Setting up a business and raising your child are two very important issues which needs to be tackled with care. Edith Biney, a mother of five, owner and administrator of Fruitful Life International Schools, shares how she combined raising her children and setting up her business, at the same time.
“In as much as you want to get money, it shouldn’t be at the expense of your children who are the best asset you can ever have. A small number of women endeavor to start a business and have kids at the same time. This calls for a lot of sacrifice and dedication, else you will end up doing one better than the other, and that will have disastrous effects on the lacking party. Raising your child and setting your business are like sticky-fingered toddlers which you’ve got to watch every single minute.”
Commitment is key
Commitment and attitude is a key factor in this sensitive period. Most children want sweets and cookies but every good parent knows that sweets ought to be balanced with a healthy meal to foster child growth and development. Customers are of that character too, they want a lot of things and sometimes don’t see the best solution, and that’s where you come in. Be a valued partner who rallies behind them, a trusted partner they can rely on to grow. Kids generating love for their parents starts when they are young so you ought to be next to them anytime they need you as well as the genesis of every business also needs much commitment otherwise the business will collapse. I always had a listening ear for both my kids and my employees. I made sure ‘mum’ was always seen to be ready to help, though it was difficult it was a privilege to be in such a state of availability.
Effective Supervision is a core factor
Children live in a constantly changing environment. As the years go by, they meet new classmates, take on new subjects and attend new schools. They are often pushed out of their comfort zone. I hardly had time for myself and my work. On few occasions, I got worried when I had to leave the kids in the care of other people to attend business meetings and sometimes travel to inspect the work performed by employees to ensure that they are completed on time and are of the highest level of quality. To thrive in business, you need to stay ahead of the curve, and invest in new skills and knowledge that will propel you in the future. Note. Risk for children increases when there is lack of appropriate supervision.
Prioritization is the best strategy
Start-up period and raising children can be both tiring and painful at times. The real satisfaction and reward comes after the energy and effort invested becomes fruitful. Driving kids to school and helping them with their homework is a good cheer. Customers want the same attention and care. I am an administrator in my school and leader in church as well. While the kids were growing, I had my weekends dedicated to them, we had fun, I didn’t go out much but participated in singing and story time to make them feel important. Weekdays from 7am to 10am in the morning was for school and 10am to 5pm for my work, this was only possible through proper prioritization.
Accountability and Prudent Expenditure must be employed
Every good parent will not allow his kids to idle around when he/she has an incomplete school project. Employees also need to be held accountable for deadlines and promises. If they fall short, they must own up and learn from their mistakes. In this sensitive period if you don’t find a balance on how you spend your money on your kids and your business, you might end up collapsing one at the expense of the other. Indeed, money is needed to foster the smooth running of a business but that shouldn’t make you lose sight of the needs of your kids. Don’t start buying everything you see because you have a lot of money in your account else you will end up collapsing your business. Draw a scale of preference and buy the most important things on your list. If you spend wisely the kids will also learn from you.
With sincerity, running a business and raising children are both very stressful. I will advise that in life you always need to be ready to take up challenges and also rely on God who is the source of wisdom and strength. Take time to plan and adjust to situations as they unfold. Being a parent entrepreneur is definitely the toughest job on earth but never give up, rather be a hero in the strive.