A lot of articles (including my own!) focus on the risks, downsides and dangers of entrepreneurship, as it pays to make well-informed decisions.
However, if you are going to get started you need to be clear on your motivation so when I talk to wannabe Parentpreneurs, I often ask them for the main reason(s) they want to start a business.
There are loads of great reasons to start a business, particularly for parents. Here are a few of my favourite reasons that Parentpreneurs have given me over the years….
1. Because it is awesome to be your own boss
Instead of having to live by someone else’s rules you can live by your own and don’t have to deal with having a “boss” or being part of a corporate structure and all the red tape that comes with it.
So instead of simple decisions taking months and office politics being a daily chore, you can make a decision as quickly or slowly as you deem fit and the only politics you have to deal with are the ones that your pets, partner or children cause you.
2. The lifestyle
This is one of my favourites!
You can be flexible at any time that you need to be! And why is that so important? Well, what about when the kids get sick? Or how about all those years that you have yearned to try out that late morning yoga/gym class instead of always having to always do the one before/after work? Or even something as simple as being able to pick the shopping up during the day when the shops and roads are quiet? Wouldn’t that be bliss?
It also allows you so much more time with your family during the holidays and you no longer having to fight with the 10 million other parents in the office over which week you can take off. You can even be there for your kid’s sports tournaments, recitals, plays and school pick up.
These very simple things make a huge difference, especially to your kids. There is a great quote by Zig Ziglar “To a child, ‘love’ is spelled “T-I-M-E”… and this is all precious time that you cannot get back.
One of my favourite ways to enjoy this is on a mini-break holiday (often at a Center Parcs) where I:
- Get up at 04:30
- Complete my morning routine (including exercise) till 05:30
- Work on my business until the kids wake at around 06:30
- Eat breakfast with the kids until my wife wakes at 08:00
- Work on my business from 08:00-10:00 while my wife takes over
- Get ready and leave the lodge to go play with the family at 10:30 (when they are ready to leave)
By doing this I feel full of energy, happy and productive, and able to fully focus on enjoying time with my wife and kids.
3. Financial Security
You might be surprised by this one. I’m often ‘asked’ by people who have jobs “surely being an entrepreneur is very risky, compared to being an employee?”
In the long-term, the reality is the opposite. An entrepreneur is able to generate an income that isn’t directly linked to the number of hours they are able to work. You can even grow your business to a point where income will tick over without your presence even being required.
This allows you to have complete control over your own destiny without the worry of you suddenly becoming ill, having to look after a sick family member, or being made redundant (which is so very common these days – with 1 in 7 workers having being made redundant since the recession!).
Imagine never having to worry that just because your CEO decides to move the Head Office to a different country or have ANOTHER restructure, that your job is going to be on the line. Can you imagine how much better you would sleep at night?
4. Building your ‘pension’
By creating a plan and building assets within the business, you can provide for your retirement rather than having to rely on a state or corporate pension.
You could do this by either selling the business to generate a capital sum, using profit to purchase assets that generate income, or retaining an interest in the business so that it continues to pay you an income even after you no longer work in it.
Whatever you pick, you can be flexible to your family’s needs and what’s happening in the world.
5. Setting a good example for your kids
There is no better role model to your children than yourself.
As a parentpreneur, you have the perfect opportunity to set a good example of being driven, enjoying what you do, helping others, spending time with family, and building financial security.
Most of all, what greater gift to give your kids by them seeing you happy in your work?
Imagine the horror on your child’s face to see you leave them in childcare every day to go to a job that you hate! I can’t imagine how confusing and upsetting that must be to a child. It’s certainly not something that I ever want my own children to witness, or believe to be ‘normal’.
6. You can achieve your dreams
It takes time, but after 5-10 years, it is likely you will end up earning far in excess of what you would earn as an employee, which will put you in the position of being able to provide your children with things that will give them a much better start to life. This could be for education or the helping them to travel the world before they go to University so they can gain some valuable life experience.
Of course you’ll also get your own luxuries – whether its amazing holidays, a lovely home, incredible experiences, or just time to enjoy yourself with family.
So, whatever your reason for starting a business, get clear on it and use that motivation to overcome your fears. It is definitely worth it.
If you’d like to be inspired and get advice from other Parentpreneurs, join the Parentpreneur Accelerator Community on Facebook.