HOW MY RESEARCH STARTED
I started my life taking care of children. I have helped with my siblings for as long as I can remember. My first step into entrepreneurialism was babysitting, where I became so busy with all the neighborhood kids that I often took care of them in groups. I also saved a lot of money, since I was working on weekends when everyone else was out spending. I started a home daycare when I was 19 and had my first child. That daycare grew into a profitable home daycare with 14 children every day over the course of 14 years.
People often ask me how I took the hard left turn to work in the entrepreneurial world from taking care of children. I always laugh and say supporting entrepreneurs isn’t much different than raising 2-year-olds. They really have a lot of the same characteristics.
There are a lot of similarities and differences between entrepreneurs and 2-year-olds. The first similarity is attention span.
It is a well-known fact that 2-year-olds have no attention span. It is also a fact that many entrepreneurs suffer from the same diagnosis. These two groups often succumb to “shiny object syndrome” and spiral away from the focus of attention.
For 2-year-olds, this can be used to an adult’s advantage. I use it all the time with my granddaughter. I don’t want her to explore the electrical outlets, so I distract her with something more enticing. She moves over to play with the new toy and goes about her merry way without even remembering the electrical outlet was an option for exploration (well, until the next time!).
Entrepreneurs also often suffer from less-than-stellar focused attention. They are dreamers and innovators and have big visions. Entrepreneurs are often down the track three stations when their support is back at Station #1 trying to launch that vision. They change course and direction fast and often. Sometimes this is a good thing, as the market changes quickly and those able to get ahead of the curve get further faster and have the chance of becoming more profitable. Sometimes it is a detriment as it costs them time and money and nothing ever really gets accomplished.
One thing I have noticed with the multitude of entrepreneurs I’ve either worked with or talked to is that the successful ones launch one thing at a time. They go through the full cycle of a launch, from inception to perfection, before they launch something else. It’s not that they aren’t thinking about the next thing, but they are committed to getting Big Program #1 out the door and profitable before they move on to Big Idea #2.
I have done some research and found that Entrepreneurs who have a support system of people to help them with the strategy and implementation grow their businesses faster and more fully with more profit. The entrepreneur does have to give up some control, though – but that is a topic for another blog.
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