Picture this: You are having a nice, quiet family dinner on a regular Monday evening. Everyone’s eating their food. You’re building up the courage to tell your parents something and today is the day you have to finish it. You blurt out, “Mom, Dad, I am going to have a baby.” What do you think they would say? How would they react?
The general response would be. “Are you crazy? You’re so young? But you’re not even married yet! It is such a big responsibility. Eat your food and go to bed. Maybe you’ll wake up with more common sense.”
Telling your parents that you want to start your business is very similar to telling them that you want to have a baby. Like a baby, your business will need lots of sleepless nights, endless commitment, consistent nurturing and a lot of emotional support as well. Not to mention the risk factor but without any baby-proofing! A massive undertaking indeed.
Compare it to the safety net of a 9 to 5 job with its stable pay, great benefits and absolute security, we all know which one your parents would prefer. But here’s what you need to explain to them, in today’s world, a job has as much security as a business. Down-sizing leaves millions of people unemployed. At least as a business owner, you’ll always have your job.
This is a common argument between all parents and youth today. Business vs Job. A baby vs a doll.
I’ve had the same argument with my parents over and over and being a girl, I was always told how a 9-5 is more suited for me as it lets me fulfill my responsibilities towards a household. Yes, people still do expect girls to traditionally look after the family as well. Can you imagine?! But I managed to convince my parents to let me chase my dreams and so can you! Just follow these steps:
Plant the Seed
Come up with your own business idea and talk it over with your parents.
I don’t expect you to suddenly blurt it out of nowhere and have an Ekta Kapoor show live cast in your own house. Gradually walk them up to this conversation to avoid a huge blow up and immediate rejection. Remember, it’s like you’re coming out to your parents about you being pregnant.
Start with general discussions about the industry, your idea and talk it over with them. Tell them that it is something you’re thinking of doing. Don’t fight over it, just say it’s a thought you have. See their response and take their inputs.
Do your Research
You wouldn’t have a baby without reading those parenting books and taking advice from all the family elders right? Same way, be prepared to present your baby to the family.
Research the industry, lay your ground work and prepare a business plan. Be sure that you can handle it and show your parents that it isn’t a spur of the moment decision or a whim. It’s an actual goal. One of the primary reasons why parents are against a decision to start your own business is that they think you aren’t aware of and prepared for the responsibility. They don’t want you to jump into something that you aren’t fully aware of. Prove to them that you know the risks and efforts required but you have a plan to deal with it and a contingency plan if Plan A fails.
Talking To Your Parents
As we all know, our parents don’t adapt to change very well. Anyone else think of dinosaurs?! Going from a secure blanket to a risky fire isn’t going to be something they can accept as easily. So talking to them about this and explaining your plan is crucial. Literally the moment in the show when the spoon drops, there’s pin drop silence and you await the decision of your fate. Lol okay not as dramatic, but you know what I mean.
Sit your parents down and explain your business idea. Tell them why the 9 to 5 isn’t enough for you, what you want to do, why you want to do it, the research you have done, your plans, everything. Be completely honest. It’s important to understand their viewpoint and show them yours. They were brought up with the mindset to get good grades, a good college and a reliable job which pays well with good benefits. It worked for them, so why shouldn’t it work for you and your kids? Walk them through your reasoning process, the way the world has changed and then how you intend to establish yourself. Explain to them that a 9 to 5 no longer entices a Corporate Ladder but rather a Corporate Jungle where growth is cut-throat competitive.
You know how in health class they give you a doll-baby to take care of to prepare you for parenting? Yup, this is what you got to do too. Lay down the theory, start out on the side and prove you can get an A in this class too!
Show your parents what you bring to the table. Have a product prototype. Prepare customer databases. Pitch the business to your parents as if they were investors and not your parents.
Don’t quit your day job
Bring your baby to work day! Start your business on the side. Work weekends, late nights and early mornings. Get some growth, some idea of how well it does. Once you are ready, show your parents the earnings, the work, the clients. Get their support to go full time into business.
Include your parents
From the time of pregnancy till the child lives, you include your family. Same applies to your business baby. Include your parents. This is the most important part of the journey. Be honest with them. Welcome their inputs. Don’t get too full of yourself. They’ve seen more of the world than you have and are the only people who want to see you do better than them. Whether the business is flourishing or crashing, keep them in the loop. Always show them gratitude for their support and how much it means to you.
Yes yes, I know it seems like the crying moment in the show where everyone comes together after a long struggle has ended. But you get the sentiment right?
Start your business
You have a baby. Now it’s your job to bring it up well and nurture it to grow and live a full life. You have all the approval and support. It’s time now. Quit your day job, go full time with your business and achieve all your dreams!
As Mark Twain once said, “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”