Starting a business is like having a baby

Yes, I am that idiot who tried to do both at the same time!

^ May 2013. The calm before the storm.

Claire Creative was (officially) born a few months before my first baby. I, like many other people who happen to be parents,* thought that having my own business would allow me more time and flexibility than being tied to a 9 to 5. There’s a growing trend of (particularly) women starting independent businesses to get this elusive work / family balance rather than dropping out of the workforce for extended periods of time. It’s not exactly the easy road either. If you work for yourself you’ll know that in the first few years, your business is like a newborn! I don’t necessarily recommend doing both at the same time, but wow, I learned a LOT from both experiences! And I noticed some cross-over between the two.

*Have heard of Mother Pukka’s Flex appeal movement? (external link)

What’s in a name?

Maybe you make lists, maybe you buy a book, maybe you obsess over what it really means and whether this name will age well. If you’re like me, you practice writing the name in different styles and hope you don’t change your mind about it when it’s too late!

I chose my company name when I was about 12 years old. I used it as my ‘logo’ when I made birthday cards for my friends at school. Naming my children was somewhat more tricky!

Who needs sleep anyway?

Ah, those late nights and early mornings. That desperate need for coffee. The first year is an exhausting time. You give your heart and soul 12+ hours a day. A full 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep becomes a fond, yet distant memory.

Am I doing this right?

You question everything you do. Maybe 20 times in one day! There are moments when you feel overwhelmed, freaked out even. But eventually, you move from surviving to thriving… eventually.

Where did my week go?

Time, as you once experienced it, is never the same again. Laundry piles up. The house is an absolute mess. And yet by Friday, you still haven’t finished that thing you wanted to do on Monday. Hang on. What day is it?

Need some ideas for multi-tasking?

Oh really?

All that unsolicited advice. Well-meaning, but unsolicited. You smile politely and say ‘Thank you’.

What’s yours called?

Your social life is different now. There are events designed for people, just like you. You put on proper clothes and talk to other human beings for the first time this week. You compare stories and complement each other on your choice of name.

Baby Zoe 2016

I had my second (baby, not business) in 2016. And I still feel like my business is an infant, but more because I love it and can’t imagine life without it, rather than sleepless nights and freaking out! Time goes by so fast and I’m really amazed at how far I’ve come. I finally have that work/life balance that I’d hoped for back in 2012. It only took 4 years! Whew!

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