Expecting The Unexpected Expected

Sometimes, you just have to take a break in order to adjust and iterate what it is that you are trying to accomplish. Since last October, it has been amazing to work with other business owners and entrepreneurs, listen to stories, and share knowledge with those who share a passion with me. I am very thankful for those relationships.

The big news in my life is that my wife gave birth to a beautiful little girl. It was an amazing event, as my wife had to endure the labor without medication to ease the pain. It all happened so quickly, we barely made it to the hospital in time. My wife, who is a calm, cool headed woman, expressed to me that she wasn’t ready and just wanted a bit more time before going into labor. Unfortunately, nature wasn’t going to wait for her to be ready.

What a trooper! It still blows my mind that she was able to do that. In the end, she was scared, but committed. It all happened very fast and within a matter of minutes, our daughter was here and a part of our lives. This is our second child in 8 years and the experience is always a wild ride of intense emotion, rushing, not knowing what to expect, but trying our best to be prepared.

The entire experience reminded me of how a new entrepreneur gets started – you will always be scared, but if you stay focused, you will get where you want to go.

How having a baby can prepare you for small business.

1. Have a plan

In the heat of the moment, a plan is something you can rely on. The plan doesn’t have to be perfect, but it can serve you as a guide when your emotions are intense and time is of the essence. Plans can also change – don’t expect everything to go according to plan. Changes in a plan can be for the best, convenience, or for other factors. For your sake, it is important to not obsess over the plan, but to at least have one.

Without a plan, I doubt we would have made it to the hospital. My wife would have gone into labor right there in the passenger seat next to me. I hate to think about the mess I would have to clean up if that would have happened.

“In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.”Dwight D. Eisenhower

2. Be prepared for what ever may happen.

Be prepared for success and for failure. Success is always your goal, and success can come in many forms, but so can failure. By knowing what to expect, in several situations, you can make necessary arrangements ahead of time, that won’t completely stop you in your tracks down the road. If it is financial, setting money aside for “Upgrades” can easily be turned into “Emergency Fund” depending on your most pressing need at the time.

In the weeks leading up to my wife’s labor, we had our overnight bags packed and ready with what we would need for staying at the hospital and for our return trip home. That means pack for 3, even if only 2 of us will be arriving. Even our family-sized SUV had been outfitted with the car seat mount, a stroller, and a stack of towels (for worst case scenario).

Both my wife and I had driven different ways to the hospital, to anticipate alternative routes in the event that our main route would be blocked when we really needed to get there. When the time came, I couldn’t take our planned route because of the time crunch. I had to make a new route in my head, while driving, to make sure we got our son to my wife’s grandmother’s before heading to the hospital.

3. Get help.

Even as a solopreneur, you should not expect yourself to handle all tasks of your business, projects, and tasks. Outsourcing can open up more than just time in your schedule, but also peace of mind to know that other talented professionals can help your business prosper. I encourage you to connect with other business owners through networking, business organizations, and events to create relationships that help you thrive as individuals and as a community.

The addition of a family member is most impactful to the immediate family, but both my wife’s parents, my parents, and the rest of our extended family members play important roles in this transition of our lives. Without the aid, comfort, and patience of our families, this big change would be increasingly more stressful and emotional for everyone involved, most importantly my wife.

4. Share your success and celebrate the success of others.

Too often do we forget our success and most on to the next challenge. This is a mistake, as the energy that you put into creating something should be rewarding to you mentally, emotionally, and monetarily. Give yourself time to reflect on the great work you have accomplished for your business, your customers, and for yourself. Make it known to your audience and community of your effort and success. Be ready to celebrate the success of others around you as well – you are only as good as who you surround yourself with, so make sure their successes are known.

This is the easy part of having a baby, “Look at what we made!” Being a proud parent of a newborn comes naturally as children are a natural part of life and a way for a community to celebrate as a whole. However, I can’t take much credit, as my wife has done far more work than I have to grow our new child from the womb, birth, and new life. She did it for my son as well. She is an amazing person, whom I am constantly reminded of what amazing things she is capable of, every single day.

So, now that the baby is here, ( and with this significant departure from what was my routine to somewhat of a new one, that is still coming together) I have had to take a hard look at what I am trying to accomplish with this website, the Thursday Stop videos, and the podcast. What does that mean? I don’t have an exact answer yet, but it does mean that my plans have changed – and that can be a great thing.

How have your plans changed?

Leave your answers and start a discussion in the comments section below.

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