The Analogy of a Negligent Mother: When your business is your baby
Surfing through my blog archive I realized much of my writing is a chronicle of sugary sweet and upbeat life lessons. I like to think of myself as a positive person, but by no means does this make me immune to the self-doubt and insecure feelings I experience as a new business owner. So this week I’d like to share with you some of the struggles I experience just like everyone else. It’s easy to paint a perfect, glossy image of my life as an entrepreneur, but that would be both a misrepresentation and an insult to my fellow entrepreneurs who know just how difficult it is to be in control of your business’s destiny.
If my emotions since launching Bennis Inc in July could be marked on a graph, you would see a rollercoaster of highs and lows (and maybe even a few loops). This past week was a low for me and for no other reason than I gave my insecurities and self-doubt too large of a stake in my company. As a string of events left me feeling unprepared, untalented and complacent in my business, I couldn’t help but compare these emotions to a negligent mother who wasn’t coddling and nurturing her newborn.
That’s what entrepreneurs are after all, we’re new mothers. We’re flung into a situation where something is depending on us for life. We choose whether it grows and thrives, whether it is given enough attention and whether its future is strong and bright. The worst feeling is when someone else comes in, who doesn’t know your business or its needs, and suggests a new way to “raise” it. We’re left feeling like someone is telling us we’re not raising our child right and we start to question our abilities. Even if we’ve proven to be perfectly capable up to this point, because we want the absolute best for our child, we allow this self-doubt to grow and fester. I suppose the equivalent of having your baby taken away by child services is to have your business closed due to bankruptcy. You lose your child for not giving it your best. And to me, that would be the ultimate low.
Now of course this is my own internal self-doubt speaking. Bennis Inc is growing and thriving exponentially, but it showed me how emotionally invested I am in my business. I hated the feeling of even questioning my commitment to Bennis Inc’s success. Call me a protective mother, but I want to know that I am doing the best for it that I can. There’s no giving it up for adoption now. I created it and it’s quite literally my job to ensure its health and success.
As a follow-up, the latter part of the week was filled with a few confidence boosters that were able to snap me out of my funk and I’m already back on the rise! Maybe these low moments are good for me to experience every now and then. They force me to re-examine my commitment and ambition and then inspire me to kick it up one notch further!