31/07/2013 13:02 BST | Updated 30/09/2013 06:12 BST

How Starting a Business Is Like Having a Baby


Hello, I'm Tom. Nine months ago I left my perfectly reasonable job in online advertising to start my own business. Starting a blog nine months into a startup seems particularly appropriate because in that time, as I'm sure you're aware, a baby can be made. There are many many similarities between having a baby and forming your own start-up.

1. Firstly, the decision to do either is most likely rushed and drunken. Decisions such as these are perhaps not best made late on a Friday night after work drinks, but these things do happen. And once the deed is done you're going to have to live with it. So, be careful.

2. Secondly either will result in a serious lack of sleep. Starting your own business messes with your sleeping patterns. You'll wake every night guaranteed for the first few months worrying about what the hell you've done. We all go through stresses at work but at least then you were getting paid. When you're on your own that's by no means guaranteed.

3. Both are stupidly expensive. You have to look after a baby for 18 years, buying things for it all the way through. Whilst your start-up may not be around for 18 years (and if it was you probably don't have anything to worry about) you could still end up paying for it over that amount of time. Start-ups don't have to cost hundreds of thousands, but they still can be costly. And start-ups don't necessarily look after you when you're old (same goes for children).

4. Your love for them will change from either extreme on an hourly basis. I've never had a baby, but by the looks of some parents in the supermarket I imagine this is the same for them. After a good meeting in the morning you can think you'll be a millionaire by this time next month, then a bad meeting in the afternoon can make you wonder why you ever did this.

5. Everyone else is always a better parent than you. Some people make it look effortless. But I guarantee they've gone through exactly the same shit you've gone through, they're just better at hiding it. No one wants to admit their worries, stresses, mistakes and failures. This is especially true because you don't want to let down your friends and family. They're all so proud of you, you've taken the big plunge and started your own business, and you'll "be on dragons den" before you know it right? That's how it works? It's sometimes easier just to say yes and smile politely rather than telling Auntie Audrey you were awake all last night worrying if the nominal value of your nominal shares should be £1 or £10.

6. No one really knows what they're doing until they actually do it. You can read all the books and go to all the classes, but until you've spent 9 months actually doing it for yourself, cleaning up the mess, having the sleepless nights, paying all that money then you're no wiser than anybody else.

With that in mind I wanted to start writing about my experiences because I felt that there was a lack of honest accounts of setting up a business. I'll explain both the good and bad times. You'll be exposed to a lot of "advice" when you start your own business and a lot of it is generic. I'll be as specific as possible where I can with companies, resources and prices so you can actually use some of these recommendations for yourself. Questions are welcome @twr88