002: What is a Parentpreneur?

"I decided not to consider myself as being held back by other commitments, but instead that I was a Parentpreneur" - Alexis Kingsbury

In this episode of the Parentpreneur Accelerator Podcast, I share what I think a ‘Parentpreneur’ is, why I think we need this term, why being a Parentpreneur can make you a better entrepreneur, why you should consider be proud of being a parentpreneur, and why parentpreneurs matter to the world!

(OK, so I got a bit ‘rant-y’ and ‘on my soapbox’ in this episode… but that’s only because I care about lovely Parentpreneurs like you. Who can blame me? You are fantastic!)

 

Related links / Resources mentioned in the episode:

  1. Parentpreneur Accelerator Community on Facebook

 

Transcript:

What is a Parentpreneur? Why do we need this term that combines the words parent and entrepreneur? How does this differ to say mumpreneur and dadpreneur? Why should people want to be parentpreneurs, and why do I care about them?

In this episode I’ll be answering those questions, and hopefully helping you to think more deeply about what matters most to you, and how you can use the term Parentpreneur to remind you of this…

We need to start by talking about work-life balance.

I know plenty of entrepreneurs, myself included, who have worked all hours harbouring the ‘retirement dream’. Believing that one day after all the hard work, I will get to spend time with my family. That I think is real bullshit. It seems society is set up against humanity, where freedom and pleasure are postponed. When it finally comes it can often be too late and after irreparable damage. I believe balance and enjoyment is achievable now.

It’s very rare people in old age say they wish they’d spent more time on business than with family. It’s always the other way round.

Yet, I know that entrepreneurship can co-exist with happy and healthy family life. It is important for people to see how this can be done without detriment to the family unit and relationships.

I call people who do this, or aspire to do this, Parentpreneurs.

For individual families, I suggest that being a Parentpreneur can lower the chance of divorce and greatly improve family relationships.

So why do we need the term Parentpreneur?

The term Mumpreneur already exists and was recently added to the Oxford English Dictionary. There is nothing wrong with the word. Though, I think the way it is used can belittle what entrepreneurship is for people. I think mums who are entrepreneurs don’t always like the expression because of its connotations of a hobbyism. To avoid this, we want to be really clear that we Parentpreneurs are taken seriously as business people – we aren’t doing our businesses ‘on the side’.

Instead, being a Parentpreneur is a new way of looking at parents running their own businesses, achieving great things for the world, building something meaningful and not sacrificing family and parental responsibilities for it.

I began thinking of myself as a Parentpreneur when my wife became pregnant for the first time. I started to contemplate that I would soon have to balance the time between being an entrepreneur and a father. I thought about paternity leave and how long I was going to take off and all the repercussions it would have. As well as my wife’s steady income being reduced with her maternity leave and returning to work on less hours. I had to find a way to support us as a family practically, emotionally and financially.

I decided not to consider myself as an entrepreneur that was being held back by other commitments, but instead that I was a Parentpreneur – and would put effort into getting the balance right. This was empowering, and as it turned out, made me a better entrepreneur.

How does being a Parentpreneur make you a better entrepreneur?

Most people with kids value their family over everything else. However, it is typical that those wanting to get ahead in business often do not act in accordance with this and forego family time for work.

A Parentpreneur is someone who doesn’t just believe in valuing their family above all else, but takes proactive conscious action to ensure that they live and work in line this value.

To do this, it is essential you become better skilled in managing your time.

In fact, I have discovered that Parentpreneurs often find that they are become better at prioritizing effectively, delegating workload, limiting time on certain projects and setting aside time off.

Of course there are times when there are 100% concentrating on their business and not thinking about the kids or spending time with their partner. However, during the weekend, evenings or other pre-determined times, they make sure they spend quality with their family NOT working, or thinking too much about work!

So, I’ve found that working as a Parentpreneur doesn’t necessarily mean a slower rate of growth. People that work 60 to 100 hours a week on their business can often be spending that time doing the wrong things. If they are neglecting their relationships or fitness, their thinking suffers. As a result they are tend not to be moving their business forward effectively. Whereas, people who allocate their time well enjoy better health and stronger relationships. I believe doing this can more than double productivity on your business.

In my case, the first 18 months that I focused on my family and fitness rather than my business were also the highest period of profit growth I had experienced up to that point.

But this isn’t just about serving yourself or even your family. More widely, entrepreneurship has also done wonders for humanity.

Entrepreneurs don’t just stop at making a lot of money but often contribute to the development of society. After leaving Microsoft, Bill Gates now might actually solve malaria in his lifetime. But Entrepreneurs help humanity before they retire too. Take Elon Musk who founded Tesla the company to design and manufacture amazing electric cars – which is now pushing the whole automobile industry to improve fuel efficiency. Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook and has since added features to help locate people after major disasters.

Interestingly I find that parents make up a a disproportionately large number of entrepreneurs who are passionate about making a difference in the world. They have more outward focused goals about how they can genuinely help people, rather than focusing on lining their pockets with billions of pounds. So helping these people to succeed is often good for the world, not just families.

So, why should we talk about being Parentpreneurs?

Despite all the remarkable entrepreneurs out there, I don’t believe there are enough role models in the area of balancing family and entrepreneurship.

If I were to ask you to name me five successful entrepreneurs who you also think of as big family people? You may struggle!

Perhaps you might think of Sir Richard Branson; he’s got kids. But it’s only been in later life that we have witnessed him at Necker Island with the family. This isn’t the image we think of while he was building his empire. His autobiography doesn’t explain how he balanced time to ensure that he had strong relationships with family members further down the line, or how he was able to make big bets whilst managing the stress levels of his family unit.

So, I encourage you to think about yourself as a Parentpreneur, and learn what other Parentpreneurs are doing to make their lives, and the lives of their families better.

How can I learn more about being a Parentpreneur?

If you are a parent with an entrepreneurial idea, be it fully formed or not, you can find other like-minded people by joining our community Parentpreneur Accelerator on Facebook. Where we share information and ideas on how you can achieve the right balance between family and business.

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About The Author

Alexis Kingsbury

Alexis is founder of the Parentpreneur Accelerator and Making Greatness Ltd. He is a serial entrepreneur, with experience creating start-ups in a variety of areas, particularly in SaaS and EdTech. He is also a lucky husband and proud dad, and now helps other 'parentpreneurs' like him to achieve their dreams of having successful businesses, making a difference in the world, and spending time with the people they love.

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