Raising a Baby Business-Entry for August 7, 2006

Before I launched my very first business in 2001, I used to read Ebony and Black Enterprise religiously looking for the keys to success in getting started. Although these are good resources, they barely scratch the surface of what one needs to know. For moms, it is sort of like reading Parenting magazines when you are pregnant. Some people study every page and still find the experience different than what they read. Some don’t even bother but take the advice of more experienced and wiser women. Some go it alone and learn what they need to know as they go along. Who is right and who is wrong? It depends on the mom and it depends on the circumstances surrounding the health and best interests of the baby’s final outcome. Raising a child of color CAN SOMETIMES be very different from raising another child. Depends on the environment in which you operate. You can’t just put it on paper and think that it will all work out. You shouldn’t really wing it because you could be putting your life and the baby’s life at risk. You rely a lot on prayer, listening to your body and enjoying the moment. Well launching a business is very similar, in my opinion. No one can tell you everything but a lot of more experienced people can save you a lot of grief and prevent costly surprises. Just like it is hard to take advice from someone who has never been a mom or was not (in your opinion) a very good mom…it is tempting to only listen to other entrepreneurs vs. hearing from your customers or prospects. You have to strike a balance, and you have to remain confident in your decision to take the steps forward. Keeping a journal helps you measure your growth and helps you enjoy living the moment. Just like it is hard for people to see your child at birth thinking he or she will grow up to look one way and years later see a different child, so is it in launching a business. Some people even seem to be shocked that the baby has even grown into a child, teenager or adult. Out of habit sometimes they may say to a growing child, “Wow! I must be getting old…I remember when you were just a baby”…What about considering saying, “Hooray! I expected that you would grow to be beautiful, handsome or tall”. Can you imagine the smile that would grow across that face? How would you feel if someone was shocked that you improved vs. declined since they last saw you? How would you feel if they told you that they always expected you to improve vs. decline? Makes a difference. Small businesses need positive expectations too! They don’t become adults overnight. Takes patience, takes training, takes discipline, takes praise, takes prayer and of course it takes money to raise a business. A child doesn’t pay you back for maybe 21 years (some may argue never). A business doesn’t get that luxury in its life. Some people shake their heads without lifting a finger to support, some parents resent others giving advice, and kids run wild with noone watching them at all. I truly believe that it really takes a village to raise both-baby and business. Your attitude determines your altitude. Positive affirmations can be a defining moment in life. But just like anything…common sense is not always common practice…everything is easier said than done

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Filed under Family Culture, HBCU kidz, Inc.

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