Do You Parent Like An Entrepreneur?

planning

I started this blog inspired by a business concept that seemed to fit what I was aiming for in my family.

The more I read leadership blogs and observe the entrepreneurial world, the more parallels I see to what I am doing as the manager of my home.

Look at this definition from Wikipedia (sorry I have no better source – Christmas doesn’t leave much time for writing):

“Theorists Frank Knight and Peter Drucker defined entrepreneurship in terms of risk-taking.

The entrepreneur is willing to put his or her career and financial security on the line and take risks in the name of an idea, spending time as well as capital on an uncertain venture.”

Did you put your career and financial security on the line, investing time and money on the uncertain venture of raising a family?

I don’t mean any disrespect to entrepreneurs in the traditional sense. I’m paying them a compliment when their work informs and inspires my work.

I’m not parenting by the books. I’m forging my own path like an entrepreneur, taking major risks with the potential for big payoffs.

I’m guessing you parent like an entrepreneur, or you wouldn’t be reading this blog.

Entrepreneurs don’t just talk about making money, they talk about living a designed life and maximizing their social impact.

I see my life the same way, only it’s easier for me to double my income every year. 😉

What’s your take?

Peel Your Shrimp and Eat It Too: The Problem With Delayed Gratification

sucking a shrimp head at my first Izekaya

Do you sometimes want to enjoy life’s blessings, but feel too overwhelmed by the laundry piles, the sticky kitchen floor, the list of To Dos in your head, the screaming baby, the toddler in an explosive diaper he’s refusing to let you change, the scraps of paper scattered all over the floor from craft time, and the clock relentlessly pressing on toward dinner time?

At times like these it’s likely my adoring daughter will look up at me with pleading eyes and say “Mommy, will you play dolls with me?”

Delayed Gratification or Delayed Gratitude?

When I was a young girl my grandfather took me out for seafood. I don’t remember the event, but I remember the story he told about it ever after.

I ordered a plate full of boiled shrimp and I peeled every single one before I took a bite. My grandfather marveled at the display of delayed gratification from such a young person.

The trouble is, my early grasp of delayed gratification has turned into a serious case of delayed gratitude.

  • I want to change all the poopy diapers before I enjoy the cuddly baby.
  • I want to finish cleaning the house before I play dolls with my daughter.
  • I want to resolve all the differences with my husband before I enjoy our marriage.
  • I want to wash all the dishes before I enjoy the meal.

I want to peel all the shrimp in life before I start to eat, but that will only get me a rotten pile of shrimp and a heart full of resentment.

When Will I Be Happy?

Up until a month ago we lived as a family of six in a three-room apartment – not three bedrooms – three small rooms, a kitchen, and bath. Our fridge was smaller than the fridge I had in my college dorm.

As we prepared to move into our very own house with more than twice the space and nearly three-times more fridge-space (and it’s still half the size of an American fridge!), I told myself that if I’m not happy then, I will never be happy.

Guess what? I’m still overwhelmed! There are still dishes to do, the kids still make messes, and my husband and I still have our differences.

The Ugly and the Beautiful

Directly across the street from us is where a dozen households dump their trash all week for collection day. That’s the view from our kitchen window, but I don’t notice it. Why?

Behind the garbage containers is our neighbor’s backyard. They have a beautifully manicured miniature palace-garden.

When I look out our kitchen window my eyes are drawn to the garden, not the dump.

Happiness Is A Choice

No matter what your situation, there will always be the ugly and the beautiful.

Will you focus on the garden, or the dump?

No matter what your situation, there will always be work to be done.

Will you peel your shrimp in resentment, or will you feast with thankfulness?

More Encouragement For Teaching Our Kids Good Habits

In the stress of our move I found myself reverting to old habits that I’d forgotten I even had.

  • As I reached for the cookie jar when the kids weren’t looking my old unhealthy relationship with food came freshly to mind.
  • Even though I’ve had a good organization system for a few years now, I found myself afraid to write important tasks down for fear I’d lose the paper and forget the task.
  • I started feeling oppressed by the piles of papers and clutter around me and helpless to move forward.

I was surprised at how strongly my old habits came back when my environment changed. One moment I could hardly remember my old life; next thing I knew, I was living it again.

It was a timely reminder that it’s worth the patience and perseverance it takes to train children in good habits.

If cleaning up after themselves becomes second nature when they are young, it will not leave them when they are grown.

I’ve heard stories of parents who claim their kids cleaned up when they were young but stopped when they were teens or were on their own. I can’t help wondering if the kids had the habit and lost it or if they only cleaned up because their parents made them.

Training our kids in the habit of picking up is harder than making them pick up.

I’m not sure if we can ever tell for sure if the habit is the child’s, but it’s worth aiming for. The less we have to be involved the more likely it’s becoming an established habit.

Maybe being neat isn’t a highly important value for you, but think about what is. What behavior do you want to be second nature for your grown children?

Bad habits are hard to change now, but they’ll be even harder to change later.

Stay strong and work on good habits now. Lead by example. Take it slowly. Be patient and persistent. And don’t forget to celebrate your progress!

You and your kids will be grateful for it!

What good habits does your family have? How did you develop them? Please share!

5 Days to Your Best Year Ever

I love this time of year: the sights, the sounds, the smells, the special moments with family. I even love the over-the-top decorations.

I love new beginnings and the chance to do better next year. I like a clean slate and the thought of filling the year with any number of exciting opportunities.

It never quite works out the way I hope, but this year I did better than ever growing in the direction I wanted to grow.

Part of my success was due to buying Michael Hyatt’s 5 Days to Your Best Year Ever course (hereafter BYE). I am not an affiliate (this is a non-profit blog), but the course was helpful enough to share.

What I appreciated most about the course is that it’s short and concise. There’s no filler or fluff, just five short videos packed with content that focused my thinking.

When time is short, paying more for less makes a lot of sense.

I had already scheduled a planning retreat for the end of 2014 and BYE helped me use those few precious hours effectively.

Some of my goals were a huge success, and others I didn’t meet, but still feel proud of my progress.

One goal was to start a blog and get 50 subscribers. You might not believe how hard it was for me to actually start on that goal, but I finally did and have been blogging weekly for over half the year.

I only have 8 subscribers, but I’m not sure the number matters anymore. I’ve learned a great deal from the experience and am proud I got this far. Thanks for reading!

If you want to be more intentional in 2016 I recommend that you watch Michael Hyatt’s free video series here.

It will give you a taste of what he has to offer, though I will warn you that he is not nearly as concise in his free videos as he was in the paid ones.

The free content is part of his launch for the new version of Five Days to Your Best Year Ever. You get the content for free and get a sales pitch at the end.

However you prepare for 2016, I wish you and your families all the best!