DISCLAIMER: I really am not claiming to be the authority on any of this. But hey, the headline sort of works so I went with it.
It seems that everywhere I turn there is a list on the “secrets” to this or how to “master” something. My Facebook feed is full of these and, frankly, they drive me nuts. First of all, because I tend to click on them only to find that 99.9% of it is rehashed drabble that seems common sense enough but is being presented in some way, like it’s original thought. And secondly, because I find myself asking, “who does this person think they are to be an expert?” While once in a while there DOES come an original thought, for the most part, it’s been done; at least when it comes to the mainstream articles I see.
So, in order to prove that I’m not above it all, I give you my list of the Five secrets to highly effective and successful small business middle class parent people:
Be Hypocritical: There. I said it. That’s right. Do as I say, not as I do. This post is a perfect example. See first full paragraph and then notice how I completely ignored it and wrote this. Also, it’s simple: Kids are not allowed to use four letter words. Adults are. End of story.
Sleep When You Can: Running a business is not that different from dealing with kids when it comes to predictability. I cannot tell you how many times I thought I had the perfect plan only to have something happen that robbed me of my sleep. In business they call it a power nap. In parenting, it’s referred to in phrases like, “sleep when the baby sleeps” and other such rot. The point is that in either case, not a lot is “standard” so you have to come up with non-standard ways to deal with it.
Remember, You Can’t Do It Alone: I don’t understand how single-parents do it. And in many cases, they just don’t. I am not saying you have to be married but I *am* saying that having someone to help out is a great relief. The same is true in business. I work with two awesome partners who do things that I could never do. I like to think that I do things that they can’t or won’t do. It makes work so much more enjoyable. In the house, I would not necessarily say that Jessica and I are always running like a well-oiled machine. We have our moments. But when we ARE (which *is* most of the time), things just click.
Plan on Improvisation: Seriously, if you’re not prepared to make some things up as you go along, you’re doomed. We don’t live in a box. Our kids don’t live in a box. Our clients don’t live in a box. If even Starbucks can change course and bring back a craptastic eggnog double-vente-frappe-mocha-latte (with a cherry on top), then you can take off your shirt to absorb that pee from the baby who decided to do his impression of manneken pis on the bed mid-diaper change. I don’t care if it was something your Great Aunt Gertrude sewed for you.
Realize You Don’t Know it All: See first line of this post. I’ve been told that I sometimes give off the vibe that I know it all, but don’t mistake confidence for knowing it all. I am confident that we are pretty decent parents. I am confident that barring death or something seriously traumatic, we can handle almost anything that comes our way. However, I am not afraid to keep my eyes and ears open for better ways from people more experienced or even less experienced than we are. A good idea is a good idea no matter the source and generally, when you hear it, you’ll know it. You’ll only be better off to put the ego aside and listen.
That’s it. That’s my five. I know there are a bunch more and not everything applies to everyone. And ya, not an original thought up there, so I think I nailed it.