As a mother of two (with a third on the way), who started both a company and family at the same time, I'm always eager to dispel the myth that having a family will set back your business. This is constantly a topic of focus in the media regarding women-owned businesses (as if men don't have kids too), which make up only 35% of the total entrepreneurial population. Who knows how big that percentage might get if women felt like starting a family was an asset, instead of a conflict, with launching a business?
In fact, there are reasons why creating both a family and jobs go hand-in-hand:
1. Family-Owned Businesses Have a Bright Future
Family-owned businesses account for 50 percent of U.S. GDP, generate 60 percent of the country's employment and account for 78 percent of all new job creation. When you have children, you're potentially creating a succession plan for your company's future generations. And that's good for your company: family-run businesses have higher levels of employee loyalty, because they often treat non-family as if they were family. This means that when tough times occur, they are less apt than traditional corporations to do mass layoffs just because of profits.
2. Having Kids Opens Your Eyes to New Markets
When you become a parent, your business management thinking starts to change, in terms of who, what and how you prioritize. Your consumption habits change as well: Thinking about others' well being--most notably our offspring--enables moms, with an estimated $2.1 trillion in spending power, to influence 85% of all purchase decisions. As you begin to buy differently, you'll see new gaps in the market.
Take, for example, Brooklyn-based organic bread mix company Baked Better, co-founded by female entrepreneur Justina Hierta out of the need for better and healthier bread that is easy to make. Thanks to my angst in trying to be a better mom, Baked Better inspired me to bring my baking in-house versus buying from the store. But it's an area of the market I'd never have known about if I didn't have kids.
Or consider Texas-born entrepreneur and co-CEO of U.S. Virgin Island's Blue Shore Grill Restaurant Group, Nicole Boswell-Horstmeyer. Based in Saint Thomas, Nicole wasn't afraid to build her restaurants and her family simultaneously. But what's most special is her ability to go beyond just offering food to also making a difference. Her flagship restaurant, HAVANA BLUE, recently established a groundbreaking local farming initiative, sourcing from and benefitting the indigenous Caribbean community, allowing diners to eat well and indulge a bit, all while giving back to the local economy in the process.
3. Making Babies = Making Money
Last month, Nick Drydakis, a fellow at the Institute for the Study of Labor and economics lecturer in the business school at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge, England, revealed that people who have frequent sex tend to be happier and have higher self-esteem, as well as better reasoning ability. Better reasoning ability ought to lead to smarter business decisions and therefore to higher revenue for your burgeoning enterprise. While, of course, causation versus correlation isn't as clear, at the end of the day, there's a real relationship between more sex and more money, leading to higher financial returns. So the more actively you're trying to get pregnant, the more of an improvement you may see in your bottom line.
If you've been using your business as an excuse to delay having a family, it might be time to rethink your strategy. So go forth and get busy (making money)!