As I was thinking about these two lovely phases, I could not help but compare the striking similarities between the life of an entrepreneur and pregnancy!
I have written the following 10 points based on my experiences as an entrepreneur and the shared experiences that my wife and I are going through waiting for the bundle of joy.
1. It’s your baby!
How many times have you said, or have heard others say about their projects, “This is my baby.” How true that is! Your project is indeed your baby. It’s yours. It started with the seed of an idea, with a lot of dreams, hopes and aspirations attached to it. Just like your baby, you want to nurture your project with self-less love and care and see it grow.
2. Excitement and possibilities
Waiting to become a parent is full of excitement and possibilities. The very fact that your baby is coming into this world itself is exhilarating! We start thinking about all the things we will be doing post the birth of our baby. Similarly, when we start nurturing our project idea, we dream of all the exciting possibilities in store and how our idea can make an impact in the world.
3. That lurkin’ fear!
Regardless of how excited we are, there is always a slight fear and uncertainty lurking somewhere in the dark crypts of our mind. We hope that everything goes on well, and at the end of the pregnancy, the baby and the mother, are both fit and healthy. This is not to say that we are thinking negative. It is a very natural feeling that we all go through. And I believe if we did not have this feeling of uncertainty, the exhilaration would not be that great!
It is the same with our projects. We sometimes have that gnawing feeling – “What if the project doesn’t go well?” Or “What if people don’t like what we are offering?” and all sorts of other questions that make us uneasy. But these doubts are perfectly healthy. They not only help us improve, become stronger and build conviction, but they also help us in having a clearer vision about our offering.
4. It is challenging!
Let’s face it! Being pregnant is quite challenging for the mother, both physically and mentally. Although God has been kind enough to exempt us, the fathers, from the physical challenges, we do have our own share of mental challenge! With all due respect and extreme love for my wife, I have had to accommodate her inexplicable mood-swings and tantrums - getting her “puchkas(gol-gappe) or ThumbsUp” now! (btw, now means NOW, not ten minutes later!), and being understanding for her sudden craving for food in the wee hours of the night! I am sure the situation is not too different with other couples too!
Yes, becoming a father or mother is mentally exhausting. And so is being an entrepreneur! Maintaining schedules, deadlines, testing, innovating, managing, hiring, performing, outsourcing, following-up, quality control, satisfying your stake-holders (not applicable to us yet!), etc… it sure is challenging!
5. The kicks!
If you are a parent, do you remember the first time you felt the baby’s kicks? That is such an amazing experience! And all the challenges clubbed together doesn’t have a chance standing up against the elation we get feeling that one kick!
As entrepreneurs, the kicks are the little successes, the compliments, or the innovative ideas we get from time to time. These kicks infuse us with renewed fervor and passion, and they are worth all the challenges we face while building our dream.
6. We need a doctor
During pregnancy, we need a reliable doctor who will guide us through the 9 months and even beyond. The doctor’s job is not just to look at the medical aspects, but also to understand the mother-to-be and make her feel relaxed and at ease.
Even in our entrepreneurial journey, we need a doctor (read Mentor) to understand us, guide us and provide us with valuable insights. Mentors can see beyond what we can see, and their perspective can often be invaluable.
7. Air is free. And so are opinions.
As soon as friends and relatives came to know that my wife was pregnant, we started getting too much of something we did not need – opinions! Although all opinions were given with a genuine desire to help, they were based on their own experiences. And since everyone is different, what worked for them may not work for others. As a result there were too many opinions contradicting each other. So rather than helping us, they got us more confused. We listened to them patiently, and finally did what seemed to be best in our particular situation.
Even in our business, we will get opinions from a lot of people, some of whom don’t even understand what we are trying to do. So listen to them. If there is any opinion worth implementing, execute it. If not, still smile and thank them for their valuable suggestions.
8. Regular diagnostic tests
During pregnancy, it is crucial that we get the mother and the baby checked regularly - the blood tests, ultrasounds etc. If something is not quite the way it should be, we need to take corrective measures, get on supplements etc. This will ensure that the mother and the baby remain in good health.
Likewise, as entrepreneurs, it is imperative that we regularly check out the vital stats for our project. We need analytics to tell us if everything is going on well or not. Less visitors? Focus on traffic and promotion. Not enough sign-up? Focus on improving conversion. Not enough paid members? Check your value proposition. Not measuring these key data elements is not healthy for our business in the long run.
9. The Launch day!
For entrepreneurs, the day our project is officially launching for the world, is very similar to the delivery day of the baby. The excitement, the anticipation, and the wonderful feeling of finally getting the “product” delivered, is inexplicable. The months (or for entrepreneurs, often years) of efforts have finally borne fruit. The congratulations, cheers and joys from those close to us can often make this an emotional moment. The happiness of succeeding, in spite of all odds and obstacles is no less than euphoria.
10. A new beginning
Having a baby, or launching a product, brings an end to one episode of life. But at the same time, it is the beginning of another. It’s the start of a whole new roller-coaster ride, with a different set of challenges and excitement. And with it comes new growth opportunities, greater learning and new desires! And we set out to win the world once again!
About the author:
Abhishek Agarwal is the founder of Revelri, a site that aims at making this world a happier place. He is an Internet marketing strategist and has been doing business online for almost a decade. He is a strong believer in the power of dreams, the Law of attraction, positivity and happiness.