I came across this article, Entrepreneurship – What I Learned From my Dad,” (over at the Under30CEO blog) a couple of days ago and really thought it was worth sharing and commenting on for several reasons (even with its technical flaws). My primary interests in his story are how he recognize that starting a business is a very personal, family and creative process, and his remembrance, even from his  youth, of what his father-entrepreneur sacrificed to start this small business.

While I can’t speak for all small business entrepreneurs, I remember my first business and how  as the author describes it as “similar becoming a parent for the first time.” He was able to see his father in action, even worked alongside him. I didn’t have the opportunity to have a entrepreneurial dad (as I was raised for significant portion of my life by my beloved mom) and when my mom and step-dad started their first entrepreneurial endeavor it was after I had already been in business several years. I was not ready for the journey I set out on that first venture, but somehow by grace I was able to make it successful and I learned from my mistakes, good luck and perseverance. My point is to the entrepreneurial parents out there reading this, your children will benefit from you introducing them to the why’s and how’s of starting and managing your small business.

And, speaking of the business start-up phase, for any of you who have been through it, you know how much you must pour into the company in those early days. It’s not just money; neither only time. In my mind, it’s always analogous to a railroad track unfinished with a locomotive barreling down the path. You’re the one who needs to source the track, lay the track and make sure everything’s secure before that locomotive reaches, but in essence with a small business you’re never quite done laying that track. All that said, it’s an intensely joyful process once you learn the ropes, get better with your hammer (be that sourcing your products, or getting that additional certification to woo customers to your service) and the locomotive stops to pick up passengers (i.e., vacations and those “golden goose” client sales moments).

Photo courtesy of KellyB.

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