Is it Possible to be a Parent and an Entrepreneur?
Those individuals who start their own businesses often do so with an expectation that they will end up working long hours. There’s a realisation that being successful within a business environment will mean dealing with numerous challenges.
The time that will be spent working will almost inevitably mean missing out on some family occasions. For those who believe that nothing can be more important than spending time with children, this can feel like a really negative element to be associated with entrepreneurship.
Finding time for the children
You may be wondering whether you really want to start your own business, if it means that you’ll miss out on seeing your children grow up. My own belief is that it’s perfectly possible to be a successful business owner and parent, although I appreciate that this is a view that some people simply do not share.
There are some who would suggest that childcare, as provided by the state or by private organisations, represents a poor substitute for being there for your own children. That’s certainly a view that’s easy to understand, but there’s increasing evidence to suggest that early years education has significant benefits.
Early interactions with adults and other children can have an important impact, actually helping your own kids to learn. As a result, making use of such educational facilities may represent a smart move. It also frees you up, allowing you to concentrate on your own business ideas.
This may sound like good news and many countries have embraced the idea of providing more flexible childcare arrangements. But the reality here is that there’s a balance that needs to be struck. You may feel that early years education will be beneficial to your children, but that doesn’t mean that you’ll want them to be away from home for too many hours in the day. Ultimately, your role as a parent dictates that you will want to be spending time with your children, helping them to play and develop as individuals.
A parent has a new insight
So is there really enough flexibility to be able to allow you to set up your own business? I would like to think that parents have a somewhat unique take on life and that this world view can actually assist them with making great business decisions.
Before becoming a parent, for instance, you may have had a fairly limited view of what children needed. You may not have felt that this was a significant problem in life, but you doubtless now realise that it meant that you didn’t have some knowledge that actually lends itself to starting a business. The truth is that children can be inspirational and that they also reveal additional demands that aren’t always obvious.
When you’re thinking about your own approach, this may mean that the most sensible option will involve thinking about a business idea that will actually fit in with your lifestyle as a parent. If the idea stems from having children in the first place, then this may be something that’s easier to achieve than it first sounds.
In our case, for example, we’ve seen many mothers looking to make use of franchises that are specifically intended to appeal to children, or to other parents. That may involve teaching languages or providing classes that allow other parents to meet in social situations.
I believe that it’s certainly possible for you to be a successful entrepreneur and a great parent. In fact, I would suggest that the number of great business specialists who are also parents rather proves my point. If you have the right mindset, then it seems to me that you have a good chance of succeeding.
About the Author: Nick Tubb is a specialist with Female Franchise, where he has a particular interest in helping mothers to find a way back into the workforce. He understands that parents can often make the best entrepreneurs.
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