It’s easy to look at the two years of the start up and wonder what good came from it, particularly for our girls. As parents we want so much to provide a safe, comfortable world for them to grow up in. Our time with the start up was never that. Instead, our life was full of chaos, frustration, and the constant pressure of the next thing that HAD to be done. What could our kids possibly gain from this?
Astonishingly much. I’m not going to say I could see it at the time and the only goal we were focused on for their future was financial. What they got was so much more. (Because the reality is there haven’t been any financial benefits from the start up, yet.)
An easy benefit to see, maybe you’ve guessed already, is how to start a business. Neither T nor I were ever interested in this. My parents had started a business, but it wasn’t something that needed funding or a board. At this point, if the girls want to start something, we know who to talk to and what’s involved. We would have never guessed at any of this.
The act of starting a business and gaining funding involves a LOT of handshaking with a whole new group of people. The girls didn’t shake any of these hands, but their dad did. Because their dad was an honest, friendly, hardworking person, he built new relationships with people who run business. Business the girls might want to work at one day.
What else? They learned A LOT about conflict resolution. As we screwed things up, we learned. As we learned, we taught them and they got to learn at the age of 12 instead of figuring it out as adults, like we had to. Being able to handle and resolve conflict will open doors for your future more than just about anything. As much as it hurt to be broken people around our girls, they got to see that broken is only bad if you quit.
The girls also gained some incredible memories with their grandparents. We weren’t able to be the parents we wanted to be. We just didn’t have a lot left to give, but my parents did. It was their opportunity to build solid relationships with their grandkids. That’s a real gift. To both of them. Lots of kids and grandparents just don’t get that these days.
Most importantly, they gained confidence. There’s a lot less “can’t” in their life. When I was their age, I would never have imagined I could start a business. That was something other people did. Not them. About this time they developed a plan for opening a cupcake shop. They had it all planned out. Or at least the start of a plan. They’ve both moved on, but that door is wide open. If they want to step thru, it’s there. Because we put the pain and labor into building it.
New doors opened for us, too. Kind of like a Choose Your Own Adventure book. Which one did we take and how did we get there? Yeah, you guessed it. Next post.