Things The Don't Tell You When You Start a Daycare Business
Honestly, I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I started my child care business. I realize now that if I knew half of what I know now, I would not have started. Child care is a relationship-based business. This is a people business. It has always been my opinion that child care is one of those businesses that has no single client, but a client who comes with ten others. Whenever we are able, we make a child, mom, dad, grandparents, and anyone else happy. It doesn't bother us because we love what we do, but there is another factor. We have to say goodbye. This is the hardest part. While you learn to be tough over the years, when working in a field that requires connecting with people on a deeper level, it was a shocker.
"Goodbyes" take many forms. Perhaps you are saying farewell to a child you've taken care of for two years. Possibly you are saying farewell to a co-worker with whom you went through hard times and worked side by side. There could be circumstances in which you have to say goodbye to a parent who has been a wonderful parent, but due to life circumstances, they have to leave you. What do you do when you are saying goodbye to someone who has been an integral part of your business. A person you could count on to be there and someone who did everything you asked?
No One Prepares You
Sadly, this is the hard truth. I recently had to deal with something similar. I was devastated. Memories of years past flooded my mind. I could not imagine how my child care business could continue without this person. Sitting on my island, I planned the future. She appeared in the frames of my goals and dreams as I rolled them in my mind one by one. There is no way to prepare for such a blow. Even in college, when I attended, I learned how to mitigate risks, but this particular risk was never mentioned. What do you do when thrown a curve ball you weren't expecting?
Things You Can Do to Prepare for Life Curve Balls
be understanding by putting yourself in the person's shoes
Grieve the loss
Support the person
Leave the relationship on a good note.
Start strategizing how you will move on without this person
Taking a Breather
Listen, this is going to shock you. How do I know? I was shocked myself. When you are in the shocking phase, you are trying to figure out how you can keep the person. You inquire why they made the decision. Depending on how well you know the person, you may be able to read them trying to determine if there is something you did to cause this or if it is something outside your control. It won't matter if it takes you a week, a month, or a moment to understand the cause, you will be trying to understand the reason. I believe that's how we humans go through the process of grieving and finding closure. In my situation, I just needed to breathe, and once I realized that my friend has to make the best decision for her and her children, it resonated so much with me.
Be Understanding and Put Yourself in the Other Person's Shoes
Whatever the reason, be understanding. We are all figuring out this journey called life at the end of the day. Whatever one decides, it is not our job to tell them what to do or who they should be. Perhaps it is time for you to be there for someone who has been there for you and your business. Show them that they too, have your respect, understanding, and support. Don't be self-centered. What would you do in the same situation?
Grieve the Loss
I would be lying if I said I slept well after the news (says Jerry Springer, and the lie detector said "that was a lie") haha just kidding. Actually, I was unable to sleep. In my mind, I was calculating what I could do to keep my stellar staff. In my soul, I was disturbed because what was consistent, expected, and masters was going to change. Change is scary, you know! Re-inventing yourself is hard! Sometimes, this is what we need to get to the next level, not just for the owner, but also for the one leaving.
Support the Person
What do you think? In the end, it's all about the relationship. Relationships are one of the four key areas I am focusing on in my personal life. One can't just throw years of going through something with someone away. A bond is formed over time. In spite of having the inclination to be upset, which is human nature, you will look at this person you have known through the good, the bad, and the ugly and realize that you want to see them succeed, do well, and have the best life possible. Be there for them. This can be done by asking them what they need, or by simply offering a helping hand in the transition, whatever that means to you.
Leaving the Relationship on a Good Note
What's the point of burning the bridge? No matter what life throws at you, it's always nice to have a friend, a familiar face, a confidante, and so on. Your world has just been shattered and you may need to piece it back together. Rebuilding the piece and strategizing will become more difficult if we burn bridges when we experience a change. Child care professionals must strive for peace.
Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: Hebrews 12:14
Start strategizing how you will move on without this person
After you have dealt with the grieving and you know if this individual is a friend or a foe, you will have to get to a drawing board and start working out how their absence will affect your business. At this point, the panic has passed and it's time to focus on the why! Why do you do what you do? Why should you continue? That is the motivation you need to keep going. Even though it sounds cliché, things will be ok, you know, you've managed to run your child care business year after year.
Friends, listen up! Unexpected curve balls will come your way. It's how you handle them that counts. Make peace with everyone you meet and everything will work out well. While you are at it, give it to God in prayer. As a result, you won't miss too much sleep.
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