WorkLife Success: The ParentPreneur Edge

Parentpreneur_jacketA quick examination of my upbringing doesn’t exactly put me in the business category of entrepreneurship. My childhood was sans business acumen. My mom was an opera singer turned psychotherapist and my dad – a former high school administrator – had a Ph.D. from Columbia in Education.

Raising Judy and my sis, Mary of, was a mishmash of opera, 60 Minutes, and cartoons. Not necessarily in that order. My sister and I learned of the arts, music and the power of the written word as our home was lined with hundreds of books.

As for my adult life, I am a step-mom without the benefit of the typical parenting process, but a quick read of Julie Lenzer Kirk’s, The ParentPreneur Edge, never the less offers a fun and unusually humorous alternative to the typical business book.

Lenzer draws similarities between parenting and running a business, but it’s her delivery that serves up a punchy and passionate approach to building a successful business. She dispels the myth that women (or men for that matter) can’t raise children while making a million in their career as entrepreneurs, but she makes her point without making light of the demands of parenthood.

On the worlds of work and motherhood colliding for example, she tells the story of a mom who delivered a smashing presentation while donning one of her daughters barrettes (she had been cleaning up around the house and put it in her hair for safe keeping and forgotten about it).

In The ParentPreneur Edge, Kirk likens the stages of parenthood to the phases of growing a business. “Preparing for Entrepreneurship” she says is like “getting pregnant.” She quickly graduates to the “labor and delivery” phase of business where an entrepreneur “bonds” with their business. Truly committing to the work, “That same bond that comes across as a fire in the belly we feel with regard to our children is what drives many entrepreneurs to do incredible things,”says Kirk.

From there, the book is about raising the child or in biz terms – growing the business. This is where Kirk spends most of her time.  We hear about the early years and learning how to say no, the growing pains which inevitably lead to mistakes, and the eventual emergence as an independent business leader who knows how to stick to boundaries.

This book best caters to those who have parented. I dare say the moms in the group. Still, Kirk’s sophisticated style makes for a good read offering tips, resources and wisdom from other like-minded souls who have conquered the chaos of entrepreneurship whilst raising a small ship of their own.

  • Julie Lenzer Kirk

    Thanks for the postive words, Judy. As a step-mom, I suspect you’ve had quite a bit of the experiences I describe, or at least witnessed them first-hand. Regardless, I tried not to use any secret code so that those who don’t consider themselves parents can relate. After all, everyone has been a child at one time or another (or still is!) :-)

    As an aside, I’ve had non-business owners, too, find a lot of value in learning how to tap their parenting skills to managing employees, so the appeal seems to be broad.

    Thanks again!