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The Fifth Baby: The Birth of a Business

I was talking to my friend Denise (and new member of the sheBOOM team) this morning.   “Starting a business is like having a baby,” she said. She’s right. And even though sheBOOM is my fifth baby (counting my real life daughters), the process is always pretty much the same…nausea, discomfort, and extreme pain, followed by elation and gratitude, followed by that moment of sheer panic when you are released from the hospital or the adoption agency with a living breathing thing in your arms that you need to take care of 24/7. Our sheBOOM “birth announcement” just went out on the wires this morning. You can read it here.

After my human kids, my business “kids” were theONswitch (my consulting practice), nunu media (my publishing and speaking venture), and now sheBOOM. I am older and wiser and I have learned a lot over the years. I try not to drop the newborns on their heads, listen to everyone who gives me advice (but only really pay attention to the people who know what they’re talking about), and eagerly employ any “nurses and sitters” who want to help me raise the child.

Now that you get the analogy, here are some of my tips for newborn businesses:

  • Don’t spend a fortune on stuff you don’t really need. Invest just what’s required to keep your business healthy and thriving. Your baby will throw up and poop at times (i.e., you’ll make mistakes). Be smart and frugal.
  • Feed and nuture your offspring and take naps and showers when you can. Just as having a new baby results in lack of sleep and unpredictable crying, you are committed to keeping your child well-fed and cared-for. Be prepared to be on call 24/7, but take care of your own health and well-being.
  • In the words of Hillary, it takes a villageLook for others who have experience, figure out what type of help you really need to grow your business, and surround yourself with women and men who are willing to roll up their sleeves and do the unpleasant tasks (like emptying the diaper pail and handling the midnight feeding) and not just those who want to give you advice.
  • As your child grows, he or she may misbehave or throw unpredictable tantrums. Stay calm, study-up on ways to deal with problems, and do your best as an entrepreneur. Stay close to other “mothers of invention” and ask their advice.

The big difference between real human children and our businesses is that sometimes we have to give one of them up, no matter how much we love them. Admitting that a baby is ugly (your idea is off-target) or that you may just not be cut out for parenthood (entrepreneurship) is tough for many business owners to do.

But we serial entrepreneurs all know that some of the best days are the early stages….full of late nights and exhaustion.

Welcome to the world, sheBOOM. You’re only four days old but you have lots of people who love you! You’ve gotten thousands of visitors and lots of shares on social media. We know you’re going to grow up to be a kick-ass broad one day!

What was YOUR most gratifying/terrifying moment starting your own business? Comment here or on our Facebook page!

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