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Entrepreneurship, gestation and the journey of birthing a business

Nature has its own gestation rate.

Mothers know gestation. They know it is for approximately 9 months. They know the emotional roller coaster that is beyond hormones…the excitement, fear, anxiety, frustration, trepidation, and often in the end, impatience.

Fathers get to experience this in a different way, maybe as the brunt of the emotional storm of the mother, often with a similar level of fear, uncertainty, anxiety.

Entrepreneurs know gestation. They know that the seed has been planted, and the business is being formed, with the intent to be born into the world. What they do not know is how long this is going to take, and…like any parent, exactly what the baby will look like on birth.

The not knowing is a killer. You might be two inches from success, and quit….or you may have persevered for years, and there is still years to go.

The process of gestation is a trial of endurance, persistence, courage, commitment, tenacity, longing, anxiety, fear, love…most importantly, it is a process of attunement to the nature of the business being born, and what it requires to enable a healthy birth. Many entrepreneurs neglect this in their rush to give birth. They neglect to take the time to listen to what and who the business requires.

Giving birth to a business is the act of daily, minute by minute, listening, attuning,  putting one foot in front of the other, and taking another step. (And sometimes not taking a step, but being still and silent.)  Of almost always not knowing if, when you put your foot down, it will land on solid ground. And if it doesn’t, quickly finding an alternate foot fall, or…stepping into the abyss.

The precariousness of gestation is Universal to the birth of business and babies.

Each business, like each creature on Earth, has its own unique gestation rate. And this simply cannot be rushed.

When we try to impose our schedule of gestation to a business we may find we are forcing something to be what it is not. The result is almost always messy.

This place in between…the place of gestation…between starting and giving birth…this is the heartbreak, the exhaustion, the testing…yet it is also where we get to see who we really are as an entrepreneur.

The question I am asking…all of this, the days and months, even years of uncertainty, the highs, lows..the holding things together with sticky tape…how do we hold this journey, in all its shades of emotion…how do we make this the point? For almost always what we do is long for…wish for…live for…the birth. Yet the journey…the journey itself…this is what maketh the man and woman. How do we love that?



P.S. – Feel free to forward this email to a friend who might enjoy!

Christine McDougall

Posted on April 13, 2016

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