My friend Eric had wanted to start an e-commerce business for six years. He had been a marketing consultant for five years, but wanted to follow a more entrepreneurial path. While living in California, he made a couple of half-hearted attempts to launch one, but never could find the time while working on his consulting business and trying to maintain an active social life.
After facing a couple of problems with his consulting company, he decided that it was a blessing in disguise. Losing a couple of clients meant he would have more time to focus on his affiliate marketing business. However, he wouldn’t be able to pay the bills on his reduced income, so he would need to take a drastic step – moving back with his parents. Being nearly 32 years old, this wasn’t exactly his ideal option.
Eric’s dad drove with him from California to their abode in New Hampshire. This 3,000 mile trip was only the beginning of Eric’s long journey as an entrepreneur.
A Long Road Ahead as an Entrepreneur with Mom and Dad
Leaving his friends was hard for Eric. He was on good terms with his parents and they rarely fought, but he still faced some challenges.
Eric originally thought he would be with his folks for six months while he got his ecommerce business off the ground. It actually took him two and a half years before he could replace his previous income.
However, this was a major sacrifice that he had to make. Many other young entrepreneurs have had to make similar decisions. Neil Patel, one of the most successful Internet entrepreneurs of our generations, wrote a piece for Forbes titled “Why Every Entrepreneur Should Live With their Parents.”
“Yep, I was that guy — the twenty-something nerd without a real job, living in his parents’ house, and spending all his time on the Internet.But if I hadn’t lived with my parents as long as I did, I probably wouldn’t be enjoying the success I have today.”
While it can be a great opportunity to get your business on the right track, there are some challenges that will lie ahead. Here are some things that young entrepreneurs should be prepared for before moving back with their parents.
Getting Used to Giving Up Your Freedom
Eric’s parents were pretty respectful of the fact he was an adult. However, many parents are going to try to be a lot more controlling. If you grew with helicopter parents, you may have a much tougher time with the transition.
Living With Your Parents Puts a Damper on Your Social Life
People don’t exactly look up to an adult that moves back with their parents. It is particularly difficult if you are trying to date. Eric barely used online dating sites while living with his parents, because he didn’t want to have to explain his situation to a potential lover.
He was able to deal with that, because his real goal was to create a successful business. However, it still was a challenge at times.
Fewer Financial Concerns
Of course, the real benefit of living with your parents is that you don’t have the same financial concerns. When you are living in a community where the average one bedroom apartment costs $1,500 a month, moving back with your parents will seem like a no-brainer. That is a lot of money that you can funnel back into your new business, which will help it grow much faster.
Eric’s Advice to Young Entrepreneurs Living With their Folks
I asked Eric to share some thoughts for other entrepreneurs considering moving back home. Here are some things he suggested.
Frugality is Still Important
“You have a lot more money in your pocket when you move back home. However, that doesn’t mean you can blow it away. I often spent money on tools and marketing funnels that didn’t really help my business. You need to make sure every dollar is well spend.”
Don’t Get Too Complacent
“Living with your parents gives you the chance to spend more money getting a company off the ground. However, it can also make you too comfortable. Don’t get into the habit of putting things off.”
Don’t Be Alone Too Much
“When I was in California, I was going out with friends at least three times a week. I needed to cut back on my social life to get my company off the ground. However, there were times I went too far on the other end of the continuum and was alone too much. I often got depressed, which left me too drained to work on my company. Making an effort to have something of a social life was important to keep me going.”