When the term transferable skills come to mind, you would never think that you would be comparing running a business to being a parent, but in fact, there are many things that both occupations have in common. And, especially if you are in charge of your own business as carefully as you would your child. So, for those that are currently chipping away at being a parent, and is thinking about making the leap into running their own business, what skills are you already in possession of that will serve you well across the board?
Laying Ground Rules
Of course, if you don’t lay any ground rules as a parent, your child will walk all over you, the same applies to running a company. You need to make sure that the rules are in place right at the outset, so you are able to keep a solid grip on your company, so much like when you are trying to enforce rules in the household, so your children don’t walk all over you.
Much like when you are trying to gauge the atmosphere with your child, laying ground rules isn’t all about ruling with an iron fist in business, it’s about creating this environment where people are free to explore and be themselves. But the consequences need to be laid out on the table.
The one thing about being a parent is that you need to nurture a positive symbiotic relationship between you and your child. In running any type of business, you are making sure that your employees trust your judgement. And the same applies when you are working with external clients, from marketing agencies to IT support companies; every piece of the puzzle needs to flow from a place of trust. It’s these relationships that will ensure a fully flowing business and a healthy relationship between a parent and child.
The same applies with your employees, they are much like your children in this respect, and while you would trust your children to look after their money or their treasured items, you need to trust your staff with key parts of the company. Lots of entrepreneurs struggle to offload that duty to others. But much like your child is going to eventually learn how to look after themselves; you need to develop that same attitude with your workers.
Much like if you reprimand a child for doing something wrong, but you don’t call out their sibling on the same matter, this is something that is seen a lot in business. Preferential treatment is toxic and will cause a very insecure workplace environment. So, treat every employee the same, regardless of their position in the company. If you don’t treat your employees fairly, you will very likely be called out on this!
Transferable skills, such as parenting and being a boss, require a steady amount of knowledge. Knowledge on how to be a fair and equal parent, but also in being a boss that earns you respect from every area of the business. Ultimately, both roles require that your children or employees respect you. If not, then they will walk all over you.