Nineteen years ago, I was in Mexico on my honeymoon. My wife and I had just taken an inner tube ride down an underground stream.
It was a delightful ride.
When we got to the end of the stream, there was a dock on the side of the stream where we exited the river.
After we dried off from the underground water ride, we came to an open-air building.
Right in the middle of the building was a chicken hatchery.
About one hundred eggs were sitting under a heat lamp.
Next to the eggs were some baby chicks with fluffy yellow feathers.
I looked closely at the eggs.
Most of the eggs looked like normal eggs.
A few of the eggs were cracked.
A few other eggs had pieces of the eggshell missing.
I could see parts of a baby chick on the other side of the cracked egg.
The chick was struggling and struggling to get free.
It was fascinating to watch the chicks toil away at the egg.
They were squirming and pushing and giving it all they had.
All this work in an effort to get free from the confines of the egg that was holding them hostage.
I was captivated. I must have stood there, staring at the eggs for almost an hour.
While I was watching the eggs, I was reminded of a story I heard about baby chicks as they’re attempting to break through the eggshell.
When a baby chick is trying to get out of the egg, it is building its muscles.
As the chick fights and fights against the eggshell, it is facing an enormous amount of resistance.
I can’t imagine how claustrophobic it must feel for a baby chick to be locked up inside of the eggshell.
The story goes that the battle the baby chick goes through is a necessary part of the lifecycle of the chick.
If someone were to “help” the baby chick by cracking open the eggshell, the person would do more harm than good to the chick.
The baby chick would not have strengthened its muscles enough to enable it to walk.
Without walking the baby chick would be doomed to die of starvation.
It’s an interesting thing to think that what I consider helping could actually be hurting someone.
This reminds me of hearing of some parents that continue to help their adult children financially after they have moved out of the house.
The children always have in the back of their mind that daddy and mommy will be there to save the day.
This type of financial support retards the growth potential of the adult children.
The chicken hatchling reminds me of several business owners.
When people start businesses, they give birth.
They give birth to their baby business.
There is so much pride and satisfaction in the fact that they are now a business owner.
Look at the baby business. Isn’t it so beautiful? It’s lovely.
The business owner pours everything into the baby business.
They pour their soul. They pour their savings into the baby business.
They pour their time into the baby business.
Many business owners become workaholics as they nurture and feed their baby business.
The baby business becomes more important to them than their flesh and blood.
Everything goes on hold in order for the business owners to give everything to the baby business.
The baby business becomes a spoiled brat, and the business owners don’t dare to stand up to the baby business.
“I want more money!!!!!!” screams the baby business.
“FEED ME!!!! I’M HUNGARY.”
So the business owners give everything to the baby business.
The business owners slave and toil away for the feckless baby business.
Month after month, the baby business eats up the cash reserves of the business.
The baby business does not grow because there is business owners fail to apply resistance to the baby business.
The baby business must learn how to survive on its own.
The baby business must pay for its keep.
The baby business must be self-sustaining.
Until the baby business starts to make money, it will continue to be a spoiled rotten terror.
It’s an embarrassing thing to see.
The business owners need to teach the baby business how to spread its wings.
Until the baby business starts to pay for itself, the baby business will suck the lifeblood out of the business owners.
There is really only one thing you need to look at to determine if you have a spoiled baby business.
Cash in the bank.
Cash in the bank is like a vital sign for a baby business.
If there is cash in the bank, then the baby business has the ability to grow.
If there is not enough cash in the bank, the baby business will starve. Growth is impossible.
Furthermore, a steady growing stream of cash in the bank is the clearest indicator that a business is growing in a healthy manner.
If there isn’t cash in the bank, then I can explicitly declare that the business is wasting everyone’s lives.
At some point, it may be a few months, it may even be a few years, but eventually, the business owners will arrive at a breaking point.
The breaking point will destroy the business.
For too long, the baby business forced the business owners to rob Peter to pay Paul.
Eventually, Peter dies. There is nobody around to rob. Paul and the baby business then are doomed to death.
To prevent the dire circumstances, the business owners must provide boundaries for the baby business.
The business owners must draw a line in the sand and decide that the baby business has to grow up.
It’s time for the baby business to put on its big boy business underpants.