Linholm Corp.'s founders have discovered some parallels between giving birth and starting a company--and it's not just that both make you sweat and groan. Whether you're birthing a baby or a business, these four key insights can ease the pain:
1. "It's a 24-hour deal," says Rumbach. "Just like that baby who won't go to sleep in the middle of the night, a new business never sleeps. There are faxes coming in late at night, things that have to get done. But like that baby, it can be trained. You just tell yourself you won't go into your office on a Saturday or you won't look at that 2 a.m. fax until the next day."
2. "When you're pregnant, you're dying to know what's normal. `Is it normal to feel sick now? How much weight gain is normal?' " Jones observes. During a pregnancy--especially the first one--most women need a lot of reassurance that it will all work out in the end. "Starting a new business feels the same way," Jones says. The solution? "Do your research." (Unfortunately, there's not yet a week-by-week calendar for business start-ups.)
3. "You don't get the rewards right away," Rumbach says. A baby might not smile until he or she is six months old; a new business might not offer many rewards for three times that long. But that's no reason to give up on either one.
4. Strong partnerships carry the day, says Frazier. Whether it's a marriage or a business partnership, "it helps if you trust each other, if you can put things in front of each other and know you can talk about them."
Dennis Rodkin (email@example.com), the father of a 4-year-old, is the first to admit that while pregnancy may keep to a regular schedule, a growing child does not.
Linholm Corp., (888) 339-BABY, firstname.lastname@example.org