Care and feeding of your entrepreneur

    [I was fortunate to write a guest article for Blog Society on the topic of entrepreneurship. That article appears below, by permission, with minor edits. I believe you can relate.]

    Congratulations on the acquisition of your entrepreneur!

    Your life has taken an exciting turn, full of unpredictability and suspense. Wild success may be just around the corner, or crushing defeat may lurk behind the door. Whatever happens, your Entrepreneur will face it with the enthusiasm and stubborn determination that make this breed so loveable.

    Materials for your entrepreneur - Small Company Artworks

    First, gather your materials

    As you prepare your home to receive your Entrepreneur, we recommend installing some basic equipment for their safety and comfort. After all, a safe, comfortable Entrepreneur is a productive, happy Entrepreneur!

    1. Portable computer with high speed Internet access and large storage capacity. Also consider a keyboard that won’t drive you insane when they’re typing email while you’re trying to watch TV. Your Entrepreneur will type those emails no matter what you say, so plan to enjoy the sound!
    2. Business cards and an assortment of marketing literature.Entrepreneurs enjoy the challenge of designing their own cards with no skill or knowledge. They also hate to admit they can’t do something. So don’t worry about hiring professional assistance right away. Your Entrepreneur will cry “Uncle!” soon enough!
    3. Brainstorming and note-taking tools. Entrepreneurs never stop thinking, so a steady diet of stickie notes, white boards, art journals, and colorful pens capture their brilliance.
    4. Large quantities of healthy snacks.Entrepreneurs can sometimes be distracted by kitchen cupboards and refrigerators, so ensure your Entrepreneur stays healthy by providing wholesome foods that feed their lively little brains.
    5. Optional: Color printer with WiFi capability, so your Entrepreneur and her friends can easily print presentations, workbooks, and templates when they come over for Play Dates.

    Outdoors fun with your entrepreneur - Small Company Artworks

    Your entrepreneur and the outdoors

    Your Entrepreneur will need to be walked regularly, but be prepared to ease into any outdoor time. Their focus sometimes causes them to forget the sun exists, so the first minutes outside can alarm them. Just be patient and murmur encouraging words until they feel comfortable under the sun’s rays. Promising a treat, like a car ride or ice cream cone, can help distract them from any residual unease.

    Once your Entrepreneur remembers what fresh air smells like, you may find you have trouble getting them back inside! For this reason it’s a good idea to plan a full day outside occasionally, to let them burn off some of their considerable energy. Just be sure to pack lots of Entrepreneur-friendly snacks, and stay away from areas with free WiFi, or you risk losing your Entrepreneur to her work.

    Sleep cycles of the entrepreneur

    You may find that your Entrepreneur develops nocturnal habits as she discovers new projects to occupy her. This is no cause for alarm. Entrepreneurs have flexible sleep schedules, and have been known to subsist on no more than a few hours of sleep at a time.

    You may find that these sleep habits are cyclical, recurring when your Entrepreneur becomes engaged with a new toy or puzzle. Or your Entrepreneur may settle into unpredictable sleep habits permanently. Look at this as an opportunity to take up more of the bed for yourself, and just one more reason to love your Entrepreneur!

    Night care and feeding of your entrepreneur - Small Company Artworks

    Living happily with your entrepreneur

    There are some phrases you should avoid saying to your Entrepreneur. Use of these phrases may result in outbursts of hostility from your Entrepreneur (aka “hissing”).

    Phrase to Avoid 1: Did you leave the house today?

    Your Entrepreneur has a busy online world in addition to the considerable activity in her head. It is therefore not uncommon for your Entrepreneur to spend the day entirely indoors, sometimes without even performing customary grooming rituals. These can be her most productive periods, making her both happy and successful.

    Don’t let this alarm you. Above all, do not imply to your Entrepreneur that this is anything but desirable. Trust that she will leave the house when necessity demands it, and even sometimes when it doesn’t.

    Phrase to Avoid 2: You remember real work, right?

    When your Entrepreneur takes a break from creating her masterpiece, she spends her time mastering countless other skills: accounting; marketing; social media; computer programming; website design; copy writing; and client management. For starters.  

    Any suggestion that she doesn’t “work” belittles her commitment and will harm your relationship with your Entrepreneur.

    Phrase to Avoid 3: Don’t you want to come to bed?

    Questioning your Entrepreneur’s nocturnal habits will not affect them. Trust that if your Entrepreneur stays up until 4:00 am, the resulting masterpiece will be breathtaking. Or at least that a breathtaking masterpiece will happen sometime in the future, and this is practice.

    Phrase to Avoid 4: Relax, it’s the weekend.

    When living in the wild, Entrepreneurs habitually remain active without regard to day-of-week. Scientists believe this relates to their flexible sleep habits, but further study is needed.

    In the meantime, allow your Entrepreneur to exercise her mental muscles regardless of weekday designations. You’ll find that she is an energetic companion whenever she puts away her projects, and never more so than when she feels that those projects are “complete” for the time being.

    Phrase to Avoid 5: Just get off the computer already.

    Your Entrepreneur is naturally obsessed with her business world, and may go long periods without recalling the outer world. This may regrettably result in a weakening of your bond with your Entrepreneur, especially if these periods are very frequent and/or lengthy. Unfortunately, accusatory remarks will have the opposite effect to the one intended.

    Stay calm. Offer your Entrepreneur subtle, friendly invitations to rejoin the outer world. Once she has made the transition, let your Entrepreneur know that you miss her, and would like to re-establish your bond. Suggest some activities and be open to her suggestions. In no time, you and your Entrepreneur will be back to your usual unpredictability and suspense.

    Love your entrepreneur - Small Company Artworks

    Above all, love your entrepreneur

    Some last words before we leave you to discover your Entrepreneur’s delightful quirks and foibles. Remember that you acquired an Entrepreneur because you relish her independence of thought and strength of will. Entrepreneurs are nothing if not resilient, devoted, and conscientious, so cherish these strengths.

    As with any breed trait, you’ll encounter joys and challenges with these characteristics. But the time you spend nurturing her natural spirit and enthusiasm will be rewarded by her deep gratitude and devotion.

    Your Entrepreneur lives with gusto,

    and in choosing to make an Entrepreneur part of your life, you do, too. So embrace your Entrepreneur and love them!

    Unless they’re working on something, in which case you should probably just go have a sandwich.

    [For the curious, here's what's been keeping this Entrepreneur up at night lately.]