Everyone knows being an entrepreneur is hard — 80 percent of new businesses fail. Those with kids also know how challenging parenting can be. But being a parent and an entrepreneur — a Parentpreneur?
Well that’s a whole ‘nother level of crazy.
I don’t have any suggestions for these folks on how to have complete balance in your life, because I have yet to figure that out. But I do have three tips that will help you be the best possible parent and entrepreneur, or Parentpreneur, you can be.
1. Remember these are the good days
For a while, I was a work-at-home dad who took care of my twins when they weren’t in daycare. In between shuttling them to school, library time, and gymnastics, I was working hard to get much-needed PR for my business, execute marketing strategies, answer customer phone calls and e-mails, and respond to live chat messages from users.
Adding to the challenge of all the work tasks I just mentioned, my business, while doing fine, was not yet killing it, and was not reducing enough financial pressure to let me be the provider for my family that I hoped to be. My gears were always turning, thinking of ways I could get more website visitors, convert more users to paid customers, and pay myself more money week-to-week. As a result, I was not always in the moment (i.e., present), appreciating just how amazing and adorable my kids are.
Thanks to a friend, I realized I had to cherish every day and celebrate the precious moments I witnessed with my kids. So I started a project where I posted daily videos and photos of my kids on my personal Facebook page using the hashtag #Cherish365.
Every day you will see your kids do things you will cherish years from now when you look back. So remember, these are the good old days, and choose to cherish them now.
2. Turn your customers with problems into advocates
This matters because sales makes everything better! Every entrepreneur knows there will be occasional customer problems. Sometimes it will be your fault, sometimes not. But it doesn’t matter. Problems present a wonderful opportunity to turn customers into advocates of your product or brand.
How do you do this? Simple. Just respond to customers quickly and do whatever you can to fix the problem – even if it costs you money.
Yep. That’s right. Offer customers with problems credits on future purchases. Offer a partial refund if they’re angry. And a full refund, if they’re really angry. This approach will turn angry customers into loyal, repeat customers and advocates who will tell their friends about your business. And more money in the bank makes life at home a little easier.
3. Take care of your mental health
Mental health is everything. If you’re an entrepreneur, feeling anxiety and fear is probably something you experience regularly.
Managing fear is the most important thing you have to learn to maintain your mental health, which matters because a positive frame of mind leads to better results for your business and your family life. Conversely, a negative mindset, brought on by fear, can keep you from making the connections you need for your business — successful people don’t want to associate with negative people. And a negative mindset often prohibits you from receiving the inspiration you need to move your business forward.
Three Things To Do To Manage Fear and Anxiety
1. Recognize that you may be afraid or anxious when you’re feeling that way. Don’t beat up on yourself or get upset about it. Wave hello to those old friends, fear and anxiety.
2. Then, respond to the fear in one of two ways. First — and for me this happens every morning before I get out of bed and every night when my head hits the pillow — silently affirm some big goals. For example, mine are:
- I AM a great dad to my twins and a great husband to my wife.
- I AM a successful entrepreneur.
- I AM a creative, spiritual being.
3. And finally, there is meditation, which is the only thing that consistently keeps the anxiety monsters from churning my stomach to a pulp. Just five to fifteen minutes a day of meditation can make a huge difference for you to have a calmer, more positive mindset, which will help you be a better entrepreneur and parent.
There you have it. No silver bullets, but a few practical tips to be the best Parentpreneur you can be.
James Oliver Jr. is co-founder of the world’s cutest twins, founder of WeMontage.com, which turns your photos into removable wallpaper, and author of the book “The More You Hustle, The Luckier You Get: You CAN Be a Successful Parentpreneur”. Reach James on Twitter via @jamesoliverjr and on Instagram @WeMontage.