Since I'm not a man, I can't speak for male entrepreneurs, but perhaps they are not unlike their female counterparts when it comes to business. I doubt they refer to their businesses as their 'babies,' but the thought might live in their hearts.
I've observed other women taking care of their businesses in much the same way they would nurture a child.
I've experienced the nurturing feeling about my business for years and I've observed other women taking care of their businesses in much the same way they would nurture a child. In its infancy, a business does resemble a child, needing constant time, attention and energy. Like a baby, a business is our own creation and too often becomes all consuming - the way an infant requires attention to simply stay alive.
Before having a business, we don't realize how difficult it is, how many things we have to take into consideration to grow it into a viable entity. It sure fits the saying that everything will take at least twice as long and cost twice as much as we think. It took me years, and the kindly guidance of my CPA, Rock White, to even face the fact that it matters not at all how much a business earns but rather how much it keeps. Profit?
When entrepreneurs eat regularly, it is often not the result of having a business. Many find it like owning a boat; the happiest time in many entrepreneurs' lives is the day they begin their businesses and the day they sell them.
For me it is something else. Happiness is in the process. Creating The Shopper in 1981 and growing it to where it is today has been an exercise in self-growth and in sharing the business life with the people who helped it grow. Just as with children, once we lay their foundation and send them off to school, other people become prominent in their lives and take them from there. Then, if all goes right, one day a business, like a child, takes on a life of its own. If we have done what we are supposed to do, all will be well.
Before having a business, we don't realize how
difficult it is, how many things we have to take into
consideration to grow it into a viable entity. It sure
fits the saying that everything will take at least
twice as long and cost twice as much as we think.
That's kind of where I am now. My business has a life of its own. I watch it run like a well oiled wheel, each part busily functioning as it should. I'm mapping the course ahead and am in awe that my 'baby' has grown up and has a life of its own. My challenge now is to keep up with it and continue to attract the right people to take it into the future where it is spawning other 'Publishing Partners' to nurture other baby Shoppers.
This issue celebrates women in business. It is not an easy path to become an entrepreneur, but I can't imagine having chosen any other path. As you note the many women in business, take a moment to say something nice to them about their 'babies.' You'll be surprised how much they appreciate it.
I used to joke to friends that someday I'd be a 'Tycooness.' What I've learned is that women are tycoonesses at every step of the way in business. It is not a goal, it is what is required to handle the process. It is making multiple, simultaneous decisions with long-range consequences at every step. You know, it's also what career homemakers do!
Jean Loxley-Barnard has been a writer all her life and studied both sociology and psychology at George Washington University where she earned a B.A. Her company, The Shopper, Inc., encompasses all the Loxley-Barnard family publications - The Shopper Magazines and Doctor to Doctor Magazine. She has been in the advertising, consulting and publishing business for 39 years.
Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, Revisitedby Dr. Bill Austin
content updated through trying timesby Terry Young
Our Stories - Unique or Universal?by Jean Loxley-Barnard
A Vision of Youth
Out the Windowby Breonna Loxley
On The Front Porch With You
Friends from times of great changeby Rob Lauer