It’s been said that it “takes a village” to raise a child. Well if that’s true, then it takes an army to be an entrepreneur on top of it.
How can anyone possibly get through it all? Ask for help!
It’s the hardest thing to do, I know. I’ve been there and done that through all the ups and downs of life. I’m still not used to doing it and I fight against it every day.
It’s very hard to ask for help.
Truthfully, as a parent, there’s help all around you. Not only from your family, friends and neighbors, but there are support groups and online resources designed to back you up when it comes to your parental duties.
I’m amazed actually, because when I was going through the early stages of parenting there was not much out there at all. I was a divorced, single, gay dad at a time when none of the above was discussed or dare I say remotely accepted. I was alone.
To make it all work, I climbed off the big corporate ladder and became an entrepreneur. I started my own agency so that I could better balance work and family. Did I get any help? Not really. I didn’t think there was much help around.
There honestly weren’t many visible entrepreneurs working back then, at least not in my network. Most if not all of my friends were in big corporate jobs because that’s what you were supposed to do. I know there were entrepreneurs out doing their “thing” but they weren’t as prominent as they are today. Not by a long shot.
I pretty quickly learned that I couldn’t possibly do it all, not without a little help balancing the multiple demands of work and family that come along each day. I started seeking help slowly.
I started to allow another parent to pick up my kids instead of getting out of work early to do it every time. I booked that networking lunch to get some advice on how to run my company more efficiently. I let a friend come over and set up my computer at home so that I could get some work done at night after the kids went to bed.
I started to accept help. When I started giving back help in return something miraculous happened: I stopped feeling so alone.
I felt more confident in my abilities because I had people supporting me. I knew that if push came to shove, I could rely on a business or personal friend to help me through a little crisis. Many of those personal friends became business friends and vice versa. I also let technology be my friend, instead of something I avoided. Today, technology should be your best friend and your greatest source of “help.”
When I opened up, work started feeling less and less tough and parenting felt less and less exhausting. With a little help from my friends, I started to like both parts of my life a whole lot better.
That’s when I realized that I had been the one making myself feel alone. Perhaps if I had opened up sooner, I could have accepted some help a lot sooner too. But I felt barriers that only slowly went away -- at least in my situation.
Today, none of us have to go through any of that because help is readily available. Help is really just a click away, no matter who you are and where you live and work. The only barrier is you willing to accept it.
Open up and accept help. You’ll become a happier parent and a more effective entrepreneur in the process.
If you’d like to hear more about my journey as an entrepreneur and father, check out my new book, Out and About Dad, and tell your friends! I appreciate the help.