to make it all happen, and she needs
to know where your head is at so things don't get left unsaid and emotions
misinterpreted. Looks like it's a big boat, and there are a lot of us in
Excellent podcast, it feels good (not in a bad way) to see that I’m not the only one frustrated trying to juggle a family, school, and trying to run a business. I recently separated from the military after 8 years, I’m an auditor for my State, and I’m also a full time online MBA student, which hopefully I will be finishing this December.
On top of that, I have two VERY active toddlers age 3 and 5, both boys, which spend all day fighting and running around the house making a mess every where they go. My wife also works full time, so is even more difficult for us to effectively utilize our time and do the things we want to do.
As far as my business, I’m running a blog (http://www.leanmoola.com) which teaches people how to budget, lean money managing strategies, basic investing, etc. I’ve been trying to find time to attend the things I need to do in order to get my business going, but it seems like there’s always something. Even though I have not done any marketing because I’m still working on the website, somehow people are finding me on Google and Yahoo, which is excellent. I’m trying to take advantage of this opportunity and ride the wave, but there’s not enough time in the day to attend to the things I have to do.
Thanks for all the great tips, I found your podcast series on iTunes lest week, and I enjoy listening to your interviews, and business tips.
What is it about the entrepreneurial mindset that makes us take on so much
simultaneously? It seems to be universal. True entrepreneurs like us,
always have way more on our plate than what most people would consider
doable, and it is all self imposed.
Take comfort in the knowledge that you are far from alone, and keep those
balls in the air!
I just now listened to the Podcast and it was just what I needed. with a 1 year old and a 4 year old it can be rough. You spoke what has been in my head sooo many times.
Thanks for you comment Kip, and for listening! Sleep is such a simple basic
thing, and something so many of us are lacking. Let's just not tell each
other that this will pass. We hear that enough from everyone else ;)
I just listened to this post and it was definitely one of those things that came along at just the right time. I'm applying to grad school while in the startup phase of my business, trying to work on ways to gain new clients without depriving my current ones… I had put myself into a stall by worrying about which thing to concentrate on first. It's good to have the reminder that no matter the load I have, it's not more than I can handle. I just have to choose a goal, make a move, then move on to the next. In my case, the order of completion isn't as important as reaching completion.
BTW- I'm not a startup daddy, I'm not even married. But I hope to start out my business with the mindset of how to handle personal/family life while running a business so I'm more ready when that time comes. Thanks for helping me prepare!
Read the recent post on Hack News the topic of startup with a new born.
My problem in putting up a business is that I am having a hard time putting my ideas across. have so many ideas running through my mind but I just cannot do them when I want to, I am also having a hard time explaining, speaking my heart out, sharing my beautiful ideas. There.
Being able to explain your business easily to others is very important. Really, the only way to get good at it is to practice. Taking a writing course, recording yourself on audio and video and watching it back are some good ways to get that practice.
Starting a new business is really a great challenge. But naming your business is also not easy. I recommend using frozenlemons.com for finding business and company name. While naming my company, I took help from them and they provided me with an effective company name. A well-chosen name can embody the benefit you offer customers and make it possible to get across an appealing marketing message in less space.