The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities. –Stephen Covey
A new mom can teach entrepreneurs a thing or two about prioritizing.
She understands a basic fact – that it is counterproductive to try and do everything all at once. She knows what’s truly important.
New Mom chooses what to let go now, what to postpone, and what must get done at each moment. Her single most important goal? To successfully raise a healthy, happy child, stage by stage.
She recognizes that in his first stage, her infant has very basic needs; but they are needs that must be attended to with diligence. Feed. Change. Sleep. Repeat.
New Mom would like to get a full night’s sleep; but she knows it’s not going to happen. She might want to dine out or go for a movie; but she knows those plans must take a back seat.
Not permanently, but for now.
New Mom does not expect her two-week-old baby to smile broadly at her and announce ‘thank you’ when she feeds him. She certainly does not expect him to crawl.
Before the baby was born, she kept an impeccably clean and tidy house. Everything was in its place. Dishes were not allowed to sit in the sink unwashed. Now she often leaves the laundry unfolded in the living room, or it just stays on the clothesline for the night. Dishes too may sit overnight, if need be. Meals are much simpler than the full course spread she used to serve.
It’s not that New Mom has become a slob. She just has her priorities straight; focused on the needs of her infant.
Feed. Change. Sleep. Repeat.
She knows that soon enough, her baby will begin to smile, to eat solid food, to crawl and to walk. He will eventually go to school. Stage by stage she will change her priorities to accomplish her goal of raising a healthy, happy son.
What can a fledgling entrepreneur learn from New Mom?
Something about managing expectations, for starters. Do you expect your startup business to roar to success right away? Do you compare your infant business to someone else’s toddler business and wonder why yours is not ‘smiling’ or ‘walking’? Are you realistic enough to recognize the stage you’re at in the business lifecycle?
New Mom has given up her eight hours of uninterrupted sleep and her nights out. What sacrifices are you making to give your fledgling business the extra attention it needs to survive and eventually thrive? Do your mornings start earlier or your working hours extend beyond what used to be the norm?
Do you know what’s important to do at this stage; what is a priority, and what you can let go for now? What tasks take priority day by day in these early stages of your business life? What are your ‘Feed. Change. Sleep. Repeat’ tasks; the top priorities that you need to focus on to enhance your chance of success?
Time is money. To succeed as an entrepreneur, you will need to utilize it to the fullest. And to maximize time, you must prioritize. Maybe it’s time you took a fresh look at your priorities.
Copyright ©2018 David Waweru. Photo credit: Shutterstock.