I am not someone that loves babies. (except yours of course) I loved my own only in the way nature intended…to keep them alive. I know there are people out there the opposite of me, they love the baby heads, and cooing, and falling asleep. I look forward to the back talk myself. The toddler fits, and school aged know-it all ness. I like the self that emerges after babies stop being babies.
Chatting with a friend this morning who just opened her second business she compared these early business stages to new parenthood. It is an excellent analogy.
It is super fun to MAKE a baby. And the feeling of those first few weeks, the amazing brand newness when anything at all is possible. But wow. Once you are into a “routine.” that baby is needy. And what I wrote a sentence ago about a routine? Ha. As soon as you establish a rhythm something changes and you have to find a new beat. But YOU are beat. The act of creation leaves me a not very good caretaker. So I lower my standards. Just let this infant be alive at the end of the day. I remember when Steve was 5 minutes late getting home when Oliver was a few month old. Oliver who had colic and reflux and an altimeter that made me stand all day or else he would scream so loudly that I feared the neighbors would call social services. I remember calculating during those five minutes between when I expected Steve to get home and when he actually got home where I could put the baby. So it would be alive but not with me. That was a tough phase- between creation and developed identity.
Now he is mostly my pleasure. I almost never want to ditch him and escape.
The business is in that awkward phase. The baby acne phase if you will. It has been born, but requires a lot of input without very much interesting output. This is the hardest time for me.
My first business operated in 3 dimensions with hours posted on a door, and people that paid their rent based on my tireless input. That was pretty good motivation through this “infancy” period. I didn’t take a break from that business until much much later.
My next two businesses were entirely virtual, and those allowed me to come and go as I pleased without much of a downside to my users. As a sole proprietor with only subcontractors for the bulk of the past 5 years it has been up to me when I am working full days and when I dip in and out. I’m not convinced that this has served me or my company very well. One of my products is shelved. The other two are out there, but just chugging along at a steady pace with no growth. I am launching another iPhone app sometime this summer, and this thing could have been out a month ago if I had been working full time. Does this matter? How to tell? It is not as though I have a control group where I can compare the fully engaged version of winwinapps with the super part time version. Would an earlier launch have made a difference? Would intense promotion of the apps in the app store have taken them to the level where they produced enough income to change my life? Buy them and download them for free here and here. There, see my promotion.
Refresh Collections is my latest baby. I enjoy its infancy more than the others, because the core of the work really feels like play. Shopping? Mixing and matching home items? Yes please. But the promotion? I am bored of talking about my baby. Isn’t it boring to hear about someone’s baby? Or am I just weird? cccc (new cat wrote that, leaving it in b/c it fits well with the new baby theme)