Pros and Cons of Growing up with an Entrepreneurial Parent

Oftentimes I get the impression that others consider me lucky for having an entrepreneurial father. I won’t deny that I have been fortunate to live the life I have, but as with everything; there is a downside. Allow me to share the benefits, the limitations and the subjects¬†about which I am indifferent because I know there is both an upside and a downside to them. Below my “pro et contra”:

Pros:

  1. You are always guaranteed a job without the need to put effort into finding one – if your parent permits that.
  2. You will be driven to think like an entrepreneur from a young age, meaning that you are and should always be the best at everything.
  3. In conflicts, your parent will stand up for you like nobody else and make sure that you get your way (especially at a young age).
  4. Your parent teaches you to have an immense amount of self-confidence, and that even when you are not confident it is important that you seem confident to those around you.
  5. There is never a moment where you can’t ask for help. If you don’t understand something that they might, there is no bigger ego boost for your parent (yes, some entrepreneurs have HUGE egos) than that they can solve the problem that you can’t.

Cons:

  1. You aren’t motivated to seek employment somewhere else, thus decreasing the breadth of your experience.
  2. This one may only count for me, since my father is an eternal optimist, but your perspective on the startup life always being great is flawed and you will undoubtedly face more challenges than you could ever imagine.
  3. Since entrepreneurs have a vision and are required to push that vision on to others on a daily basis, everything you do and everything about you also is part of a vision. If you don’t go along in that vision you get an immense amount of resistance.
  4. Entrepreneurs tend to see themselves in others, claiming that people believe what they believe without even asking. It is not uncommon to have to hear a lecture about how you definitely should make a certain decision because your parent thinks they know what you are thinking.
  5. Whether or not you like it, you start to become similar to your parent, also trying to impose your beliefs on others and trying to improve the people around you as if they are your employees rather than your friends and family.

Not sures:

  1. You don’t have much choice but to become an entrepreneur yourself: As you are constantly seeing what it can be like to own a business and your parent serves as your greatest role model, you are likely to succumb to that inner pressure that makes you want to build your own dream.
  2. The time and attention you get is very sporadic and extreme. If a subject matter interests your parent they will become overly involved, to the extent that they take over what you were trying to do. When the subject matter is not of interest you have to force your parent to listen or watch what you are doing. Although the latter seems like a Con, it does serve as a form of entrepreneurial training for yourself as it teaches you how to sell.

Although it is not always easy, there is a way to make the most of the pros and it has helped me a lot to realize how my behavior is being influenced. This way I am able to recognize my habits and to eliminate them. I hope that this article provides some more insight into how it really is to have an entrepreneurial parent and I’m sure that those who have such parents can relate.

Article by olliesmeenk

I was born in the Netherlands but raised in Tanzania. My primary interest is in modern business, with a tendency to prefer working on technical concepts. I launched a Kickstarter campaign for my product called SODAQ Moja in 2013, and now started my own enterprise which can be found on www.kukua.cc

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