What having a baby taught me as an entrepreneur
First — huge respect for working parents juggling their work around taking care of a baby.
As a recent first-time father (2+ months now), my whole world as an entrepreneur changed.
Work became challenging, not because there wasn’t enough time, but because I can’t sit at the desk for a long time anymore.
Whether you’re writing copy, building products, or working on your business — it takes around 15–20 minutes to get into the flow state.
Every time you’re interrupted, that resets again. With a baby, you’ll have to find ways to work around your new unpredictable schedule.
Here’s what having a baby taught me.
1 — Learn how to say no.
I recently turned down a speaking request.
Prior to having a child, I used to say yes to almost anything. Free speaking engagement that would give my business visibility? Yes. A client project that is below my usual fee, but the client is a friend? Yes.
Now I have to say no more often to activities that aren’t aligned with what I set out to do with my business — so that I can spend my time working on the more important activities.
2 — Learn to delegate work.
I’m someone who enjoys building stuff. At LEAD, I wanted to do everything:
- Update the website.
- Write the weekly emails.
- Oversee and plan all ads.
- Build partnerships with other businesses.
- Edit videos
- Speak at events.
- Create content.
And the list goes on.
But having a baby forces me to re-look everything — and carefully select what I can or cannot work on.
There are two methods I suggest.
The first, is to make a weekly plan. Start by writing down all the tasks you want to do for the week. Then put them as entries into your calendar for the week. In my case, I found that I don’t have the time for most of the activities.
This will get you to think.
- Which tasks should I do?
- Which tasks should I defer?
- Which should I delegate?
- Which should I drop?
So second, use the Eisenhower Matrix. I won’t get into details here, but for me — a task like updating website content should be delegated to someone else, even if I can do it better.
That’s because it’s not worth switching focus and losing the flow state when working on too many tasks.
3 — You don’t need to read every piece of news.
We read the news to stay informed. Or is it — really?
It’s found that the more news we consume, the more misinformed we become.
Do you stop to think — is this piece of news good for me? Is this important? Does it occupy valuable space in my mind? Does it alter my state and mindset? Does it help me make better decisions?
What I found is that I don’t miss the news at all.
People might say I’m ignorant. But once you stop reading the news, you’ll begin to see how misinformed people who read the news are. It’s a type of cognitive bias in psychology.
People rarely read news they disagree with.
If Justin Bieber is your absolute hero, you’ll have a tendency to not read articles that suggests otherwise. If you’re bullish on XRP (the cryptocurrency), you’ll find news to reinforce your beliefs.
The solution is to do less consuming, and more thinking. Find denser materials. It’s scary to think how the world is moving towards shorter and shorter videos for information. How much truth can a 15-second TikTok video hold?
Important news will punch itself through. And if you read the news, read for facts and data — not opinions.
4 — Learn to hack time for productivity.
Time is your biggest resource. Having a baby made me realize how much time I took for granted when I had it.
Now, with limited time, I have to find ways to be more productive. Here are my favorite ‘time-hacks’:
- Don’t spend hours reading the news. Get them summarized for you and read them in 3 mins with newsletters like Coffee Break.
- Use News Feed Eradicator to avoid doom-scrolling on social media.
- Use automation tools like Zapier to eliminate repetitive business tasks.
- Hire a virtual assistant. I initially hired on Goget, and then we dealt outside the platform. She’s been amazing.
- Do CrossFit routines at home for exercise. I used to spend hours driving to the gym, exercising, and then driving back. Now, my daily exercise is done under an hour.
- Apply the do something principle. I realized that I used to waste a lot of time, thinking and being paralyzed with inaction, especially when dealing with a difficult task.
5 — Have patience.
Whether you like it or not — your baby will do things at their own time. Sometimes it’s a few minutes and sometimes hours before they go to sleep. They will test your patience.
It’s the same in business.
You can do many things to nudge your sales and revenue. But there’s only so much you can do. Your business will take time to grow. The little actions you take every day will set up the foundation which your business will be built upon — the same way as raising a child.
Focus on the process, not the outcome.
P.S. Technology and businesses are meant to help us become more efficient. I’m always interested in finding ways to ‘hack’ life, so that I’m more efficient and productive. One thing you can do is sign up for the Coffee Break newsletter. You’ll instantly save time going through endless news articles, with their daily summary of important news that you can read under 3 minutes.
Originally published at https://www.reubenchng.com on April 20, 2022.