In a few weeks, I will be leaving the office for maternity leave. I am expecting my first child August 4 (or thereabouts, as these things go), and I can't even describe the mixed emotions I am experiencing right now. It's all very exciting--and very terrifying--all at once. If you're a parent or a parent-to-be, you know what I'm talking about.
As I make preparations at work to ensure all my responsibilities are accounted for while I'm away, I can't help but draw some parallels between preparing to be a parent and preparing to start a business--particularly a homebased business. Think about it: You plan meticulously for weeks, months, years; you reserve a special space in your home for your "baby"; you have new insurance considerations; you need all the right "equipment"; yet deep down, you know that all the planning in the world will not prepare you for what lies ahead.
That, of course, does not stop you from fulfilling your dream. As terrified as you are, you are also excited at the possibilities. You've never done anything like this in your life, but you know it's the right thing to do. You look ahead a year, five years, 10, 20--and you know your life will be immensely better for having even attempted this tremendous feat, even if there are days when you would much rather stay in bed and cry than face another stressful day.
If, like me, you are venturing into the unknown, know that you are not alone. People do this sort of thing every day. And at the end of the day, every day, know that you can look at your "baby" and instantly find reassurance that you are doing the right thing.
Karen E. Spaeder is a freelance business writer in Southern California.