Building a business under most circumstances is hard. We’ve all heard the not-so-encouraging statistics like, 8 out of 10 entrepreneurs fail within the first 18 months. But that didn’t deter me.
A little over eighteen months ago, I started my business, WeMontage, the world’s only website that lets you turn your photos into large collages on removable wallpaper. So, yay, I got past the eighteen months thing, but I’m hardly out of the woods.
This past spring, the business ran out of cash and my investors decided to not re-invest to keep it going. Additionally, this past summer, the young lady who was watching our now 21 month old twins, Thaddeus and Zoe, decided to go back to school. In order to cut household expenses, I had to step in and stay at home with the twins every day, AND continue to work on WeMontage to get it going in a positive direction again.
As you can imagine, this has been a challenging past few months.
Embracing The Change
Initially, I wasn’t excited about the idea of not being 100% focused on WeMontage and I viewed myself as a failure for not crushing my business venture right out of the box. Thankfully, I came to my senses-on my own, I might add-and realized that staying home with the kids everyday is a wonderful opportunity to bond with them during this very precious time. After all, the twins will only be 21 months old once, right?
Being with the kids everyday lets me enjoy amazing, spontaneous moments like this one, when I was about to give them a bath and put them in the same crib for a bit, then walked in on this.
I smile every time I watch this video and there are dozens more moments like this that I would miss, if I weren’t around more often. And that would be a shame.
My wife and I live in Appleton, WI, hundreds of miles away from our family in New York and New Jersey, so getting support to help with the kids is not easy when we want to go out for date night, or need to run errands. But the biggest challenge since the business ran out of cash has been financial.
I’ve had to cut expenses and staying home with the kids helps a ton. But paying myself a regularly scheduled salary is no longer the norm, and I’d like to take a moment and thank my wife for stepping up big time, picking up my financial slack these past few months.
There was a time years ago, when my wife was in school and I had a “normal” job where I was taking on the lion’s share of the financial responsibilities for the family. But this is what a successful marriage is all about, right? Give and take. Being there for each other no matter what.
I don’t mean to get on my soap box. I’m just thankful I have an amazingly supportive wife.
Overcoming Challenges With The Business
While things have been at times brutal with WeMontage, there is reason to be optimistic. I have a feature coming on a national daytime TV show, as well as a segment on DIY Networks. Both of these should prove very helpful and will take a bit of the financial pressure off, which always makes things better at home.
How do I know being on these TV shows will help? Because when WeMontage was featured on the TODAY Show last spring, it made a huge difference. Here’s a clip from that segment with Mario Armstrong:
Yeah, things have been challenging these past few months as I transitioned to a full-time stay-at-home-dad, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. I cherish the time I spend with my kids and this experience has brought my wife and me closer.
There’s also been the important benefit of really understanding exactly what kind of character I have. After all, you don’t know the measure of a man (or woman) until he/she has really been through the fire.
Finally, the one thing I’ve learned for sure as it relates to building a business is this:
Thanks for listening to me rant, and be well!
Oh, and please share any stories you have about growing your business as a stay at home parent, in the comments.