This article originally appeared on Forbes.com
I recently became a parent for the second time. And I've now started several companies -- one that failed, one that did all right, and one that is currently ongoing.
It's struck me that there are tons of similarities between being an entrepreneur and being a parent. For people who have kids and think about entrepreneurship, I thought it might be useful to point out the parallels. Also, if you don't have a child yet, this may give you a glimpse of what's coming.
Here, in no particular order, is one man's list on how starting a company and raising a child are similar:
Everyone's got an opinion. But no one knows what they're doing.
The first two years are brutal.
No one cares as much as you do.
On its best days it fills you with meaning and purpose.
People lie about it all the time.
Choose your partner wisely.
Heart is more important than money. But money helps.
It's very very hard to outsource.
You find out who your friends are. And you make some new ones.
Occasionally the responsibility blows your mind.
If you knew what it entailed you might not get started. But you're glad you did.
There will be a thousand small tasks you never imagined.
How you spend your time is more important than what you say.
Everything costs more than you thought it would.
Most of the work is dirty, thankless, and gritty.
Sometimes you don't even know why you're doing it. Then, something happens that strikes a bolt of inspiration into you where you know you're doing the right thing, and you feel re-energized.
You learn a lot about yourself. You get tested in ways that you can't imagine.
When you find someone who can really help you're incredibly grateful.
You have to try to make time for yourself or it won't happen.
Whatever your weaknesses are, they will come out.
You think it's fragile. But it will surprise you.
You sometimes do things you weren't sure you were capable of.
When it does something great, there's nothing like it.
You start out all-important. Yet the goal is to make yourself irrelevant.
People sometimes give you too much credit.
There is a lot of noise out there, but at the end of the day it's your call.
It gives your life a different dimension. You grow new parts of yourself.
It's harder than anyone expects. It's the best thing ever.
Most people think of entrepreneurship as starting a business. But the actual definition of entrepreneurship is "pursuit of an opportunity without regard for resources currently under control." Every parent pursues the best possible opportunities for their child while climbing over obstacles and limitations each day. So in a way, all parents are entrepreneurs.