Your business is not your baby, Seriously

I'm not going to go all video rant on you today, but in the last three days I've heard entrepreneurs and small business owners say, more than a few times, something like, “my business is my baby.”

Now, to be honest, I think they're saying something about their investment of time.

I think they're saying something about the ups and downs of their business.

Maybe they're trying to say that their business keeps them up at night, like a baby does its parents.

But I want to challenge the notion because I think it creates a seriously big challenge in front of you that you won't even notice.

Before I tell you the challenge it creates, let me tell you that I've been a part of several startups (some before and some after I was a parent).

I'm also the proud father of two children.

And what I can tell you is that there's no way that a startup or a business is like a baby. For one really good reason.

You can't quit being a parent, but you can surely quit or close down your business.

Most people ask themselves what their goals are for the next year. They list out new things they want to learn or do. They don't ask, often enough, what they should stop doing.

Most of us are so busy trying to get better at things, and to make the things we're involved in better, that we forget to ask if we should even being doing them in the first place.

[Tweet “We confuse the question of whether we *can* do something with whether we *should* do it.”]

This is the big challenge. Not all things will be commitments we make for a lifetime.

I will be a parent for a really long time. But creating a team, a product, or a company doesn't have to be a lifetime commitment.

So seriously. Please. I get the intensity of the challenge of a business. And I get the casualness of words.

But don't fool yourself into thinking that your business is your baby. It's just your business. And when your initiatives stop serving you, you should stop serving them.

[Tweet “And when your initiatives stop serving you, you should stop serving them.”]

So as we head into the weekend, don't just make plans for the next week about what you'll try to do.

Make plans for what you'll try to stop doing too!