So you’re thinking about starting your own business, but you are wondering how you can manage a startup as a parent?
Some studies have shown that the average work hours for parents are similar to those who clock full-time hours in the startup world. The main difference is the type of project each is working on. Generally, startups deal with more uncertainty and less security, and a higher potential for failure.
A difference that shouldn’t be ignored is that startups can be very high-risk ventures, while parenting is pretty low-risk.
There are many other tradeoffs between the two. Let’s take a little deeper look at each one:
Comparing a startup to parenting
Startup companies founder encounter risks all the time. For example, venture capitalists can get it wrong or deliberately choose to fail businesses (e.g., Amazon and Pets.com). Or external market competition can overwhelm a startup – and it fails without warning.
Parenting, on the other hand, is a low-risk activity. Most kids will turn out okay.
Both parenting and startups require a lot of time from you. Yet, startups are likely to take time from your partner, family members, friends and colleagues.
The income for founders is often calculated as ” Net Present Value ” or ” Present Value of Future Cash Flows. “
Net Present Value is the value of future cash flows minus the cost. For startups, that cash flow can come from revenue, equity or debt.
Present Value of Future Cash Flows is the future value of all cash flows over the entire time horizon multiplied by a discount factor to account for the time value of money.
To be profitable, startups have to produce more cash than they consume. That consumption comes from human and nonhuman resources: founders, employees and investors.
Contribution to society
There are some values that are known to be more important than money. For example, the ability to make a positive contribution (e.g., running a startup is considered a meaningful way to give back).
In startups, however, the contribution to society is not necessarily all that clear.
On the other hand, being a parent has many known values related to our existence as humans, such as nurturing and education. Therefore, not only does it help us fulfill our needs, but it also creates value in return.
One benefit to parenting that is not available in the startup world is the intrinsic joy of being a parent.
Startups can also bring excitement and camaraderie among the members of the team.
Place in life status
This is tricky since people’s perceptions differ significantly as they tend to judge based on their own experiences.
There is, however, a well-documented correlation between parenting and entrepreneurship.
I think we can all agree that there is much that needs to be done in the startup world, and many people are willing to start new ventures. If you’re going for this path, then either one might be right for you.
So pick your path wisely.
In all, I consider the choice between being a parent and starting your own business to be difficult and complicated. Hence, it is more of a personal and life-altering decision than an economic one. Who says you have to pick? – why not attempt to do both at the same time?
I don’t think there’s any way you will regret it.