My business is my baby

“It’s my baby!”, the new business owner cries.

Of course it is. They are pouring their heart and soul and energy into it. They brought this thing into the world, with joy and hope for the future.

Nobody knows in advance quite how much pain and trouble is going to be involved.

If you knew, you’d never start.

But somehow you get through it, day by day. Looking back, you’re not sure how you coped.

And you laugh about all the disasters you had along the way.

You forget how awful it was, and remember the good bits, and you do it all over again.

Which is just as well, otherwise we’d have no businesses, and no babies.

Every parent wants their child to be able to support itself one day. Everyone hopes their child will outlive them. Look after them in their old age.

Sometimes, people forget this about their business. They need to feel that everything would fall apart without their steadying hand. They have plans for the business. They know its purpose – what it is best at – where its best opportunities lie. They need to stay in control, to make sure the business achieves its potential.

People do that with their children too.

In both cases, it is a mistake.

Children and businesses develop a life and character of their own. Sometimes, this is a disappointment to the parent. Often, their achievements exceed even the most devoted parent’s dreams.

Try to spot when it’s time to take a small step back from your business.